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Cantonese Romanisation

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  • Cantonese Romanisation

    As some may have already noticed, there's are two types of romanisations that I use for Cantonese. One is the Yale system and the one that Sifu uses. I'd like to take this opportunity to why I use these two system.

    Unlike Mandarin, there is no "definite standard" romanisation system in Cantonese. Out of a number of variaions, I have choosen to use a form/variation of the Yale system because I found it to be used in most resources like Cantonese learning books/courses and dictionaries.

    Sifu's romanisation is excellent especially for those unfamiliar with Cantonese and its various romanisation methods. One can read Sifu's romanisation like they were reading any other English word and get a good idea of pronounciation. On the other hand, one needs to know the Yale system in order to pronounce and use it effectively.

    For example, let's take the term for junior kungfu uncle (or 師叔 in Chinese Characters). In the Yale system, it will be romanised as si-suk. If someone who is not familiar with the Yale system may pronounce suk as "suck" (which rhymes with duck) which is not correct. It is actually pronouced as "sook" (which rhymes with book) is correct and the way Sifu romanises it.

    After some consideration, I will edit all of my previous posts to ensure they all use Sifu's and the Yale romanisation. As well, any future post will include both romanisations. I believe Sifu's romanisation is excellent for pronounciation for everyone and the Yale romanisation is excellent for those who are studying Cantonese as a second language.

    If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to let me know.

    Best Wishes,