RE: Unicode Transcriptions

From: Marco Cimarosti (
Date: Fri Feb 16 2001 - 05:10:18 EST

Subject "RE: Unicode Transcriptions"

(I am resending this message because the first version contained too many
errors even for my standards:-)

Mark Davis wrote:
> I am still missing Bopomofo,
> [...]
> Also, Ken suggested that the Bopomofo should be a Bopomofo transcription
> the Chinese for Unicode, not a transliteration from English. Can anyone
> supply that?

Once you accept Ken's suggestion, you have two more decisions to make:

1) Which Chinese name to use (you have two on your page, one of which is in
both simplified and traditional characters);

2) Which Chinese dialect to adopt for transliterating.

Assuming that (1) you want to use the 3-syllable name ("統一碼", which is also
used in and that
(2) you want the official Putonghua (Mandarin) pronunciation, here is what
it would be:

Chinese: 統一碼
Pinyin: tŏngyīmă
Bopomofo: ㄊㄨㄥ̆ ㄧ ㄇㄚ̆
Codepoints: 310A 3128 3125 0306 0020 3127 0020 3107 311A 0306

Notice the particularities of Bopomofo spelling:

- the sound [uŋ] (spelled "ong" in pinyin) is spelled "u-eng";
- there is no "y" in "yi";
- there is no sign to indicate the 1st tone.

Also notice that you may have a few typographical problems in producing the

a) In most fonts, the glyph for vowel i is a horizontal line. This is only
valid for vertical texts: in horizontal writing it should be vertical.
(Suggestion: you may substitute it with an uppercase I from a sans-serif

b) The glyph for the "combining breve" (3rd tone) is normally designed to
fit on western lowercase vowels. (Suggestion: if you use a bigger size for
the combining marks, you might get a correct result).


This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Tue Jul 10 2001 - 17:21:18 EDT