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You are here: Home / Conferences / Hong Kong 2012 / Programme / 11–14 October – General programme

漢語拼音之父 – Zhou Youguang, the father of Pinyin

When Sat 13 Oct 1735
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What
Who Florian Wittig

Hànyǔ Pīnyīn is not just a system to romanize Chinese characters. It is a phonetic transcription of Putonghua, the so called Standard Chinese, and now serves as the most frequently used input method for Chinese characters on computers and mobile devices. Not only has it helped to increase literacy in the People's Republic of China since its introduction in 1958, it is also the reason why every child in China knows the Latin alphabet and it helps foreigners all over the world to pronounce Chinese words and learn the Chinese language.

This presentation talks about the life and work of linguist Zhōu Yǒuguāng 周有光, who turned 106 this year, and his most famous creation, Hanyu Pinyin. How does the Pinyin system work? What are its advantages over other transcription methods? And why has it never replaced Chinese characters?

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