The Info List - Bopomofo

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ZHUYIN FUHAO (Chinese : 注音符號), ZHUYIN (Chinese : 注音), BOPOMOFO (ㄅㄆㄇㄈ) or MANDARIN PHONETIC SYMBOLS is the major Chinese transliteration system for Taiwanese Mandarin . It is also used to transcribe other Chinese languages , particularly other varieties of Standard Chinese and related Mandarin dialects , as well as Taiwanese Hokkien .

The first two are traditional terms, whereas Bopomofo is the colloquial term, also used by the ISO and Unicode . Consisting of 37 characters and four tone marks, it transcribes all possible sounds in Mandarin. Zhuyin was introduced in China by the Republican Government in the 1910s and used alongside the Wade-Giles system, which used a modified Latin alphabet . The Wade system was replaced by Hanyu Pinyin in 1958 by the Government of the People\'s Republic of China , and at the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in 1982. Although Taiwan adopted Hanyu Pinyin as its official romanization system in 2009, Bopomofo is still an official transliteration system there and remains widely used as an educational tool and for electronic input methods .


* 1 Name * 2 History * 3 Modern use in Taiwan * 4 Etymology

* 5 Writing

* 5.1 Stroke order * 5.2 Tonal marks

* 6 Comparison

* 6.1 Pinyin * 6.2 Chart

* 7 Non- Standard Mandarin dialects

* 8 Computer uses

* 8.1 Input method * 8.2 Unicode

* 9 See also * 10 References * 11 External links


The informal name "Bopomofo" is derived from the first four syllables in the conventional ordering of available syllables in Mandarin Chinese . The four Bopomofo characters (ㄅㄆㄇㄈ) that correspond to these syllables are usually placed first in a list of these characters. The same sequence is sometimes used by other speakers of Chinese to refer to other phonetic systems.

The original formal name of the system was _Guóyīn Zìmǔ_ (traditional 國音字母, simplified 国音字母, lit. "Phonetic Alphabet of the National Language ") and _Zhùyīn Zìmǔ_ (traditional 註音字母, simplified 注音字母, lit. "Phonetic Alphabet" or "Annotated Phonetic Letters"). It was later renamed _Zhùyīn Fúhào_ (traditional 注音符號, simplified 注音符号), meaning "phonetic symbols".

In official documents, Zhuyin is occasionally called "Mandarin Phonetic Symbols I" (國語注音符號第一式), abbreviated as "MPS I" (注音一式).

In English translations, the system is often also called either _Chu-yin_ or _the Mandarin Phonetic Symbols_. A romanized phonetic system was released in 1984 as Mandarin Phonetic Symbols II (MPS II).


Main article: Commission on the Unification of Pronunciation § Phonetic symbols

The Commission on the Unification of Pronunciation , led by Wu Zhihui from 1912 to 1913, created a system called _ Zhuyin Zimu_, which was based on Zhang Binglin 's shorthand. A draft was released on July 11, 1913, by the Republic of China National Ministry of Education, but it was not officially proclaimed until November 23, 1928. It was later renamed first _Guoyin Zimu_ and then, in April 1930, _ Zhuyin Fuhao_. The last renaming addressed fears that the alphabetic system might independently replace Chinese characters .


Direction sign for children in Taipei including bopomofo

Zhuyin remains the predominant phonetic system in teaching reading and writing in elementary school in Taiwan. It is also one of the most popular ways to enter Chinese characters into computers and smartphones and to look up characters in a dictionary.

In elementary school, particularly in the lower years, Chinese characters in textbooks are often annotated with Zhuyin as ruby characters as an aid to learning. Additionally, one children's newspaper in Taiwan, the _ Mandarin Daily News _, annotates all articles with Zhuyin ruby characters.

In teaching Mandarin, Taiwan institutions and some overseas communities use Zhuyin as a learning tool.


Table showing Zhuyin in Gwoyeu Romatzyh

The Zhuyin characters were created by Zhang Binglin , and taken mainly from "regularised " forms of ancient Chinese characters, the modern readings of which contain the sound that each letter represents. It is to be noted that the first consonants are articulated from the front of the mouth to the back, /b/, /p/, /m/, /f/, /d/, /t/, /n/, /l/ etc.



