Southern Min Amoy Taiwanese
Walter Henry Medhurst
John Van Nest Talmage
Taiwanese Romanization System
Taiwanese Romanization System
THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS IPA PHONETIC SYMBOLS. Without proper
rendering support , you may see question marks, boxes, or other
symbols instead of
PE̍H-ōE-Jī (pronounced ( listen ), abbreviated POJ, literally
vernacular writing, also known as CHURCH ROMANIZATION) is an
orthography used to write variants of
Southern Min Chinese,
Southern Min and Amoy
Hokkien . Developed by
Western missionaries working among the Chinese diaspora in Southeast
Asia in the 19th century and refined by missionaries working in Xiamen
Tainan , it uses a modified
Latin alphabet and some diacritics to
represent the spoken language. After initial success in
Fujian , POJ
became most widespread in
Taiwan and, in the mid-20th century, there
were over 100,000 people literate in POJ. A large amount of printed
material, religious and secular, has been produced in the script,
Taiwan 's first newspaper, the
Taiwan Church News .
Taiwan under Japanese rule (1895–1945), the use of
Pe̍h-ōe-jī was suppressed and it faced further countermeasures
Kuomintang martial law period (1947–1987). In Fujian, use
declined after the establishment of the People\'s Republic of China
(1949) and in the early 21st century the system was not in general use
there. Taiwanese Christians , non-native learners of Southern Min, and
native-speaker enthusiasts in
Taiwan are among those that continue to
use Pe̍h-ōe-jī. Full native computer support was developed in 2004,
and users can now call on fonts , input methods , and extensive online
dictionaries. Rival writing systems have evolved, and there is ongoing
debate within the Taiwanese mother tongue movement as to which system
should be used. Versions of pe̍h-ōe-jī have been devised for other
Chinese varieties, including Hakka and Teochew
Southern Min .
* 1 Name
* 2 History
* 2.1 Early development
* 2.2 Maturity
* 2.3 After World War II
* 3 Current system
* 3.1 Tone markings
* 3.2 Hyphens
* 3.3 Audio examples
* 3.4 Regional differences
* 4 Texts
* 5 Computing
* 6 Han-Romanization mixed script
* 7 Adaptations for other Chinese varieties
* 8 Current status
* 9 References
* 10 External links
Poe平 ho入 zî平
baahk wá jih
baak6 wa2 zi6
The name pe̍h-ōe-jī (Chinese : 白話字; pinyin : Báihuà zì)
means "vernacular writing," written characters representing everyday
spoken language. The name vernacular writing could be applied to many
kinds of writing, romanized and character-based, but the term
pe̍h-ōe-jī is commonly restricted to the
Southern Min romanization
system developed by
Presbyterian missionaries in the 19th century.
The missionaries who invented and refined the system used, instead of
the name pe̍h-ōe-jī, various other terms, such as "Romanized Amoy
Vernacular" and "Romanized Amoy Colloquial." The origins of the
system and its extensive use in the
Christian community have led to it
being known by some modern writers as "Church Romanization"
(教會羅馬字; Jiàohuì Luōmǎzì; Kàu-hōe Lô-má-jī) and is
often abbreviated in POJ itself to Kàu-lô. (教羅; Jiàoluō)
There is some debate on whether "pe̍h-ōe-jī" or "Church
Romanization" is the more appropriate name.
Objections to "pe̍h-ōe-jī" are that it can refer to more than one
system and that both literary and colloquial register Southern Min
appear in the system and so describing it as "vernacular" writing
might be inaccurate. Objections to "Church Romanization" are that
some non-Christians and some secular writing use it. One commentator
observes that POJ "today is largely disassociated from its former
religious purposes." The term "romanization" is also disliked by
some, who see it as belittling the status of pe̍h-ōe-jī by
identifying it as a supplementary phonetic system instead of a
fully-fledged orthography. Sources disagree on which of the two is
more commonly used.
Pe̍h-ōe-jī inscription at a church in
commemorating Thomas Barclay
The history of Peh-oe-ji has been heavily influenced by official
attitudes towards the
Southern Min vernaculars and the Christian
organizations that propagated it. Early documents point to the purpose
of the creation of POJ as being pedagogical in nature, closely allied
The first people to use a romanized script to write
Southern Min were
Spanish missionaries in
Manila in the 16th century. However, it was
used mainly as a teaching aid for Spanish learners of Southern Min,
and seems not to have had any influence on the development of
pe̍h-ōe-jī. In the early 19th century,
China was closed to
Christian missionaries , who instead proselytized to overseas Chinese
South East Asia
South East Asia . The earliest origins of the system
are found in a small vocabulary first printed in 1820 by Walter Henry
Medhurst , who went on to publish the Dictionary of the Hok-këèn
Dialect of the Chinese Language, According to the Reading and
Colloquial Idioms in 1832.
This dictionary represents the first major reference work in POJ,
although the romanization within was quite different from the modern
system, and has been dubbed Early Church Romanization by one scholar
of the subject. Medhurst, who was stationed in
Malacca , was
influenced by Robert Morrison\'s romanization of
Mandarin Chinese ,
but had to innovate in several areas to reflect major differences
between Mandarin and Southern Min. Several important developments
occurred in Medhurst's work, especially the application of consistent
tone markings (influenced by contemporary linguistic studies of
Sanskrit , which was becoming of more mainstream interest to Western
scholars). Medhurst was convinced that accurate representation and
reproduction of the tonal structure of
Southern Min was vital to
Respecting these tones of the Chinese language, some difference of
opinion has been obtained, and while some have considered them of
first importance, others have paid them little or no intention. The
author inclines decidedly to the former opinion; having found, from
uniform experience, that without strict attention to tones, it is
impossible for a person to make himself understood in Hok-këèn.
