meeting Zhou Youguang

I’m back from a great trip Beijing. Among the people I was able meet there is Zhōu Yǒuguāng (周有光), who is often referred to as the father of Hanyu Pinyin.

I’m pleased to report that even though he is well beyond 100 years old, he remains sharp, in amazingly good health, and in good humor. I’ll be reporting later on what he had to say during our meeting. But since that lasted several hours, I won’t try to cover everything in one post; instead, I’ll break it up into lots of smaller posts over the next few weeks.

For now, here’s a photo I took of him on Sunday afternoon.

Hanyu Pinyin creator Zhou Youguang (???) at his desk, autographing a book

11 thoughts on “meeting Zhou Youguang

  1. The FATHER of Hanyu Pinyin!? Wow, what a great honor it must’ve been!

    He looks very good for someone who is over 100 years old! lol

    I can’t wait to read your report.

  2. Thanks for posting this. I noticed the update through Wikipedia. Glad to hear Mr. Zhou is alive and well. I still think it will take many years for the rest of the world to realize the significance Hanyu Pinyin has on our daily lives. Great site, and I look forward to reading more about your meeting with him.

  3. Wow, I wrote to Zhou Youguang because I ll go to Beijing in August and I’d like to meet him, but I didn’t receive an answer. I study chinese and I’m writing the thesis on Hanyu pinyin. Someone can help me?

  4. thanks,I ll wait you return for information, especially titles of outstanding books and news about this topic.. I’d also like to meet him because it’s very important for the thesis.. he is the father of pinyin, a simple photo could also be an intresting contribution. gabry

  5. I am a Singaporean (ethnic Indian). I have a strong passion about languages. I can speak 8 languages including Japanese.
    When I asked my Mandarin Teacher Yang Laoshi if the Hanyu Pinyin will replace the traditional Chinese charaters in future, he started talking about Zhou Youguang Sensei, a great person, the father of Hanyu Pinyin. According to Zhou Sensei, my Yang Laoshi replied, we have to wait for 300 years for replacement to take place.

    I am so eager to meet with Zhou Sensei one day in Beijing at his place. It is one of my wishes. I admire him a lot. God Bless!

    Meyna – Mobile +65-961-66-961 (Singapore)

  6. He speaks English very well, as I can testify from personal experience. (We switched back and forth between English and Mandarin in our conversation.) He likely knows several other languages too.

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