|Type||Semisyllabary (letters for onsets and rimes; diacritics for tones)|
|Languages||Chinese languages, Formosan languages|
|Creator||Commission on the Unification of Pronunciation|
|Time period||1913 to the present, now used as ruby characters in Taiwan for Chinese, and as the principal script for Formosan|
|Sister systems||Simplified Chinese, Kanji, Hanja, Chữ Nôm, Khitan script|
|ISO 15924||Bopo, 285|
|Note: This page may contain IPA phonetic symbols.|
|Mandarin Phonetic Symbol|
Zhuyin fuhao (Chinese: 注音符號; pinyin: Zhùyīn fúhào; Zhuyin Fuhao: ㄓㄨˋ ㄧㄣ ㄈㄨˊ ㄏㄠˋ; literally "phonetic symbols"), often abbreviated as zhuyin and colloquially called bopomofo, is a phonetic system for transcribing Chinese, especially Mandarin. It was introduced in the 1910s.
Consisting of 37 characters and four tone marks, it transcribes all possible sounds in Mandarin. Although phased out in People's Republic of China in the 1950s, this system is still widely used as an educational tool and Chinese computer input method in Taiwan.
Zhuyin is often colloquially called bopomofo in Taiwan, which is derived from the names of the first four syllables in the conventional ordering of available syllables in Mandarin Chinese. The four Zhuyin characters (ㄅㄆㄇㄈ) that correspond to these syllables are usually placed first in a list of these characters. The same sequence (bopomofo) is used by other speakers of Chinese to refer to other phonetic systems. For example, it is a colloquial name for Hanyu pinyin in mainland China. In official documents, Zhuyin is occasionally called "Mandarin Phonetic Symbols I" (國語注音符號第一式), abbreviated as "MPS I" (注音一式).
The Commission on the Unification of Pronunciation, led by Woo Tsin-hang from 1912 to 1913, created a system called Guóyīn Zìmǔ (國音字母 "National Pronunciation Letters") or Zhùyīn Zìmǔ (註音字母 or 注音字母 "Sound-annotating Letters"), which is based on Zhang Binglin's shorthands.
A draft was released on July 11, 1913, by the Republic of China National Ministry of Education, but it was not officially proclaimed until November 23, 1928. Zhùyīn zìmǔ was renamed zhùyīn fúhào in April 1930.
The symbols were initially called Zhùyīn Zìmǔ ("Phonetic Alphabet"); later they were also called Guóyīn Zìmǔ ("National Phonetic Alphabet"). The fear that they might be considered an alphabetic system of writing independent of characters led to their being renamed Zhùyīn Fúhào ("Phonetic Symbols") in 1930.
Zhuyin remains the predominant phonetic system in teaching reading and writing in elementary school in Taiwan. It is also one of the most popular ways to enter Chinese characters into computers and to look up characters in a dictionary in Taiwan.
In elementary school, particularly in the lower years, Chinese characters in textbooks are often annotated with Zhuyin as ruby characters as an aid to learning. Additionally, one newspaper in Taiwan, the Mandarin Daily News annotates all articles with Zhuyin ruby characters.
In teaching Mandarin, Taiwan institutions and some overseas communities still use Zhuyin as a learning tool.
Besides transcribing Chinese, Zhuyin is also used as the primary writing system for a few aboriginal languages of Taiwan, such as Atayal, Seediq, Paiwan, or Tao. It is sometimes used to annotate Taiwanese Hokkien, a widely spoken Chinese language in Taiwan, however pe̍h-ōe-jī romanization is more common in use.