— W. H. Medhurst Frontispiece of Doty's Anglo Chinese
Manual of the Amoy Dialect (1853)
The system expounded by Medhurst influenced later dictionary
compilers with regard to tonal notation and initials, but both his
complicated vowel system and his emphasis on the literary register of
Southern Min were dropped by later writers. Following on from
Samuel Wells Williams became the chief proponent of
major changes in the orthography devised by Morrison and adapted by
Medhurst. Through personal communication and letters and articles
printed in The Chinese Repository a consensus was arrived at for the
new version of POJ, although Williams' suggestions were largely not
The first major work to represent this new orthography was Elihu Doty
's Anglo-Chinese Manual with Romanized Colloquial in the Amoy Dialect,
published in 1853. The manual can therefore be regarded as the first
presentation of a pre-modern POJ, a significant step onwards from
Medhurst's orthography and different from today's system in only a few
details. From this point on various authors adjusted some of the
consonants and vowels, but the system of tone marks from Doty's Manual
survives intact in modern POJ.
John Van Nest Talmage has
traditionally been regarded as the founder of POJ among the community
which uses the orthography, although it now seems that he was an early
promoter of the system, rather than its inventor.
In 1842 the
Treaty of Nanking
Treaty of Nanking was concluded, which included among its
provisions the creation of treaty ports in which Christian
missionaries would be free to preach.
Xiamen (then known as Amoy) was
one of these treaty ports, and British, Canadian and American
missionaries moved in to start preaching to the local inhabitants.
These missionaries, housed in the cantonment of Gulangyu , created
reference works and religious tracts, including a bible translation .
Naturally, they based the pronunciation of their romanization on the
speech of Xiamen, which became the de facto standard when they
eventually moved into other areas of the
Sprachraum , most
notably Taiwan. The 1858
Treaty of Tianjin
Treaty of Tianjin officially opened Taiwan
to western missionaries, and missionary societies were quick to send
men to work in the field, usually after a sojourn in
Xiamen to acquire
the rudiments of the language.
Khó-sioh lín pún-kok ê jī chin oh, chió chió lâng khòaⁿ
ē hiáu-tit. Só͘-í góan ū siat pa̍t-mih ê hoat-tō͘, ēng
pe̍h-ōe-jī lâi ìn-chheh, hō͘ lín chèng-lâng khòaⁿ khah
khòai bat... Lâng m̄-thang phah-sǹg in-ūi i bat Khóng-chú-jī
só͘-í m̄-bián o̍h chit-hō ê jī; iā m̄-thang khòaⁿ-khin
i, kóng sī gín-á só͘-tha̍k--ê. Because the characters in your
country are so difficult only a few people are literate. Therefore we
have striven to print books in pe̍h-ōe-jī to help you to read...
don't think that if you know
Chinese characters you needn't learn this
script, nor should you regard it as a childish thing. Thomas Barclay,
Tâi-oân-hú-siâⁿ Kàu-hōe-pò, Issue 1
Zhangzhou are two major varieties of Southern Min, and
Xiamen they combined to form something "not Quan, not Zhang" –
i.e. not one or the other, but rather a fusion, which became known as
Amoy Dialect or Amoy Chinese. In Taiwan, with its mixture of migrants
from both Quanzhou and Zhangzhou, the linguistic situation was
similar; although the resulting blend in the southern city of Tainan
differed from the
Xiamen blend, it was close enough that the
missionaries could ignore the differences and import their system
The fact that religious tracts, dictionaries, and teaching guides
already existed in the
Xiamen tongue meant that the missionaries in
Taiwan could begin proselytizing immediately, without the intervening
time needed to write those materials.
Missionary opinion was divided
on whether POJ was desirable as an end in itself as a full-fledged
orthography, or as a means to literacy in
Chinese characters . William
Campbell described POJ as a step on the road to reading and writing
the characters, claiming that to promote it as an independent writing
system would inflame nationalist passions in China, where characters
were considered a sacred part of Chinese culture. Taking the other
side, Thomas Barclay believed that literacy in POJ should be a goal
rather than a waypoint:
Soon after my arrival in Formosa I became firmly convinced of three
things, and more than fifty years experience has strengthened my
conviction. The first was that if you are to have a healthy, living
Church it is necessary that all the members, men and women, read the
Scriptures for themselves; second, that this end can never be attained
by the use of the Chinese character; third, that it can be attained by
the use of the alphabetic script, this Romanised Vernacular.
— Thomas Barclay
A great boon to the promotion of POJ in
Taiwan came in 1880 when
James Laidlaw Maxwell , a medical missionary based in
Tainan , donated
a small printing press to the local church, which Thomas Barclay
learned how to operate in 1881 before founding the
Press in 1884. Subsequently, the
Taiwan Prefectural City Church News ,
which first appeared in 1885 and was produced by Barclay's
Presbyterian Church of
Taiwan Press, became the first printed
newspaper in Taiwan.
As other authors made their own alterations to the conventions laid
down by Medhurst and Doty, pe̍h-ōe-jī evolved and eventually
settled into its current form.
Ernest Tipson 's 1934 pocket dictionary
was the first reference work to reflect this modern spelling. Between
Medhurst's dictionary of 1832 and the standardization of POJ in
Tipson's time, there were a number of works published, which can be
used to chart the change over time of pe̍h-ōe-jī:
Evolution of pe̍h-ōe-jī, 1832–1934
PE̍H-ōE-Jī SPELLINGS COMPARISON
Van Nest Talmage
Taiwanese kana used as ruby characters
Competition for POJ was introduced during the Japanese era in Taiwan
(1895–1945) in the form of
Taiwanese kana , a system designed as a
teaching aid and pronunciation guide, rather than an independent
orthography like POJ. From the 1930s onwards, with the increasing
militarization of Japan and the Kōminka movement encouraging
Taiwanese people to "Japanize ", there were a raft of measures taken
against native languages, including Taiwanese. While these moves
resulted in a suppression of POJ, they were "a logical consequence of
increasing the amount of education in Japanese, rather than an
explicit attempt to ban a particular Taiwanese orthography in favor of
Taiwanese kana ".
