User:拼音/Penkyamp English

The best way to learn Penkyamp is to keep copying Sample Hanzi-Penkyamp Texts by hand, which can be easily searched on Google using the keywords "penkyamp" "拼音范文". 学习广东话拼音最好的方法就是不断地手抄能用谷歌搜到的"penkyamp" "拼音范文"。

Penkyamp (Chinese: 拼音; Yale: ping3 yam1, Jyutping: ping3 jam1) or Cantonese pinyin, is a romanization system for transliterating Cantonese Chinese. It is a joint effort of enthusiasts in Guangzhou with a goal of devicing an alternative script to write Cantonese, replacing the standard Chinese characters plus the Cantonese folk characters. It is an attempt to standardize the language spoken by large number of residents in Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Sydney, Auckland, Vancouver and San Francisco, from the status of a vernacular to that of a literary language.

On the other hand, the Linguistic Society of Hong Kong adopts another Cantonese Romanization called Jyutping, which is not yet popularized among Cantonese-English or English-Cantonese dictionaries. The current most widely accepted system for Cantonese Romanization are Meyer-Wempe and Yale.

Both Penkyamp and Jyutping are attempts to improve from previous systems. The features of Penkyamp includes:

  • reflects the vowel system of Cantonese more systematically than Jyutping by recognizing all long-short vowel contrasts,
    • whereas Jyutping only recognizes short a and long a.
  • indicates long and short vowels using the unique orthographic feature of altering the ending consonant of the shengmu.
  • does not have the ambiguous distinction between "oe" and "eu" (as in Jyutping).
  • treats the two (not three) front-round vowels using the same silent vowel letter "e", placed before the substantial vowel
  • categorizes the other front-round vowel (an underdeveloped one) as a short "o".
  • does not use the consonant "j", which is used in traditional Cantonese anglicization as "z" instead of "y" (as in Jyutping).

The following descriptions applies to Penkyamp.


A B C D E F G H I K L M N O P (q) S T U W Y Z

Shengmus (Consonants aided by International Phonetic Alphabets. In order to see proper display of IPA, you must download a Unicode font)

  • B [p] unaspirated
  • C [tsʰ] aspirated
  • D [t] unaspirated
  • F [f]
  • G [k] unaspirated
  • H [h]
  • K [kʰ] aspirated
  • L [l]
  • M [m]
  • N [n]
  • P [pʰ] aspirated
  • S [s]
  • T [tʰ] aspirated
  • W [w]
  • Y [j]
  • Z [ts] unaspirated

Special Attention

  • C is [tsʰ] as "tz" in Politzer.
  • Z [tz] is the unaspirated form of C.
  • q is a glottal stop [ʔ], Arabic "hamsa", as it appears in Cantonese interjection lâq, which is interchangeable with lâg.



  • long: A E I O U Eo Eu
  • short: Ah Eh Oh
  • diphthongs1: Ai Oi Ui Au Iu Ay Ey Oy Aw Ow
  • diphthongs2: single vowels and diphthongs1 preceded by semi-vowel u, such as uay as in guây (expensive)

Yunmus aided by International Phonetic Symbols


  • A [a] ("a" alone or followed by "g", "b", "d", "ng", "m", "n", "i", "u")
  • E [ɛ] open-mid front unrounded
  • I [i]
  • O [ɔ]open-mid back rounded
  • U [u]
  • Eo [ɶ] open-mid front rounded
  • Eu [y]


  • Ah [ɐ]open-mid back unrounded ("a" followed by "h", "k", "p", "t", "nk", "mp", "nt", "y", "w")
  • Eh [e] close-mid front unrounded ("e" followed by above)
  • Oh [o] close-mid back rounded ("o" followed by above)


  • Ai [ai]
  • Oi [ɔy]
  • Ui [uy]
  • Au [au]
  • Iu [iw]
  • Ay [ɐj]
  • Ey [ej]
  • Oy [øy] (ø is mid-close front rounded)
  • Aw [ɐu]
  • Ow [ow]

Short vowels are those in short yunmus, and long vowels in long yunmus. All short vowels are pronounced with tighter, smaller enclosure of lips than are their long counterparts.