The Zhuyin characters were created by Zhang Binglin, and taken mainly from "regularized" forms of ancient Chinese characters, the modern readings of which contain the sound that each letter represents.
|ㄅ||From 勹, the ancient form and current top portion of 包 bāo||p||b||p||八 (ㄅㄚ, bā)|
|ㄆ||From 攵, the combining form of 攴 pū||pʰ||p||p'||杷 (ㄆㄚˊ, pá)|
|ㄇ||From 冂, the archaic character and current radical 冖 mì||m||m||m||馬 (ㄇㄚˇ, mǎ)|
|ㄈ||From 匚 fāng||f||f||f||法 (ㄈㄚˇ, fǎ)|
|ㄉ||From the archaic form of 刀 dāo. Compare the bamboo form .||t||d||t||地 (ㄉㄧˋ, dì)|
|ㄊ||From the upside-down 子 seen at the top of 充||tʰ||t||t'||提 (ㄊㄧˊ, tí)|
|ㄋ||From /𠄎, ancient form of 乃 nǎi||n||n||n||你 (ㄋㄧˇ, nǐ)|
|ㄌ||From the archaic form of 力 lì||l||l||l||利 (ㄌㄧˋ, lì)|
|ㄍ||From the obsolete character 巜 guì/kuài" 'river'||k||g||k||告 (ㄍㄠˋ, gào)|
|ㄎ||From the archaic character 丂 kǎo||kʰ||k||k'||考 (ㄎㄠˇ, kǎo)|
|ㄏ||From the archaic character and current radical 厂 hàn||x||h||h||好 (ㄏㄠˇ, hǎo)|
|ㄐ||From the archaic character 丩 jiū||ʨ||j||ch||叫 (ㄐㄧㄠˋ, jiào)|
|ㄑ||From the archaic character ㄑ quǎn, graphic root of the character 巛 chuān (modern 川)||ʨʰ||q||ch'||巧 (ㄑㄧㄠˇ, qiǎo)|
|ㄒ||From 丅, an ancient form of 下 xià.||ɕ||x||hs||小 (ㄒㄧㄠˇ, xiǎo)|
|ㄓ||From /㞢, archaic form of 之 zhī.||ʈʂ||zh||ch||主 (ㄓㄨˇ, zhǔ)|
|ㄔ||From the character and radical 彳 chì||ʈʂʰ||ch||ch'||出 (ㄔㄨ, chū)|
|ㄕ||From the character 尸 shī||ʂ||sh||sh||束 (ㄕㄨˋ, shù)|
|ㄖ||Modified from the seal script form of 日 rì||ʐ||r||j||入 (ㄖㄨˋ, rù)|
|ㄗ||From the archaic character and current radical 卩 jié, dialectically zié||ʦ||z||ts||在 (ㄗㄞˋ, zài)|
|ㄘ||Variant of 七 qī, dialectically ciī. Compare semi-cursive form and seal-script .||ʦʰ||c||ts'||才 (ㄘㄞˊ, cái)|
|ㄙ||From the archaic character 厶 sī, which was later replaced by its compound 私 sī.||s||s||s||塞 (ㄙㄞ, sāi)|
|Rhymes & Medials|
|ㄚ||From 丫 yā||a||a||a||大 (ㄉㄚˋ, dà)|
|ㄛ||From the obsolete character 𠀀 hē, inhalation, the reverse of 丂 kǎo, which is preserved as a phonetic in the compound 可 kě.||uɔ||o||o||多 (ㄉㄨㄛ, duō)|
|ㄜ||Derived from its allophone in Standard Chinese, ㄛ o||ɯʌ||e||o/ê||得 (ㄉㄜˊ, dé)|
|ㄝ||From 也 yě. Compare the Warring States bamboo form||ɛ||ê||eh||爹 (ㄉㄧㄝ, diē)|
|ㄞ||From 𠀅 hài, bronze form of 亥.||aɪ||ai||ai||晒 (ㄕㄞˋ, shài)|
|ㄟ||From 乁 yí, an obsolete character meaning 移 yí "to move".||eɪ||ei||ei||誰 (ㄕㄟˊ, shéi)|
|ㄠ||From 幺 yāo||ɑʊ||ao||ao||少 (ㄕㄠˇ, shǎo)|
|ㄡ||From 又 yòu||oʊ||ou||ou||收 (ㄕㄡ, shōu)|
|ㄢ||From the obsolete character ㄢ hàn "to bloom", preserved as a phonetic in the compound 犯 fàn||an||an||an||山 (ㄕㄢ, shān)|
|ㄣ||From 乚 yǐn||ən||en||ên||申 (ㄕㄣ, shēn)|
|ㄤ||From 尢 wāng||ɑŋ||ang||ang||上 (ㄕㄤˋ, shàng)|
|ㄥ||From 厶, an obsolete form of 厷 gōng||əŋ||eng||êng||生 (ㄕㄥ, shēng)|
|ㄦ||From 儿, the bottom portion of 兒 ér used as a cursive form||ɑɻ||er||êrh||而 (ㄦˊ, ér)|
|ㄧ||From 一 yī||i||i/y||i||逆 (ㄋㄧˋ, nì)|
|ㄨ||From 㐅, ancient form of 五 wǔ.||u||u/w||u/w||努 (ㄋㄨˇ, nǔ)|