ㄅ From 勹, the ancient form and current top portion of 包 _bāo_ p b p 八 (ㄅㄚ, bā)

ㄆ From 攵, the combining form of 攴 _pū_ pʰ p p' 杷 (ㄆㄚˊ, pá)

ㄇ From 冂, the archaic character and current radical 冖 _mì_ m m m 馬 (ㄇㄚˇ, mǎ)

ㄈ From 匚 _fāng_ f f f 法 (ㄈㄚˇ, fǎ)

ㄉ From 𠚣, archaic form of 刀 _dāo_. Compare the bamboo form _ . t d t 地 (ㄉㄧˋ, dì)

ㄊ From 𠫓 tū,_ upside-down form of 子 _zǐ_ (_ and in seal script ) tʰ t t' 提 (ㄊㄧˊ, tí)

ㄋ From /𠄎, ancient form of 乃 nǎi_ n n n 你 (ㄋㄧˇ, nǐ)

ㄌ From 𠠲, archaic form of 力 _lì_ l l l 利 (ㄌㄧˋ, lì)

ㄍ From the obsolete character 巜 _guì/kuài_ "river" k g k 告 (ㄍㄠˋ, gào)

ㄎ From the archaic character 丂 _kǎo_ kʰ k k' 考 (ㄎㄠˇ, kǎo)

ㄏ From the archaic character and current radical 厂 _hǎn_ x h h 好 (ㄏㄠˇ, hǎo)

ㄐ From the archaic character 丩 _jiū_ ʨ j ch 叫 (ㄐㄧㄠˋ, jiào)

ㄑ From the archaic character 𡿨 _quǎn,_ graphic root of the character 巛 _chuān_ (modern 川) ʨʰ q ch' 巧 (ㄑㄧㄠˇ, qiǎo)

ㄒ From 丅, an ancient form of 下 _xià._ ɕ x hs 小 (ㄒㄧㄠˇ, xiǎo)

ㄓ From _ /㞢, archaic form of 之 zhī._ ʈʂ zh ch 主 (ㄓㄨˇ, zhǔ)

ㄔ From the character and radical 彳 _chì_ ʈʂʰ ch ch' 出 (ㄔㄨ, chū)

ㄕ From the character 尸 _shī_ ʂ sh sh 束 (ㄕㄨˋ, shù)

ㄖ Modified from the seal script form of 日 _rì_ ɻ ~ʐ r j 入 (ㄖㄨˋ, rù)

ㄗ From the archaic character and current radical 卩 _jié,_ dialectically _zié_ ts z ts 在 (ㄗㄞˋ, zài)

ㄘ From 𠀁, archaic form of 七 _qī_, dialectically _cī_. Compare semi-cursive form _ and seal-script . tsʰ c ts' 才 (ㄘㄞˊ, cái)

ㄙ From the archaic character 厶 sī,_ which was later replaced by its compound 私 _sī._ s s s 塞 (ㄙㄞ, sāi)



ㄚ From 丫 _yā_ a a a 大 (ㄉㄚˋ, dà)

ㄛ From the obsolete character 𠀀 _hē,_ inhalation, the reverse of 丂 _kǎo,_ which is preserved as a phonetic in the compound 可 _kě._ o o o 多 (ㄉㄨㄛ, duō)

ㄜ Derived from its allophone in Standard Chinese, ㄛ _o_ ɤ e o/ê 得 (ㄉㄜˊ, dé)

ㄝ From 也 _yě._ Compare the Warring States bamboo form _ e ê eh 爹 (ㄉㄧㄝ, diē)

ㄞ From 𠀅 hài,_ archaic form of 亥. ai ai ai 晒 (ㄕㄞˋ, shài)

ㄟ From 乁 _yí,_ an obsolete character meaning 移 _yí_ "to move". ei ei ei 誰 (ㄕㄟˊ, shéi)

ㄠ From 幺 _yāo_ au ao ao 少 (ㄕㄠˇ, shǎo)

ㄡ From 又 _yòu_ ou ou ou 收 (ㄕㄡ, shōu)

ㄢ From the archaic character 𢎘 _hàn_ "to bloom", preserved as a phonetic in the compound 犯 _fàn_ an an an 山 (ㄕㄢ, shān)

ㄣ From 𠃉, archaic variant of 鳦 _yǐ_ or 乚 _yà_ (乚 is _yǐn_ according to other sources ) ən en ên 申 (ㄕㄣ, shēn)

ㄤ From 尢 _wāng_ aŋ ang ang 上 (ㄕㄤˋ, shàng)

ㄥ From 𠃋, archaic form of 肱 _gōng_ əŋ eng êng 生 (ㄕㄥ, shēng)