Second Sino-Japanese War
Second Sino-Japanese War beginning in 1937 brought stricter
measures into force, and along with the outlawing of romanized
Taiwanese, various publications were prohibited and Confucian-style
shobō (Chinese : 書房; pinyin : shūfáng; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: su-pâng)
– private schools which taught
Classical Chinese with literary
Southern Min pronunciation – were closed down in 1939. The Japanese
authorities came to perceive POJ as an obstacle to
also suspected that POJ was being used to hide "concealed codes and
secret revolutionary messages". In the climate of the ongoing war the
government banned the
Taiwan Church News in 1942 as it was written in
AFTER WORLD WAR II
A decree (1955) banning Pe̍h-ōe-jī.
Kuomintang government in
Taiwan had a liberal attitude
towards "local dialects" (i.e. non-Mandarin varieties of Chinese). The
National Languages Committee produced booklets outlining versions of
Bopomofo for writing the Taiwanese tongue, these being intended for
newly arrived government officials from outside
Taiwan as well as
local Taiwanese. The first government action against native languages
came in 1953, when the use of Taiwanese or Japanese for instruction
was forbidden. The next move to suppress the movement came in 1955,
when the use of POJ for proselytizing was outlawed. At that point in
time there were 115,000 people literate in POJ in Taiwan, Fujian, and
Two years later, missionaries were banned from using romanized
bibles, and the use of "native languages" (i.e. Taiwanese Hakka,
Hakka, and the non-Sinitic
Formosan languages ) in church work became
illegal. The ban on POJ bibles was overturned in 1959, but churches
were "encouraged" to use character bibles instead. Government
activities against POJ intensified in the late 1960s and early 1970s,
when several publications were banned or seized in an effort to
prevent the spread of the romanization. In 1964 use of Taiwanese in
schools or official settings was forbidden, and transgression in
schools punished with beatings, fines and humiliation. The Taiwan
Church News (printed in POJ) was banned in 1969, and only allowed to
return a year later when the publishers agreed to print it in Chinese
In 1974, the
Government Information Office banned A Dictionary of
Southern Min , with a government official saying: "We have no
objection to the dictionary being used by foreigners. They could use
it in mimeographed form. But we don't want it published as a book and
sold publicly because of the Romanization it contains. Chinese should
not be learning Chinese through Romanization." Also in the 1970s, a
New Testament translation known as the "Red Cover Bible"
(Âng-phoê Sèng-keng) was confiscated and banned by the Nationalist
regime. Official moves against native languages continued into the
1980s, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of the Interior
decided in 1984 to forbid missionaries to use "local dialects" and
romanizations in their work.
With the ending of martial law in 1987, the restrictions on "local
languages" were quietly lifted, resulting in growing interest in
Taiwanese writing during the 1990s. For the first time since the
1950s, Taiwanese language and literature was discussed and debated
openly in newspapers and journals. There was also support from the
then opposition party, the
Democratic Progressive Party , for writing
in the language. From a total of 26 documented orthographies for
Taiwanese in 1987 (including defunct systems), there were a further 38
invented from 1987 to 1999, including 30 different romanizations, six
adaptations of bopomofo and two hangul -like systems. Some
commentators believe that the Kuomintang, while steering clear of
outright banning of the native language movements after the end of
martial law, took a "divide and conquer" approach by promoting
Taiwanese Language Phonetic Alphabet (TLPA), an alternative to POJ,
which was at the time the choice of the majority inside the
Native language education has remained a fiercely debated topic in
Taiwan into the 21st century and is the subject of much political
See also: Comparison of
Hokkien writing systems and Written
The current system of pe̍h-ōe-jī has been stable since the 1930s,
with a few minor exceptions (detailed below). There is a fair degree
of similarity with the
Vietnamese alphabet , including the
⟨b/p/ph⟩ distinction and the use of ⟨ơ ⟩ in Vietnamese
compared with ⟨o͘ ⟩ in POJ. POJ uses the following letters and
Chinese phonology traditionally divides syllables in Chinese into
three parts; firstly the initial, a consonant or consonant blend which
appears at the beginning of the syllable, secondly the final,
consisting of a medial vowel (optional), a nucleus vowel, and an
optional ending; and finally the tone, which is applied to the whole
syllable. In terms of the non-tonal (i.e. phonemic) features, the
nucleus vowel is the only required part of a licit consonant in
Chinese varieties. Unlike Mandarin but like other southern varieties
of Chinese, Taiwanese has final stop consonants with no audible
release , a feature that has been preserved from
Middle Chinese .
There is some debate as to whether these stops are a tonal feature or
a phonemic one, with some authorities distinguishing between ⟨-h⟩
as a tonal feature, and ⟨-p⟩, ⟨-t⟩, and ⟨-k⟩ as phonemic
Southern Min dialects also have an optional nasal property,
which is written with a superscript ⟨ⁿ⟩ and usually identified
as being part of the vowel.
