persistent MPS2

Poagao sent me this photo of signs on Zhong’an Bridge, which joins Xindian and Zhonghe (both in Taipei County). (So the zhong is probably for Zhonghe; but I’m not sure what the an is meant to be short for.) The signs are a good illustration of the sloppy approach to romanization in Taiwan. Because this is a new bridge, these are definitely new signs and thus should be in Hanyu Pinyin, which is official not just in Taipei County but nationally.

two large directional signs above a road across a bridge, as described in this post

As the table below shows, however, the only name that definitely isn’t written in MPS2 — the romanization system that predated Tongyong, which in Taiwan predated Hanyu Pinyin — is a typo. MPS2 hasn’t been official for the better part of a decade.

on the sign system Hanyu Pinyin
Junghe MPS2 Zhōnghé
Benchian wrong in all systems Bǎnqiáo
Jingping (MPS2, Tongyong, Hanyu Pinyin) Jǐngpíng
Shioulang MPS2 Xiùlǎng

And there’s no excuse for making “Shioulang Bridge” so small and squashed. This also brings to mind another aspect of Hanyu Pinyin: because of its design and the fact that it uses abbreviated forms of some vowel combinations (e.g., uei -> ui, iou -> iu), it doesn’t need as much horizontal space as MPS2 or Tongyong Pinyin, which means it can be written with larger letters — an important factor in signage. (See the second table of the comparative typing chart to see such differences between Hanyu Pinyin and Tongyong Pinyin.)

system spelling
MPS2 Shioulang
Tongyong Pinyin Sioulang
Hanyu Pinyin Xiulang

13 thoughts on “persistent MPS2

  1. Yeah, Benchian is a good one. If they have gone that far, why not go one step further and make it “Benchan”, thus significantly increasing that area’s popularity among younger Taiwanese: “Kawaiiiiiii…”

  2. > LOL Banqiao became Benchian! WTF is that?
    ?????????? :-)

    > it doesn’t need as much horizontal space as MPS2 or Tongyong Pinyin
    Checkmate, oh Mr. Smart One: Junghe — Zhonghe

  3. The Benchian mistake shows that there isn’t a sloppy approach to romanization: there’s a bloody sloppy approach to sign-making!

  4. Pingback: Weekly Links – August 8, 2010 « The Daily Bubble Tea

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