Guangdong Romanization refers to the four romanization schemes published by the Guangdong Provincial Education Department in 1960 for transliterating Cantonese, Teochew, Hakka, and Hainanese. The schemes utilized similar elements with some differences in order to adapt to their respective spoken varieties.
In certain respects, Guangdong romanization resembles pinyin in its distinction of the alveolar initials z, c, s from the alveolo-palatal initials j, q, x, and in its use of b, d, g to represent the unaspirated stop consonants /p t k/. In addition, it makes use of the medial u before the rime rather than representing it as w in the initial when it follows g or k.
Guangdong romanization makes use of diacritics to represent certain vowels. This includes the use of the circumflex, acute accent, and diaeresis in the letters ê, é, and ü, respectively. In addition, it uses -b, -d, -g to represent the coda consonants /p t k/ rather than -p, -t, -k like other romanization schemes in order to be consistent with their use as unaspirated plosives in the initial. Tones are marked by superscript numbers rather than by diacritics.
The scheme for Cantonese is outlined in "The Cantonese Transliteration Scheme" (simplified Chinese: 广州话拼音方案; traditional Chinese: 廣州話拼音方案; pinyin: Guǎngzhōuhuà Pīnyīn Fāng'àn). It is referred to as the Canton Romanization on the LSHK character database. The system is not used in Hong Kong where romanization schemes such as Hong Kong Government, Yale, Cantonese Pinyin and Jyutping are popular, though it can be seen in works released in the People's Republic of China regarding Cantonese.
Unlike the other Cantonese romanization schemes, Guangdong romanization indicates a difference between the alveolar consonants z, c, s and the alveolo-palatal consonants j, q, x. Cantonese typically does not differentiate these two types of consonants because they are allophones that occur in complementary distributions. However, speech patterns of most Cantonese speakers do utilize both types of consonants and the romanization scheme attempts to reflect this.
- z, c, and s are used before finals beginning with a, e, o, u, ê, and é.
- j, q, and x are used before finals beginning with i and ü.
Some publications may not bother with this distinction and will choose just one set or the other to represent these consonants.
Finals consist of an optional medial and an obligatory rime.
The only recognized medial glide in the Cantonese Guangdong romanization is u, which occurs in syllables with initials g or k and rimes that begin with a, e, i, or o. In other romanization schemes, this medial is usually grouped along with the initial as gw and kw, but Guangdong romanization attempts to preserve it as a medial. For simplicity, the u is sometimes grouped with the initials anyway as gu and ku.
The u medial can occur without an initial, but in that case it is considered the same as the initial w. The same is true for the medial i, which is only recognized as the initial y.
- When i begins a rime in a syllable that has no initial, y is used as the initial.
- When u begins a rime in a syllable that has no initial, w is used as the initial.
- When ü begins a rime in a syllable that has no initial, y is used as the initial and the umlaut is omitted.
- When ü begins a rime in a syllable with initial j, q, or x, the umlaut is omitted.
- The rime êu may be also written as êü (with the umlaut over the u), in accord with its pronunciation.
- The rimes m and ng can only be used as standalone nasal syllables.
There are nine tones in six distinct tone contours in Cantonese. In Guangdong Romanization, one may represent the entering (入 rù) tones either together with tones 1, 3, and 6, as in the other Cantonese romanization schemes, or separately as tones 7, 8, and 9. Syllables with entering tones correspond to those ending in -b, -d, or -g.
|Tone name||Yīn Píng
|Tone name in English||high level or high falling||mid rising||mid level||low falling||low rising||low level||entering high level||entering mid level||entering low level|
|Contour||55 / 53||35||33||21 / 11||13||22||5||3||2|
|Number||1||2||3||4||5||6||1 (7)||3 (8)||6 (9)|
|Simplified tone markers|||(or no marker)||/||-||\||=||_|||' or '||-'||_'|
|Example with simplified tone markers||fen| or fen||fen/||fen-||fen\||fen=||fen_||fed|' or fed'||fad-'||fed_'|
|廣州話||广州话||guong2 zeo1 wa2|
|粵語||粤语||yud6 (or yud9) yu5|
The scheme for the Teochew dialect of Min Nan is outlined in "The Teochew Transliteration Scheme" (simplified Chinese: "潮州话拼音方案"; traditional Chinese: 〈潮州話拼音方案〉; pinyin: Cháozhōuhuà Pīnyīn Fāng'àn). This scheme (and another similar scheme which is based upon this scheme) is often referred to as Peng'im, which is the Teochew pronunciation of pinyin.
This scheme is the romanization scheme currently described in the Teochew dialect article.
The scheme for Hakka is outlined in "The Hakka Transliteration Scheme" (simplified Chinese: 《客家话拼音方案》; traditional Chinese: 《客家話拼音方案》; pinyin: Kèjiāhuà Pīnyīn Fāng'àn). The scheme describes the Meixian dialect, which is generally regarded as the de facto standard dialect of Hakka in mainland China.
This scheme is the romanization scheme currently described in the Hakka Chinese article.