Note on the Phonetic Transcription of Chinese Terms

At the time of transcribing the phonetics of Chinese terms, we use, for Mandarin, the pīnyīn 拼音system. In a few exceptions we also offer the transcription according to the Wade-Giles system; this is the case of names or terms whose use is already widespread in this system, as can be the case of the philosopher Zhuāngzǐ 莊子, better known according to the Wade-Giles romanization: Chuang Tzu.

For Cantonese, the most used system is Jyutping 粵拼. However, we believe that this system can be confusing for the Western reader not used to it. Therefore, and although we rely on this system when transcribing the terms, we do not include the tone information to not saturate the reader. This information would be indicated by a number, corresponding to the tone, at the end of each syllable. Thus, for example, the expression to say ' hello ' in Cantonese, 您好, would be transcribed as nei5 hou2, which indicates that the first word is pronounced with the fifth tone, and the second word with the second tone. We believe it is easier to transcribe it directly as nei hou, not including tonal information.

Finally, in the case of some terms that already have romanization whose use is commonly accepted, although its pronunciation does not adapt well to the real, we decided to keep the transcription most used, again not to confuse the reader. It is the case of the term 蔡李佛, which we transcribe as Choy Li Fut, although its pronunciation in Cantonese would be closer to Choy Lei Faat.

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