Postal System Pinyin
In the early twentieth century
(starting with the dying Qing Empire
) used Postal System Pinyin
(郵政式拼音 Hanyu Pinyin
: Yóuzhènshì Pīnyīn) (unrelated to the modern Hanyu Pinyin), based on Wade-Giles
(in particularly, Herbert Giles
's A Chinese-English Dictionary
) for postal
purposes, especially for placenames on letters
and stamps, and was not for universal usage. It uses some already common European
names of Chinese places that override the Wade-Giles system, and incorporate some dialectalal
The postal system was decided after the Imperial Postal Joint-Session Conference (帝國郵電聯席會議) in spring 1906 in Shanghai.
Main differences with Wade-Giles include:
- Completely lack of diacritic and accent marks.
- Chi, ch'i, and hsi (pinyin ji, qi, and xi) become tsi, tsi, and si or ki, ki, and hi, e.g.,
- Except being the sole vowel in the syllable, the Wade-Giles u become w, e.g.,
- Guangdong, Guangxi, and Fujian placenames are to be Romanized from the local dialects, such as Hakka, Cantonese, and Min (systems also obtained form Giles' A Chinese-English Dictionary).
- Popular pre-existing (from 19th century of earlier) European names for place in China are to be retained, such as those of the treaty ports.
See also: Romanization