The Yale romanization of Cantonese
Cantonese was developed by Gerard P. Kok for his and Parker Po-fei Huang's textbook Speak Cantonese
Cantonese initially circulated in looseleaf form in 1952 but later published in 1958. Unlike the Yale romanization of Mandarin, it is still widely used in books and dictionaries, especially for foreign learners of Cantonese. It shares some similarities with Hanyu Pinyin
Pinyin in that unvoiced, unaspirated consonants are represented by letters traditionally used in English and most other European languages to represent voiced sounds. For example, [p] is represented as b in Yale, whereas its aspirated counterpart, [pʰ] is represented as p. Because of this, the Yale romanization is easy for English speakers to pronounce without much training. Students studying Cantonese
Cantonese at the University of Hong Kong
University of Hong Kong learn the Jyutping
Jyutping system of romanization, while those who attend The Chinese University of Hong Kong's New-Asia Yale-in-China Chinese Language Center are taught to use the Yale romanization.
1 Initials 2 Finals 3 Tones 4 Examples 5 See also 6 References 7 Further reading 8 External links
b [p] 巴 p [pʰ] 怕 m [m] 媽 f [f] 花
d [t] 打 t [tʰ] 他 n [n] 那
l [l] 啦
g [k] 家 k [kʰ] 卡 ng [ŋ] 牙 h [h] 蝦
gw [kʷ] 瓜 kw [kʷʰ] 誇
w [w] 蛙
j [ts] 渣 ch [tsʰ] 叉
s [s] 沙 y [j] 也
a [aː] 沙 aai [aːi̯] 晒 aau [aːu̯] 筲 aam [aːm] 三 aan [aːn] 山 aang [aːŋ] 省 aap [aːp] 圾 aat [aːt] 殺 aak [aːk] 客
ai [ɐi̯] 西 au [ɐu̯] 收 am [ɐm] 心 an [ɐn] 新 ang [ɐŋ] 生 ap [ɐp] 十 at [ɐt] 失 ak [ɐk] 塞
e [ɛː] 些 ei [ei̯] 四 eng [ɛːŋ] 聲 ek [ɛːk] 石
i [iː] 司 iu [iːu̯] 消 im [iːm] 閃 in [iːn] 先 ing [eŋ] 星 ip [iːp] 攝 it [iːt] 舌 ik [ek] 色
o [ɔː] 蔬 oi [ɔːy̯] 鰓 ou [ou̯] 酥 on [ɔːn] 看 ong [ɔːŋ] 康 ot [ɔːt] 割 ok [ɔːk] 各
u [uː] 夫 ui [uːy̯] 灰 un [uːn] 寬 ung [oŋ] 風 ut [uːt] 闊 uk [ok] 福
eu [œː] 靴 eui [ɵy̯] 去 eun [ɵn] 信 eung [œːŋ] 上 eut [ɵt] 摔 euk [œːk] 削
yu [yː] 書 yun [yːn] 孫 yut [yːt] 雪
m [m̩] 唔 ng [ŋ̩] 吳
Only the finals m and ng can be used as standalone nasal syllables.
Graphical representation of the 6 tones of Cantonese.
No. Description Chao tone number Yale representation
1 high-flat 55 sī sīn sīk
2 mid-rising 35 sí sín
3 mid-flat 33 si sin sik
4 low-falling 21 sìh sìhn
5 low-rising 23 síh síhn
6 low-flat 22 sih sihn sihk
Traditional Simplified Romanization using Tone Marks Romanization using Numbers
廣州話 广州话 Gwóngjāuwá Gwong2zau1wa2
粵語 粤语 Yuhtyúh Yut6yu5
你好 Néih hóu Nei5 hou2
Sample transcription of one of the 300 Tang Poems by Meng Haoran:
春曉 孟浩然 Chēun Híu Maahng Houh Yìhn
春眠不覺曉， Chēun mìhn bāt gok híu,
處處聞啼鳥。 chyu chyu màhn tàih níuh.
夜來風雨聲， yeh lòih fūng yúh sīng,
花落知多少？ fā lohk jī dō síu?
^ Huang, Parker Po-fei (1965).
Gwaan, Choi-wa (關彩華) (2000). English-
Comparison chart of Romanization for
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