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Jyutping is a romanisation system for Cantonese developed by the Linguistic Society of Hong Kong (LSHK), an academic group, in 1993. Its formal name is the Linguistic Society of Hong Kong Cantonese Romanization Scheme. The LSHK advocates for and promotes the use of this romanisation system.
|Literal meaning||Yue (i.e. Cantonese) spelling|
The name Jyutping (itself the Jyutping romanisation of its Chinese name, 粵拼) is a contraction consisting of the first Chinese characters of the terms Jyut6jyu5 (粵語, meaning "Yue language") and ping3jam1 (拼音 "phonetic alphabet", also pronounced as "pinyin" in Mandarin).
Despite being a romanisation system to indicate pronunciations, some enthusiasts actually employ Jyutping to explore writing Cantonese as an alphabetic language, elevating it from its assistive status to a written language in effect.
The Jyutping system marks a departure from all previous Cantonese romanisation systems (approximately 12, including Robert Morrison's pioneering work of 1828, and the widely used Standard Romanization, Yale and Sidney Lau systems) by introducing z and c initials and the use of eo and oe in finals, as well as replacing the initial y, used in all previous systems, with j.
In 2018, the Jyutping system was updated to include the -a and -oet finals, to reflect syllables recognized to be part of Cantonese phonology in 1997 by the Jyutping Work Group of the Linguistic Society of Hong Kong.
- Only the finals m and ng can be used as standalone nasal syllables.
- ^ ^ ^ Referring to the colloquial pronunciation of these words.
- ^ Used for elided words in casual speech such as a6 in 四十四 (sei3a6sei3), elided from sei3 sap6 sei3.
- ^ Used for onomatopoeias such as oet6 for belching or goet4 for snoring.
There are nine tones in six distinct tone contours in Cantonese. However, as three of the nine are entering tones (Chinese: 入聲; Jyutping: jap6sing1), which only appear in syllables ending with p, t, and k, they do not have separate tone numbers in Jyutping (though they do in Cantonese Pinyin; these are shown in parentheses in the table below). A mnemonic which some use to remember this is 「風水到時我哋必發達」or “Feng Shui [dictates that] we will be lucky.”
|The 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|
Comparison with Yale romanisationEdit
Jyutping and the Yale Romanisation of Cantonese represent Cantonese pronunciations with the same letters in:
- The initials: b, p, m, f, d, t, n, l, g, k, ng, h, s, gw, kw, w.
- The vowel: aa (except when used alone), a, e, i, o, u, yu.
- The nasal stop: m, ng.
- The coda: i, u, m, n, ng, p, t, k.
But they differ in the following:
- The vowels eo and oe represent /ɵ/ and /œː/ respectively in Jyutping, whereas the eu represents both vowels in Yale.
- The initial j represents /j/ in Jyutping whereas y is used instead in Yale.
- The initial z represents /ts/ in Jyutping whereas j is used instead in Yale.
- The initial c represents /tsʰ/ in Jyutping whereas ch is used instead in Yale.
- In Jyutping, if no consonant precedes the vowel yu, then the initial j is appended before the vowel. In Yale, the corresponding initial y is never appended before yu under any circumstances.
- Jyutping defines three finals not in Yale: eu /ɛːu/, em /ɛːm/, and ep /ɛːp/. These three finals are used in colloquial Cantonese words, such as deu6 (掉), lem2 (舐), and gep6 (夾).
- To represent tones, only tone numbers are used in Jyutping whereas Yale traditionally uses tone marks together with the letter h (though tone numbers can be used in Yale as well).
Comparison with Cantonese pinyinEdit
Jyutping and Cantonese Pinyin represent Cantonese pronunciations with the same letters in:
- The initials: b, p, m, f, d, t, n, l, g, k, ng, h, s, gw, kw, j, w.
- The vowel: aa, a, e, i, o, u.
- The nasal stop: m, ng.
- The coda: i (except for its use in the coda /y/ in Jyutping; see below), u, m, n, ng, p, t, k.
But they have some differences:
- The vowel oe represents both /ɵ/ and /œː/ in Cantonese Pinyin whereas eo and oe represent /ɵ/ and /œː/ respectively in Jyutping.
- The vowel y represents /y/ in Cantonese Pinyin whereas both yu (used in the nucleus) and i (used in the coda of the final -eoi) are used in Jyutping.
- The initial dz represents /ts/ in Cantonese Pinyin whereas z is used instead in Jyutping.
- The initial ts represents /tsʰ/ in Cantonese Pinyin whereas c is used instead in Jyutping.
- To represent tones, the numbers 1 to 9 are usually used in Cantonese Pinyin, although the use of 1, 3, 6 to replace 7, 8, 9 for the checked tones is acceptable. However, only the numbers 1 to 6 are used in Jyutping.
|廣州話||广州话||Gwong2 zau1 waa2|
Sample transcription of one of the 300 Tang Poems:
Maang6 Hou6 jin4
|春眠不覺曉，||Ceon1 min4 bat1 gok3 hiu2,|
|處處聞啼鳥。||cyu3 cyu3 man4 tai4 niu5.|
|夜來風雨聲，||Je6 loi4 fung1 jyu5 sing1,|
|花落知多少？||faa1 lok6 zi1 do1 siu2?|
Jyutping input methodEdit
The Jyutping method allows a user to input Chinese characters by entering the jyutping of a Chinese character (with or without tone, depending on the system) and then presenting the user with a list of possible characters with that pronunciation.
List of Jyutping keyboard input utilitiesEdit
- Online Jyutping Input Method (網上粵拼輸入法)
- MDBG Type Chinese
- Red Dragonfly (紅蜻蜓粵語拼音詞語輸入法)
- LSHK Jyutping for Macintosh Mac OS X and OS 9 (The page also includes Yale input version 0.2)
- Hong Kong Cantonese 2010 (via Microsoft Office IME 2010)
- Canton Easy Input (粵語拼音輸入法)
- Cantonese Phonetic IME (廣東話拼音輸入法) (also called 'Cantonese Phonetic IME (CPIME) Jyutping' in Windows 10)
- RIME (小狼毫輸入法引擎)
- "The Jyutping Scheme". The Linguistic Society of Hong Kong. Archived from the original on 26 April 2013. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
- Kataoka, Shin; Lee, Cream (2008). "A System without a System: Cantonese Romanization Used in Hong Kong Place and Personal Names". Hong Kong Journal of Applied Linguistics: 94–98.
- Linguistic Society of Hong Kong. "Jyutping 粵拼". Archived from the original on 2021-01-06. Retrieved 2020-10-07.
- Matthews, S.; Yip, V. Cantonese: A Comprehensive Grammar; London: Routledge, 1994
- FAQ: How to select Cantonese Phonetic IME (CPIME) in Windows 10
- Jyutping Pronunciation Guide
- 粵語拼盤: Learning the phonetic system of Cantonese
- Chinese Character Database (Phonologically Disambiguated According to the Cantonese Dialect)
- The CantoDict Project is a dedicated Cantonese-Mandarin-English online dictionary which uses Jyutping by default
- MDBG free online Chinese-English dictionary (supports both Jyutping and Yale romanization)