A legitimate syllable in
Hokkien takes the form (initial) + (medial
vowel) + nucleus + (stop) + tone, where items in parenthesis indicate
The initials are:
ㄇ 毛 (mo͘ )
ㄋ 耐 (nāi)
ㄫ 雅 (ngá)
ㄅ 邊 (pian) B
ㆠ 文 (bûn) T
ㄉ 地 (tē)
ㄍ 求 (kiû) G
ㆣ 語 (gí)
ㄆ 波 (pho)
ㄊ 他 (thaⁿ)
ㄎ 去 (khì)
ㄗ 曾 (chan) J
ㆡ 熱 (joa̍h) CHI
ㄐ 尖 (chiam) JI
ㆢ 入 (ji̍p)
ㄘ 出 (chhut)
ㄑ 手 (chhiú)
ㄙ 衫 (saⁿ)
ㄒ 寫 (siá)
ㄏ 喜 (hí)
ㄌ 柳 (liú)
ㄧ 衣 (i) Iⁿ
ㆪ 圓 (îⁿ)
ㄨ 污 (u) Uⁿ
ㆫ 張 (tiuⁿ)
ㆤ 禮 (lé) Eⁿ
ㆥ 生 (seⁿ) O
ㄜ 高 (ko)
ㆦ 烏 (o͘ ) Oⁿ
ㆧ 翁 (oⁿ)
ㄚ 查 (cha) Aⁿ
ㆩ 衫 (saⁿ)
Diphthongs ">(help ·info )
dark level kha
dark departing kàu
dark entering bah
light level ông
light departing tiōng
vertical line above
light entering jo̍ah
The five tone markings used in pe̍h-ōe-jī, representing tones
2, 3, 5, 7, and 8
In standard Amoy or
Taiwanese Hokkien there are seven distinct tones
, which by convention are numbered 1–8, with number 6 omitted (tone
6 used to be a distinct tone, but has long since merged with tone 2).
Tones 1 and 4 are both represented without a diacritic , and can be
distinguished from each other by the syllable ending, which is a
vowel, ⟨-n⟩, ⟨-m⟩, or ⟨-ng⟩ for tone 1, and ⟨-h⟩,
⟨-k⟩, ⟨-p⟩, and ⟨-t⟩ for tone 4.
Southern Min dialects undergo considerable tone sandhi , i.e. changes
to the tone depending on the position of the syllable in any given
sentence or utterance. However, like pinyin for
Mandarin Chinese ,
POJ always marks the citation tone (i.e. the original, pre-sandhi
tone) rather than the tone which is actually spoken. This means that
when reading aloud the reader must adjust the tone markings on the
page to account for sandhi. Some textbooks for learners of Southern
Min mark both the citation tone and the sandhi tone to assist the
There is some debate as to the correct placement of tone marks in the
case of diphthongs and triphthongs , particularly those which include
⟨oa⟩ and ⟨oe⟩. Most modern writers follow six rules:
* If the syllable has one vowel, that vowel should be tone-marked;
viz. ⟨tī⟩, ⟨láng⟩, ⟨chhu̍t⟩
* If a diphthong contains ⟨i⟩ or ⟨u⟩, the tone mark goes
above the other vowel; viz. ⟨ia̍h⟩, ⟨kiò⟩, ⟨táu⟩
* If a diphthong includes both ⟨i⟩ and ⟨u⟩, mark the
⟨u⟩; viz. ⟨iû⟩, ⟨ùi⟩
* If the final is made up of three or more letters, mark the second
vowel (except when rules 2 and 3 apply); viz. ⟨goán⟩, ⟨oāi⟩,
* If ⟨o⟩ occurs with ⟨a⟩ or ⟨e⟩, mark the ⟨o⟩; viz.
* If the syllable has no vowel, mark the nasal consonant; viz.
⟨m̄⟩, ⟨ǹg⟩, ⟨mn̂g⟩
A single hyphen is used to indicate a compound. What constitutes a
compound is controversial, with some authors equating it to a "word"
in English, and others not willing to limit it to the English concept
of a word. Examples from POJ include ⟨sì-cha̍p⟩ "forty",
⟨bé-hì-thôan⟩ "circus", and ⟨hôe-ho̍k⟩ "recover (from
illness)". The rule-based sandhi behaviour of tones in compounds has
not yet been clearly defined by linguists. A double hyphen ⟨--⟩
is used when POJ is deployed as an orthography (rather than as a
transcription system) to indicate that the following syllable should
be pronounced in the neutral tone. It also marks to the reader that
the preceding syllable does not undergo tone sandhi, as it would were
the following syllable non-neutral. Morphemes following a double
hyphen are often (but not always) grammatical function words.
Sian-siⁿ kóng, ha̍k-seng tiām-tiām thiaⁿ.
A teacher/master speaks, students quietly listen.
listen (help ·info )
Kin-á-jit hit-ê cha-bó͘ gín-á lâi góan tau khòaⁿ góa.
Today that girl came to my house to see me.
listen (help ·info )
Thài-khong pêng-iú, lín-hó. Lín chia̍h-pá--bē? Ū-êng,
to̍h lâi gún chia chē--ô͘!
Space friends, how are you? Have you eaten yet? When you have the
time, come on over to eat.
Voyager Golden Record )
In addition to the standard syllables detailed above, there are
several regional variations of
Hokkien speech which can be represented
with non-standard or semi-standard spellings. In the
, spoken in
Zhangzhou and parts of
Taiwan close to it, particularly
the northeastern coast around
Yilan City , the final ⟨ng⟩ is
replaced with ⟨uiⁿ⟩, for example in "egg" ⟨nuiⁿ⟩ and
"cooked rice" ⟨puiⁿ⟩. The /ε/ vowel is written as or (with a
dot above right, by analogy with ).
Goân-khí-thâu Siōng-tè chhòng-chō thiⁿ kap tōe. Tōe sī
khang-khang hūn-tūn; chhim-ian ê bin-chiūⁿ o͘-àm; Siōng-tè
ê Sîn ūn-tōng tī chúi-bīn. Siōng-tè kóng, Tio̍h ū kng,
chiū ū kng. Siōng-tè khòaⁿ kng, sī hó; Siōng-tè chiong kng
àm pun-khui. Siōng-tè kiò hit ê kng chòe Ji̍t, kiò àm chòe
Mî. Ū ê-hng ū chá-khí sī thâu chi̍t-ji̍t. Genesis 1:1–5
Due to POJ's origins in the church, much of the material in the
script is religious in nature, including several Bible translations,
books of hymns, and guides to morality. The
Tainan Church Press,
established in 1884, has been printing POJ materials ever since, with
periods of quiet when POJ was suppressed in the early 1940s and from
around 1955 to 1987. In the period to 1955, over 2.3 million volumes
of POJ books were printed, and one study in 2002 catalogued 840
different POJ texts in existence. Besides a
Southern Min version of
in the orthography, there are teaching materials, religious
texts, and books about linguistics, medicine and geography.