ㄦ From 儿, the bottom portion of 兒 _ér_ used as a cursive and simplified form aɚ er êrh 而 (ㄦˊ, ér)

ㄧ From 一 _yī_ i i/y i 逆 (ㄋㄧˋ, nì)

ㄨ From 㐅, ancient form of 五 _wǔ._ Compare the transitory form 𠄡. u u/w u/w 努 (ㄋㄨˇ, nǔ)

ㄩ From the ancient character 凵 _qū,_ which remains as a radical y ü/yu ü/yü 女 (ㄋㄩˇ, nǚ)

ㄭ From the character 帀. It represents the minimal vowel of ㄓ, ㄔ, ㄕ, ㄖ, ㄗ, ㄘ, ㄙ, though it is not used after them in transcription. ɻ̩ ~ʐ̩ , ɹ̩ ~z̩ -i ih/û 資 (ㄗ, zī); 知 (ㄓ, zhī); 死 (ㄙˇ, sǐ)



Zhuyin is written in the same stroke order rule as Chinese characters. Note that ㄖ is written with three strokes, unlike the character from which it is derived (日, Hanyu Pinyin : rì), which has four strokes.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



1 _none_ ¯

2 ˊ ˊ

3 ˇ ˇ

4 ˋ ˋ

5 ˙ _none_

The tone marks used in Zhuyin for the second, third, and fourth tones are the same as the ones used in Hanyu Pinyin . In Zhuyin, no marker is used for the first tone and a dot denotes the neutral tone, whereas in Pinyin, a dash (¯) represents the first tone and no marker is used for the neutral tone.

Unlike Hanyu Pinyin, Zhuyin aligns well with the hanzi characters in books whose texts are printed vertically, making Zhuyin better suited for annotating the pronunciation of vertically oriented Chinese text.

Zhuyin, when used in conjunction with Chinese characters, are typically placed to the right of the Chinese character vertically or to the top of the Chinese character in a horizontal print (see Ruby character ).

Below is an example for the word "bottle" (pinyin : _píngzi_):

瓶 ㄆ ㄧ ㄥˊ

子 ㄗ˙


ㄆㄧㄥˊ ㄗ˙

瓶 子



Zhuyin and pinyin are based on the same Mandarin pronunciations, hence there is a one-to-one correspondence between the two systems:

IPA and pinyin counterparts of Zhuyin finals


ㄚ ㄛ ㄜ ㄝ ㄞ ㄟ ㄠ ㄡ ㄢ ㄣ ㄤ ㄥ ㄦ


(ㄭ) 1

-i ㄚ a -a ㄛ o -o ㄜ e -e

ㄞ ai -ai ㄟ ei -ei ㄠ ao -ao ㄡ ou -ou ㄢ an -an ㄣ en -en ㄤ ang -ang ㄥ eng -eng ㄦ er

丨 yi -i 丨ㄚ ya -ia

丨ㄝ ye -ie

丨ㄠ yao -iao 丨ㄡ you -iu 丨ㄢ yan -ian 丨ㄣ yin -in 丨ㄤ yang -iang 丨ㄥ ying -ing

ㄨ wu -u ㄨㄚ wa -ua ㄨㄛ wo -uo

ㄨㄞ wai -uai ㄨㄟ wei -ui

ㄨㄢ wan -uan ㄨㄣ wen -un ㄨㄤ wang -uang , ㄨㄥ weng -ong 4

ㄩ yu -ü 2

ㄩㄝ yue -üe 2

ㄩㄢ yuan -üan 2 ㄩㄣ yun -ün 2

ㄩㄥ yong -iong

1 Not written. 2 _ü_ is written as _u_ after _j_, _q_, _x_, or _y_. 4 _weng_ is pronounced (written as _ong_) when it follows an initial.


