Transcription Systems, Overview
(4,832 words)

Westerners have experimented with romanizations of Chinese for hundreds of years for a wide variety of purposes, and for more than a hundred years now, Chinese intellectuals have also participated in the development of romanizations. Romanizations are important tools for studying Chinese as a second language and recording Chinese words and expressions in non-Chinese (con)texts, but they have also gained some significance in internal Chinese written language usages and discourses since the end of the 19th century, which is especially the case with the official Hànyǔ pīnyīn romani…

Cite this page
Dorothea WIPPERMANN, “Transcription Systems, Overview”, in: Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, General Editor Rint Sybesma. Consulted online on 29 March 2017 <>
First published online: 2015

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