* Lán ê Kiù-chú Iâ-so͘ Ki-tok ê Sin-iok (1873 translation of
New Testament )
Lāi-goā-kho Khàn-hō͘-ha̍k , by George Gushue-Taylor, 1917
* Chinese–English dictionary of the vernacular or spoken language
of Amoy , by
Carstairs Douglas , 1873
* Lear Ông, translation of
King Lear by Tē Hūi-hun
POJ was initially not well supported by word-processing applications
due to the special diacritics needed to write it. Support has now
improved and there are now sufficient resources to both enter and
display POJ correctly. Several input methods exist to enter Unicode
-compliant POJ, including
OS X and
Microsoft Windows ),
the cross-platform Tai-lo Input Method released by the Taiwanese
Ministry of Education , and the
Firefox add-on Transliterator, which
allows in-browser POJ input. When POJ was first used in
word-processing applications it was not fully supported by the Unicode
standard, thus necessitating work-arounds. One employed was encoding
the necessary characters in the "Private Use" section of Unicode, but
this required both the writer and the reader to have the correct
custom font installed. Another solution was to replace troublesome
characters with near equivalents, for example substituting ⟨ä⟩
for ⟨ā⟩ or using a standard ⟨o⟩ followed by an interpunct to
represent ⟨o͘⟩. With the introduction into
Unicode 4.1.0 of the
combining character COMBINING DOT ABOVE RIGHT (U+0358) in 2004, all
the necessary characters were present to write regular POJ without the
need for workarounds. However, even after the addition of these
characters, there are still relatively few fonts which are able to
properly render the script, including the combining characters. Some
of those which can are
Charis SIL , DejaVu ,
Doulos SIL , Linux
Libertine , and Taigi
HAN-ROMANIZATION MIXED SCRIPT
翻 tńg 工，我 koh hap i tī Hotel ê 餐廳食西式 ê chái
起，我講 beh tò 去稅厝 ê 所在，i beh 送我去，我 kā
拒絕，mā 無 beh hō͘ i 知我 ê
地址、電話番，講若有緣就會 koh 再相會。I
講人海茫茫，我若無 tī hit 間跳舞、唱歌，i beh 去 toh
位 chhōe--我？「就是 án-ni m̄-chiah 講是緣」，我嘴是
án-ni 應，心肝內知影 kap i 自細漢到這時 ê
牽連、綿纏無 hiah 簡單就煞。 Sample mixed orthography text
One of the most popular modern ways of writing Taiwanese is by using
a mixed orthography called Hàn-lô (simplified Chinese : 汉罗;
traditional Chinese : 漢羅; pinyin : Hàn-Luó; literally
Chinese-Roman), and sometimes Han-Romanization mixed script, a style
not unlike written Japanese or (historically) Korean . In fact, the
term Hàn-lô does not describe one specific system, but covers any
kind of writing in
Southern Min which features both Chinese characters
and romanization. That romanization is usually POJ, although recently
some texts have begun appearing with Taiwanese Romanization System
(Tâi-lô) spellings too. The problem with using only Chinese
characters to write
Southern Min is that there are many morphemes
(estimated to be around 15 percent of running text) which are not
definitively associated with a particular character. Various
strategies have been developed to deal with the issue, including
creating new characters, allocating
Chinese characters used in written
Mandarin with similar meanings (but dissimilar etymology) to represent
the missing characters, or using romanization for the "missing 15%".
There are two rationales for using mixed orthography writing, with two
different aims. The first is to allow native speakers (almost all of
whom can already write Chinese characters) to make use of their
knowledge of characters, while replacing the missing 15% with
romanization. The second is to wean character literates off using
them gradually, to be replaced eventually by fully romanized text.
Examples of modern texts in Hàn-lô include religious, pedagogical,
scholarly, and literary works, such as:
* Chang Yu-hong. Principles of POJ.
* Babuja A. Sidaia. A-Chhûn.
ADAPTATIONS FOR OTHER CHINESE VARIETIES
POJ has been adapted for several other varieties of Chinese , with
varying degrees of success. For Hakka , missionaries and others have
produced a Bible translation, hymn book, textbooks, and dictionaries.
Materials produced in the orthography, called
* Hak-ngi Sṳn-kin, Sin-yuk lau Sṳ-phien: Hien-thoi Thoi-van
Hak-ngi Yit-pun (Hakka Bible,
New Testament and Psalms: Today's Taiwan
Hakka Version). Bible Society. 1993.
* Phang Tet-siu (1994). Thai-ka Loi Hok Hak-fa (Everybody Learn
Hakka). Taipei: Southern Materials Center. ISBN 957-638-017-0 .
* Phang Tet-siu (1996). Hak-ka-fa Fat-yim Sṳ-tien (Hakka
Pronunciation Dictionary). Taipei: Southern Materials Center. ISBN
* Hak-ka Sṳn-sṳ (Hakka Hymns). Tainan: PCT Press. 1999. ISBN
A modified version of POJ has also been created for Teochew .
Some books which use pe̍h-ōe-jī, including textbooks,
dictionaries, a bible, poetry, and academic works
Southern Min speakers in
Taiwan are unfamiliar with POJ
or any other writing system for the variety, commonly asserting that
"Taiwanese has no writing", or, if they are made aware of POJ,
considering romanization as the "low" form of writing, in contrast
with the "high" form (Chinese characters). For those who are
introduced to POJ alongside Han-lo and completely Chinese
character-based systems, a clear preference has been shown for
all-character systems, with all-romanization systems at the bottom of
the preference list, likely because of the preexisting familiarity of
readers with Chinese characters.