Vowels _a, e, o_ IPA A ɔ ɛ ɤ AI EI AU OU AN əN Aŋ əŋ ʊŋ Aɚ

PINYIN a o ê e ai ei ao ou an en ang eng ong er

TONGYONG PINYIN a o e e ai ei ao ou an en ang eng ong er

WADE–GILES a o eh ê/o ai ei ao ou an ên ang êng ung êrh

ZHUYIN ㄚ ㄛ ㄝ ㄜ ㄞ ㄟ ㄠ ㄡ ㄢ ㄣ ㄤ ㄥ ㄨㄥ ㄦ

EXAMPLE 阿 哦 呗 俄 艾 黑 凹 偶 安 恩 昂 冷 中 二

Vowels _i, u, y_ IPA I JE JOU JɛN IN Iŋ Jʊŋ U WO WEI WəN Wəŋ Y ɥE ɥɛN YN

PINYIN yi ye you yan yin ying yong wu wo/o wei wen weng yu yue yuan yun

TONGYONG PINYIN yi ye you yan yin ying yong wu wo/o wei wun wong yu yue yuan yun

WADE–GILES i/yi yeh yu yen yin ying yung wu wo/o wei wên wêng yü yüeh yüan yün

ZHUYIN ㄧ ㄧㄝ ㄧㄡ ㄧㄢ ㄧㄣ ㄧㄥ ㄩㄥ ㄨ ㄨㄛ/ㄛ ㄨㄟ ㄨㄣ ㄨㄥ ㄩ ㄩㄝ ㄩㄢ ㄩㄣ

EXAMPLE 一 也 又 言 音 英 用 五 我 位 文 翁 玉 月 元 云

Non-sibilant consonants IPA P Pʰ M Fəŋ TJOU TWEI TWəN Tʰɤ NY LY Kɤɚ Kʰɤ Xɤ

PINYIN b p m feng diu dui dun te nü lü ger ke he

TONGYONG PINYIN b p m fong diou duei dun te nyu lyu ger ke he

WADE–GILES p pʻ m fêng tiu tui tun tʻê nü lü kor kʻo ho

ZHUYIN ㄅ ㄆ ㄇ ㄈㄥ ㄉㄧㄡ ㄉㄨㄟ ㄉㄨㄣ ㄊㄜ ㄋㄩ ㄌㄩ ㄍㄜㄦ ㄎㄜ ㄏㄜ

EXAMPLE 玻 婆 末 封 丟 兌 顿 特 女 旅 歌儿 可 何

Sibilant consonants IPA TɕJɛN TɕJʊŋ TɕʰIN ɕɥɛN ʈʂɤ ʈʂɨ ʈʂʰɤ ʈʂʰɨ ʂɤ ʂɨ ɻɤ ɻɨ TSɤ TSWO TSɨ TSʰɤ TSʰɨ Sɤ Sɨ

PINYIN jian jiong qin xuan zhe zhi che chi she shi re ri ze zuo zi ce ci se si

TONGYONG PINYIN jian jyong cin syuan jhe jhih che chih she shih re rih ze zuo zih ce cih se sih

WADE–GILES chien chiung chʻin hsüan chê chih chʻê chʻih shê shih jê jih tsê tso tzŭ tsʻê tzʻŭ sê ssŭ

ZHUYIN ㄐㄧㄢ ㄐㄩㄥ ㄑㄧㄣ ㄒㄩㄢ ㄓㄜ ㄓ ㄔㄜ ㄔ ㄕㄜ ㄕ ㄖㄜ ㄖ ㄗㄜ ㄗㄨㄛ ㄗ ㄘㄜ ㄘ ㄙㄜ ㄙ

EXAMPLE 件 窘 秦 宣 哲 之 扯 赤 社 是 惹 日 仄 左 字 策 次 色 斯


PINYIN mā má mǎ mà ma

TONGYONG PINYIN ma má mǎ mà må

WADE–GILES ma1 ma2 ma3 ma4 ma

ZHUYIN ㄇㄚ ㄇㄚˊ ㄇㄚˇ ㄇㄚˋ ˙ㄇㄚ



_ This section DOES NOT CITE ANY SOURCES . Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources . Unsourced material may be challenged and removed . (October 2016)_ _(Learn how and when to remove this template message )_

Three letters formerly used in non-standard dialects of Mandarin are now also used to write other Chinese varieties . Some Zhuyin fonts do not contain these letters; see External links for PDF pictures.

In Taiwan, Bopomofo is used to teach Taiwanese Hokkien , and is also used to transcribe it phonetically in contexts such as on storefront signs, karaoke lyrics, and film subtitles.


ㄪ v v v

ㄫ ŋ ng ng

ㄬ ɲ gn ny



An example of a Zhuyin keypad for Taiwan

Zhuyin can be used as an input method for Chinese characters . It is one of the few input methods that can be found on most modern personal computers without the user having to download or install any additional software. It is also one of the few input methods that can be used for inputting Chinese characters on certain cell phones . A typical keyboard layout for Zhuyin on computers


Main articles: Bopomofo ( Unicode block) and Bopomofo Extended ( Unicode block)

Zhuyin was added to the Unicode Standard in October 1991 with the release of version 1.0.