Long yunmus followed by consonants:

  • Ru:
    • Ab Ad Ag
  • Ping/shang/qu:
    • Am An Ang
    • Eg Eng
    • Ib Id Im In
    • Od Og On Ong
    • Ud Un

Short yunmus followed by consonants:

  • Ru:
    • Ap At Ak
  • P/S/Q:
    • Amp Ant Ank
    • Ek Enk
    • Ot Ok Ont Onk


  1. Yin1Ping2 or high Yin1Ru4 (Yamp1Penk4 cum high Yamp1Yap6): a1, ä (umlaut)
  2. Yin1Shang3(Yamp1Seong5): a2, ã (tilde)
  3. Yin1Qu4 or low Yin1Ru4 (Yamp1Hoy3 cum low Yamp1Yap6): a3, â (circumflex)
  4. Yang2Ping2(Yeong4Penk4): a4, a (plain)
  5. Yang2Shang3(Yeong4Seong5): a5, á (acute)
  6. Yang2Qu4(Yeong4Hoy3): a6, à (grave)

6 tones represented by numerical scales of pitch, "1" being the lowest, "6" the highest"

  • First: "Jäw" tone, scale= 66
  • Second: "Hãw" tone, scale= 35
  • Third: "Dîm" tone, scale= 44
  • Fourth: "Ho" tone, scale= 11
  • Fifth: "Mów", scale=24
  • Sixth: "Dòw", scale=22

Either the tone numbers 1-6 or the diacritic marks may be used

  • note: a shortcut for memorizing all 6 of them is a couplet:
Jaw1 Haw2 Dim3, Ho4 Mow2 Dow6
Zhou1 Kou3 Dian4, He2 Mu3 Du4 (Mandarin)
(周口店, 河姆渡)

Zhoukoudian is an archeological site near Beijing containing a 500,000 year old Homo Erectus habitat; Hemudu is a Zhejiang archeological site of Neolithic human activities


Text sample in the Standard Cantonese Penk3yamp1 (simplified Chinese text are place holders for now):

Chinese characters Pinyin




Chinese characters Pinyin




Chinese characters Pinyin




北京 Běi jīng Bäk Gënk Huā Xiě Sẽ
Ngó Wu
Xuē Heö Zhù Ceú Huài Wài
Wài Ngòi Bèi Bûi Jiào Gâu
Yāo Yïu Fèi Fây Dèy
Zhuī Jöy Gǒu Gãw Lòw
Ngâb Shā Sâd Bǎi Bâg
Sān Säm Màn Màn Xíng Hang
Kèg Jìng Gêng Yìb
Yìd Jiàn Gîm Xiàn Sîn
Hôd Guó Guôg Àn Ngòn
Bāng Böng Huó Wùd Huàn Wùn
Gäp Shī Sät Däk
Xīn Sämp Xīn Sänt Shēng Sänk
Shí Sèk Jīng Jënk Chū Cöt
Hök Xìn Sônt Zhōng Jönk


Cantonese font:

àáaâãä, èéeêẽë, ìíiîĩï, òóoôõö, ùúuûũü;

Missing from common Western fonts:

  • E-tilde Ẽ ẽ
  • I-tilde Ĩ ĩ
  • U-tilde Ũ ũ

They are obtainable from Vietnamese font.

Example of Penkyamp

"Nanhai Chao" (pinyin for 南海潮, penkyamp Nam4 Hoi2 Ciu4), or "Southern Sea Tides", is a song of the overseas Cantonese. Its melody is based on the folk songs of the boat people in the Pearl River Delta and its adjacent coasts.



Red clouds are overtaking the Cantonese sky at daybreak,
The rising sun preludes an elegant prose;
The silk trees (symbolizing Guangzhou) and redbuds (symbolizing Hong Kong) adds hundreds and thousands of blooms again,
What a prosperous picture to last forever!
I see river tides still pushing that "sampan" (an Asian boat),
But it rafts through a refreshing scene of edifaces of jade.
I tell the ocean not to be so turbulant,
Across from thousands of miles of ocean I am home sick.

Penkyamp transliteration:

Honkha mún sã Yeùd tïn dönk pôhiũ
Jënkjënkyàtseóng jòy wajeöng
Honkmin jĩgënk yàw tïm cïnbâg dõ
Yäntyänt mànsây jeòng
Ngó gîn göngciu yïyin töy hẽy ná sänbãn
Keôgsì ceün guô yôkyeúkenklaw sänt lêng gẽnk
Ngó gîu hõiciu bötow bätyîu jé hönkyõnk
Gâg jeù yät pîn mànléy dàiyeong guäysämpcîd


There were complaints that using final consonants to determine vowel length was counter-intuitive and that "eu" and "eo" were unconventional. So a variant called "Gwohngdongwaa pengyam" was created. These were the changes:

Initial "z" was replaced by "j".


  • long: aa(ah) eh(ee) i oh(oo) u oe ue
  • short: a e o
  • diphthongs1: aay(ai) ooy(oi) uy aaw(au) iw ay ey oy aw ow
  • diphthongs2: single vowels and diphthongs were preceded by semi-vowel w, such as way as in gwây (expensive)

Consonant endings were made consistent: m n ng p t k