POJ remains the Taiwanese orthography "with the richest inventory of
written work, including dictionaries, textbooks, literature and other
publications in many areas". A 1999 estimate put the number of
literate POJ users at around 100,000, and secular organizations have
been formed to promote the use of romanization among Taiwanese
Outside Taiwan, POJ is rarely used. For example, in Fujian, Xiamen
University uses a romanization known as
Bbánlám pìngyīm , based on
Pinyin . In other areas where
Hokkien is spoken, such as
Speak Mandarin Campaign is underway to actively discourage people
Hokkien or other non-Mandarin varieties in favour of
switching to Mandarin instead.
In 2006, Taiwan's Ministry of Education chose an official
romanization for use in teaching
Southern Min in the state school
system. POJ was one of the candidate systems, along with Daighi
tongiong pingim , but a compromise system, the Taiwanese Romanization
System or Tâi-Lô, was chosen in the end. Tâi-Lô retains most of
the orthographic standards of POJ, including the tone marks, while
changing the troublesome ⟨o͘⟩ character for ⟨oo⟩, swapping
⟨ts⟩ for ⟨ch⟩, and replacing ⟨o⟩ in diphthongs with
⟨u⟩. Supporters of Taiwanese writing are in general deeply
suspicious of government involvement, given the history of official
suppression of native languages, making it unclear whether Tâi-Lô
or POJ will become the dominant system in the future.
Hanyu Pinyin (ISO standard)
* Spelling conventions
Latinxua Sin Wenz
Latinxua Sin Wenz
Mandarin Phonetic Symbols II
* Postal romanization
* Yale romanization
* Comparison chart
* Scuanxua Ladinxua Xin Wenz
* Yale romanization
* Hong Kong Government
* Macau Government
* Sidney Lau
S. L. Wong (phonetic symbols)
S. L. Wong (phonetic symbols)
* S. L. Wong (romanization)
* Standard Romanization
* Comparison chart
Taiwanese , Amoy and related
Modern Literal Taiwanese
Daighi tongiong pingim
Daighi tongiong pingim
* Comparison chart
Kienning Colloquial Romanized
Taiwanese Phonetic Symbols
* Mongolian transliteration of
* Manchu transliteration
* Transcription into Chinese
* Romanization in Hong Kong
* Romanization in
* Romanization in
* ^ A B C Klöter (2005) , p. 90.
* ^ A B Klöter (2002) , p. 1.
* ^ A B C Klöter (2005) , p. 89.
* ^ A B C Chang (2001) , p. 13.
* ^ A B Klöter (2005) , p. 248.
* ^ A B C Klöter (2005) , p. 92.
* ^ Klöter (2002) , p. 2.
* ^ Heylen (2001) , p. 139.
* ^ A B Heylen (2001) , p. 142.
* ^ A B Chang (2001) , p. 14.
* ^ Heylen (2001) , p. 144.
* ^ Klöter (2005) , p. 109.
* ^ Medhurst (1832) , p. viii.
* ^ Klöter (2005) , p. 110.
* ^ Heylen (2001) , p. 145.
* ^ A B C Heylen (2001) , p. 149.
* ^ Klöter (2005) , p. 111.
* ^ Klöter (2005) , pp. 111, 116.
* ^ A B C Klöter (2005) , p. 93.
* ^ Ang (1992) , p. 2.
* ^ Heylen (2001) , p. 160.
* ^ Klöter (2002) , p. 13.
* ^ Quoted in Band (1936) , p. 67
* ^ A B "Our Story".
Taiwan Church News. Archived from the original
on 2009-03-01. Retrieved 2009-04-30.
* ^ Copper (2007) , p. 240.
* ^ Klöter (2005) , p. 114.
* ^ Adapted from Klöter (2005) , pp. 113–6
* ^ Medhurst (1832) .
* ^ Doty (1853) .
* ^ MacGowan (1869) .
* ^ Douglas (1873) .
* ^ Van Nest Talmage (1894) .
* ^ Warnshuis & de Pree (1911) .
* ^ Campbell (1913) .
* ^ Barclay (1923) .
* ^ Tipson (1934) .
* ^ Klöter (2005) , p. 136.
* ^ Klöter (2005) , p. 153.
* ^ Klöter (2005) , p. 154.
* ^ Klöter (2005) , p. 135.
* ^ Lin (1999) , p. 21.
* ^ A B C D E F Chang (2001) , p. 18.
* ^ Klöter (2005) , p. 231.
* ^ A B C Lin (1999) , p. 1.
* ^ Tiuⁿ (2004) , p. 7.
* ^ Sandel (2003) , p. 533.
* ^ Klöter (2005) , p. 217.
* ^ "Guide to Dialect Barred in Taiwan: Dictionary Tried to Render
Local Chinese Sounds".
New York Times
New York Times . September 15, 1974. sec. GN,
p. 15. Retrieved 18 December 2014. ; quoted in Lin (1999) , p. 22
* ^ Iûⁿ (2009) , p. 24.
* ^ Sandel (2003) , p. 530.
* ^ Wu (2007) , p. 1.
* ^ Wu (2007) , p. 9.
* ^ Chiung (2005) , p. 275.
* ^ Chang (2001) , p. 19.
* ^ Chiung (2005) , p. 273.
* ^ Loa Iok-sin (2009-02-28). "Activists demand Hoklo exams".
Taipei Times . Retrieved 2010-03-31.
* ^ "Premier\'s comments over language status draws anger". China
Post . 2003-09-25. Retrieved 2010-03-31.
* ^ Klöter (2005) , p. 98.
* ^ Chang (2001) , p. 15.
* ^ Klöter (2005) , p. 99.
* ^ A B Chung (1996) , p. 78.
* ^ Norman (1998) , p. 237.