|ㄩ||From the ancient character 凵 qū, which remains as a radical||y||v/yu/u||v/yv||女 (ㄋㄩˇ, nǚ)|
|ㄭ||Perhaps 帀, in addition to ㄓ. It represents the minimal vowel of ㄓ, ㄔ, ㄕ, ㄖ, ㄗ, ㄘ, ㄙ, though it's not used after them in transcription. (See examples.)||ɨ||-i||ih/û||資 (ㄗ, zī); 知 (ㄓ, zhī); 死 (ㄙˇ, sǐ)|
The Zhuyin characters are encoded in Unicode in the "bopomofo" block, in the range U+3105 ... U+312D.
Zhuyin is written in the same stroke order rule as Chinese characters. Note that ㄖ is written with three strokes, unlike the character from which it is derived (日, Hanyu Pinyin: rì), which has four strokes.
The tone marks used in Zhuyin for the second, third, and fourth tones are the same as the ones used in Hanyu Pinyin. In Zhuyin, no marker is used for the first tone and a dot denotes the neutral tone, whereas in Pinyin, a dash (¯) represents the first tone and no marker is used for the neutral tone.
Unlike Hanyu Pinyin, Zhuyin aligns well with the hanzi characters in books whose texts are printed vertically, making Zhuyin better suited for annotating the pronunciation of vertically oriented Chinese text.
Zhuyin, when used in conjunction with Chinese characters, are typically placed to the right of the Chinese character vertically or to the top of the Chinese character in a horizontal print (see Ruby character).
Below is an example for the word "bottle" (pinyin: píngzi):
Zhuyin and pinyin are based on the same Mandarin pronunciations, hence there is a 1-to-1 correspondence between the two systems. In the table below, the 'Zhuyin' and 'pinyin' columns show equivalency.
Three letters formerly used in non-standard dialects of Mandarin are now also used to write other Chinese languages. Some Zhuyin fonts do not contain these letters; see External links for PDF pictures.
|ㆡ||dz||j||zz||ㆧ||ɔ̃||oⁿ||onn||ㆭ||ŋ̍||ng||ng||ㆳ||Same as ㆪ|
|Symbol||Tone Value||Tone name||Unicode|
|˪||└||21||depicts 低平"low, level tone" (陰去聲 "upper departing")||U+02EA|
|˫||├||33||depicts 平"mid, level tone" (陽去聲 "lower departing")||U+02EB|
Zhuyin can be used as an input method for Chinese characters. It is one of the few input methods that can be found on most modern personal computers without the user having to download or install any additional software. It is also one of the few input methods that can be used for inputting Chinese characters on certain cell phones.
Zhuyin was added to the Unicode Standard in October 1991 with the release of version 1.0.
The Unicode block for Zhuyin is U+3100 ... U+312F:
Unicode.org chart (PDF)
Extended Zhuyin was added to the Unicode Standard in September 1999 with the release of version 3.0.
The Unicode block for Extended Zhuyin is U+31A0 ... U+31BF:
Unicode.org chart (PDF)
|Look up bopomofo in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
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