From: Andrew C. West (email@example.com)
Date: Mon May 19 2003 - 13:13:44 EDT
On Mon, 19 May 2003 18:36:14 +0200, Marco Cimarosti wrote:
> And, curiously, if they would read it as per the traditional spelling
> "Peking", they would perhaps have an even closer pronunciation: Pinyin "b"
> is [p], the "i" element in the "ei" diphtong is very faint, and [k] is as
> good a pronunciation for "q" as it is [ts] or [tʃ] (but much better than
> or [dʒ]).
I don't quite follow your argument, but in my wife's dialect of Chinese (a
variety of South-West Mandarin) Beijing is pronounced [pekin] (where /e/ is an
rounded open e that off-hand I don't know how to represent in IPA), which is
remarkably close to the original French transcription of Pékin. This is because
Northern Mandarin [k] and [k'] only became palatised to U+02A5 (j) and U+02A8
(q) during the Ming dynasty, and the early Jesuits probably recorded either a
dialectal or archaic pronounciation of the city's name ... at least that's my
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