* ^ Klöter (2005) , p. 14.
* ^ Klöter (2005) , p. 15.
* ^ A B Ramsey (1987) , p. 109.
* ^ Chang (2001) , p. 30.
* ^ Chang (2001) , p. 33.
* ^ Campbell (1913) , pp. 1–4: Entries under the initial ts have
been tallied under the modern spelling of ch.
* ^ Embree (1973) .
* ^ Kì (2008) , pp. 4–25.
* ^ Maryknoll (1984) , pp. 5–7.
* ^ Klöter (2005) , p. 100.
* ^ Klöter (2005) , p. 101.
* ^ A B Klöter (2005) , p. 102.
* ^ Chang (2001) , pp. 86–88.
* ^ Klöter (2005) , p. 103.
* ^ Klöter (2005) , p. 103–104.
* ^ Klöter (2005) , p. 104.
* ^ Chang (2001) , p. 134.
* ^ Barclay et al. (1933) , p. 1.
* ^ Tiuⁿ (2004) , p. 6.
* ^ Tiuⁿ (2004) , p. 8.
* ^ Iûⁿ (2009) , p. 23.
* ^ Iûⁿ (2009) , p. 29.
* ^ A B C Iûⁿ (2009) , p. 20.
* ^ Iûⁿ (2009) , p. 11.
* ^ "Combining Diacritical Marks" (PDF). unicode.org. p. 34.
* ^ Sidaia (1998) , p. 264.
* ^ A B C Klöter (2005) , p. 225.
* ^ Ota (2005) , p. 21.
* ^ Iûⁿ (2009) , p. 10.
* ^ Lin (1999) , p. 7.
* ^ Lin (1999) , pp. 9–11.
* ^ Klöter (2005) , p. 230.
* ^ Chang (2001) .
* ^ Sidaia (1998) .
* ^ Wu & Chen (2004) .
* ^ 潮州字典-韵母表 (IN CHINESE). HAILUFENG. RETRIEVED
* ^ Ota (2005) , p. 20.
* ^ Baran (2004) , p. 35–5.
* ^ Chiung (2005) , p. 300.
* ^ Chiung (2005) , p. 301.
* ^ Chiung (2005) , p. 272.
* ^ Lin (1999) , p. 17.
* ^ Chiung (2007) , p. 474.
* ^ Wong-Anan, Nopporn (2009-09-16). "Eyeing China,
Mandarin as its future". Reuters. Retrieved 2009-10-31.
* ^ Tseng (2009) , p. 2.
* ^ 閩南語鄉土教學確定採台灣閩南語羅馬字拼音
Southern Min native language teaching to use
Taiwan Southern Min
Romanization) (in Chinese), Central News Agency
* ^ Tseng (2009) , pp. 2–5.
* Ang, Ui-jin (1992).
Taiwan Fangyan zhi Lü (A Journey Through
Taiwanese Regional Speech) (in Chinese). Taipei: Avanguard Publishing.
ISBN 957-9512-31-0 .
* Band, Edward (1936). Barclay of Formosa. Ginza, Tokyo: Christian
OCLC 4386066 .
* Baran, Dominika (2004). "Taiwanese don't have written words":
Language ideologies and language practice in a Taipei County high
school. 2004 International Conference on Taiwanese Romanization. 2.
OCLC 77082548 .
* Barclay, Thomas; Lun, Un-jîn; Nĝ, Má-hūi; Lu, Iok-tia (1933).
Sin-kū-iok ê Sèng-keng.
OCLC 48696650 .
* Campbell, William (1913). A Dictionary of the Amoy Vernacular
spoken throughout the prefectures of Chin-chiu, Chiang-chiu and
Taiwan Church Press.
OCLC 867068660 .
* Campbell, William (2006) . A Dictionary of the Amoy Vernacular.
Tainan: PCT Press. ISBN 957-8959-92-3 .
* Chang, Yu-hong (2001). Principles of POJ or the Taiwanese
Orthography: An Introduction to Its Sound-Symbol Correspondences and
Related Issues. Taipei: Crane. ISBN 9789572053072 .
* Chiung, Wi-vun Taiffalo (2003). Learning Efficiencies for
Different Orthographies: A Comparative Study of Han Characters and
Vietnamese Romanization.\' (PhD dissertation). University of Texas at
* Chiung, Wi-vun Taiffalo (2005). Language, Identity and
Decolonization. Tainan: National Cheng Kung University. ISBN
* Chiung, Wi-vun Taiffalo (2007). Language, Literature and
Reimagined Taiwanese Nation. Tainan: National Cheng Kung University.
ISBN 9789860097467 .
* Chiung, Wi-vun Taiffalo (2011). Nations, Mother Tongues and
Phonemic Writing. Tainan: National Cheng Kung University. ISBN
* Chung, Raung-fu (1996). The Segmental Phonology of
Southern Min in
Taiwan. Taipei: Spoken Language Services. ISBN 9789579463461 . OCLC
* Copper, John F. (2007). A Historical Dictionary of Taiwan
(Republic of China) (2nd ed.). Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press. ISBN
* Doty, Elihu (1853). Anglo Chinese Manual of the Amoy Dialect.
Guangzhou: Samuel Wells Williams.
OCLC 20605114 .
* Douglas, Carstairs (1873). Chinese–English Dictionary of the
Vernacular or Spoken Language of Amoy (1st ed.). London: Trübner.
OCLC 4820970 . OL 24969218M .
* Barclay, Thomas (1923). Supplement to Dictionary of the vernacular
or spoken language of Amoy. Shanghai: The Commercial press, limited.
* Embree, Bernard L. M. (1973). A Dictionary of Southern Min: based
on current usage in
Taiwan and checked against the earlier works of
Carstairs Douglas, Thomas Barclay, and Ernest Tipson. Hong Kong: Hong
Kong Language Institute.
OCLC 2491446 .