The Unicode block for Zhuyin, called Bopomofo, is U+3100–U+312F:

BOPOMOFO Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F


ㄅ ㄆ ㄇ ㄈ ㄉ ㄊ ㄋ ㄌ ㄍ ㄎ ㄏ

U+311x ㄐ ㄑ ㄒ ㄓ ㄔ ㄕ ㄖ ㄗ ㄘ ㄙ ㄚ ㄛ ㄜ ㄝ ㄞ ㄟ

U+312x ㄠ ㄡ ㄢ ㄣ ㄤ ㄥ ㄦ ㄧ ㄨ ㄩ ㄪ ㄫ ㄬ ㄭ ㄮ

NOTES 1.^ As of Unicode version 10.0 2.^ Grey areas indicate non-assigned code points

Additional characters were added in September 1999 with the release of version 3.0.

The Unicode block for these additional characters, called Bopomofo Extended, is U+31A0–U+31BF:

BOPOMOFO EXTENDED Official Unicode Consortium code chart (PDF)

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F

U+31Ax ㆠ ㆡ ㆢ ㆣ ㆤ ㆥ ㆦ ㆧ ㆨ ㆩ ㆪ ㆫ ㆬ ㆭ ㆮ ㆯ

U+31Bx ㆰ ㆱ ㆲ ㆳ ㆴ ㆵ ㆶ ㆷ ㆸ ㆹ ㆺ

NOTES 1.^ As of Unicode version 10.0 2.^ Grey areas indicate non-assigned code points

Unicode 3.0 also added the characters U+02EA and U+02EB, in the Spacing Modifier Letters block. These two characters are now (since Unicode 6.0) classified as Bopomofo characters.


* Chinese input methods for computers * Fanqie * Furigana * Ruby character * Taiwanese Phonetic Symbols * Zhuyin table


* ^ " Pinyin celebrates 50th birthday". Xinhua News Agency. 2008-02-11. Retrieved 2008-09-20. * ^ "ISO 7098:1982 – Documentation – Romanization of Chinese". Retrieved 2009-03-01. * ^ Shih Hsiu-Chuan (18 Sep 2008). " Hanyu Pinyin to be standard system in 2009". _Taipei Times_. p. 2. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ The Republic of China government, Government Information Office. " Taiwan Yearbook 2006: The People & Languages". Archived from the original on 2007-05-09. Also available at * ^ Taiwan Headlines. " Taiwan Headlines: Society News: New Taiwanese dictionary unveiled". Government Information Office, Taiwan(ROC). * ^ John DeFrancis . _The Chinese Language: Fact and Fantasy _. Honolulu, HI, USA: University of Hawaii Press, 1984. p. 242. * ^ Wenlin dictionary, entry 𠫓. * ^ "Unihan data for U+20000". * ^ Wenlin dictionary, entry 𠃉. * ^ "Unihan data for U+4E5A". * ^ Wenlin dictionary, entry 𠃋. * ^ Michael Everson , H. W. Ho, Andrew West , "Proposal to encode one Bopomofo character in the UCS", SC2 WG2 N3179. * ^ "Scripts-6.0.0.txt". Unicode Consortium.


_ Look up BOPOMOFO _ in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

* Unicode reference glyphs for "bopomofo" (PDF). (69.6 KB) and "extended bopomofo" (PDF). (61.6 KB) * Bopomofo annotations – adds inline and pop-up annotations with bopomofo pronunciation and English definitions to Chinese text or web pages. * Mandarin Dictionary – needs Chinese font for Big5 encoding * Chinese Phonetic Conversion Tool – converts between Pinyin, Zhuyin and other phonetic systems * Chinese Romanization Converter – converts between Hanyu Pinyin, Wade–Giles, Gwoyeu Romatzyh and other known or (un-)common Romanization systems * Bopomofo -> Wade-Giles -> Pinyin -> Word List * NPA->IPA National Phonetic Alphabet (bopomofo) spellings of words transliterated into the International Phonetic Alphabet. The vowel values have been verified against the official IPA site. See IPA help preview, SIL International website. See IPA help preview, SIL International website. (Accessed 23-12-2010). * Bopomofo to Pinyin converter and reverse * bopomofo syllable chart, with Hanyu Pinyin equivalent