* Heylen, Ann (2001). "Romanizing Taiwanese: Codification and
Standardization of Dictionaries in
Southern Min (1837–1923)". In Ku,
Wei-ying; De Ridder, Koen. Authentic Chinese Christianity, Preludes to
Its Development: Nineteenth & Twentieth Centuries. Leuven: Leuven
University Press. ISBN 9789058671028 .
* Iûⁿ Ún-giân; Tiuⁿ Ha̍k-khiam (1999).
and Analysis of non-Character Transcription Systems for Taiwanese
Holo)" (in Chinese). Tainan:
National Cheng Kung University
National Cheng Kung University . Archived
from the original on November 16, 2007. Retrieved 2009-12-17.
* Iûⁿ, Ún-giân (2009). Processing Techniques for Written
Taiwanese – Tone Sandhi and POS Tagging (Doctoral dissertation).
OCLC 367595113 .
* Kì, Bō͘-hô (2008). 台語教會羅馬字講義 . Tainan: PCT
Press. ISBN 9789866947346 .
* Klöter, Henning (2002). "The History of Peh-oe-ji".
(Proceedings of the 2002 International Conference on Taiwanese
Romanization Research). Taipei: Taiwanese Romanization Association.
* Klöter, Henning (2005). Written Taiwanese. Wiesbaden:
Harrassowitz. ISBN 9783447050937 .
* Lin, Alvin (1999). "Writing Taiwanese: The Development of Modern
Written Taiwanese" (PDF). Sino-Platonic Papers (89).
OCLC 41879041 .
* MacGowan, John (1869). A Manual of the Amoy Colloquial. Hong Kong:
de Souza & Co.
OCLC 23927767 .
* Maryknoll Fathers (1984). Taiwanese: Book 1. Taichung: Maryknoll.
OCLC 44137703 . }
* Medhurst, Walter Henry (1832). Dictionary of the Hok-këèn
Dialect of the Chinese Language, According to the Reading and
Colloquial Idioms. Macau: East India Press.
OCLC 5314739 .
* Norman, Jerry (1998). Chinese. Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press. ISBN 0521296536 .
Ong Iok-tek (2002). Taiwanyu Yanjiu Juan (in Chinese). Taipei:
Avanguard Publishing. ISBN 957-801-354-X .
* Ota, Katsuhiro J. (2005). An investigation of written Taiwanese
(PDF) (Master's). University of Hawai'i at Manoa.
OCLC 435500061 .
* Ramsey, S. Robert (1987). The Languages of China. Princeton:
Princeton University Press. ISBN 9780691014685 .
* Sandel, Todd L. (2003). "Linguistic capital in Taiwan: The KMT's
Mandarin language policy and its perceived impact on language
practices of bilingual Mandarin and Tai-gi speakers". Language in
Society. Cambridge University Press. 32 (4).
JSTOR 4169285 . doi
* Sidaia, Babuja A. (1998). A-Chhûn : Babuja A.Sidaia
e短篇小說集 (in Hàn-lô Taiwanese). Taipei: Taili. ISBN
OCLC 815099022 . CS1 maint: Unrecognized language
* Tipson, Ernest (1934). A Pocket Dictionary of the Amoy Vernacular:
English-Chinese. Singapore: Lithographers.
OCLC 504142973 .
* Tiuⁿ, Ha̍k-khiam (2004). 白話字kap台語文的現代化 .
2004 International Conference on Taiwanese Romanization (in Han-lo
OCLC 77082548 . CS1 maint: Unrecognized language (link
* Tseng, Rui-cheng (2009).
Taiwan Minnanyu Luomazi
Shiyong Shouce (PDF) (in Chinese). ROC Ministry of Education. ISBN
* Van Nest Talmage, John (1894). New Dictionary in the Amoy Dialect.
OCLC 41548900 .
* Warnshuis, A. Livingston; de Pree, H.P. (1911). Lessons in the
Amoy Vernacular. Xiamen: Chui-keng-tông Press.
OCLC 29903392 .
* Wu, Chang-neng (2007). The Taigi Literature Debates and Related
Developments (1987–1996) (Master's). Taipei: National Chengchi
OCLC 642745725 .
* Wu, Guo-sheng; Chen, Yi-hsin (2004).
客家語羅馬字文獻的版本研究 . 2004 INTERNATIONAL
CONFERENCE ON TAIWANESE ROMANIZATION (IN CHINESE). 2.
OCLC 77082548 .
* Media related to
Pe̍h-ōe-jī at Wikimedia Commons
* "Tai-gu Bang". –
Google group for Taiwanese language
enthusiasts – uses POJ and Chinese characters.
Unicode Correspondence Table" (PDF). Tailingua.
2009. – information on
Unicode encodings for POJ text
* "Taiwanese Romanization Association". – group dedicated to the
promotion of Taiwanese and Hakka romanization
* "Open Vanilla". – open source input method for both
OS X .
* "Taigi-Hakka IME". – Windows-based input method for both
Hokkien and Hakka variants.
* "Tai-lo Input Method" (in Chinese). – cross-platform input
method released by Taiwan's Ministry of Education.
* "Transliterator". – extension for the
Firefox browser which
allows POJ input in-browser.
* "Charis SIL".
SIL International . – serif font in regular, bold
, italic , and bold italic.
* "DejaVu". – available in serif, sans-serif , and monospace .
* "Doulos SIL". SIL International. –
Times New Roman
Times New Roman -style
* "Gentium". SIL International. – open source serif.
* "Linux Libertine". –
GPL and OPL -licensed serif.
Linux Libertine G". –
GPL and OPL -licensed serif.
* "Taigi Unicode". – serif font specifically designed for POJ.
TEXTS AND DICTIONARIES
* "Taiwanese bibliography". – list of books in Taiwanese,
including those written in POJ.
* "Memory of Written Taiwanese". – collection of Taiwanese texts