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"Transliteration of most of the names is in accordance with the Wade - Giles system"

Etymology edit

1943,[1] from the surnames of Thomas Wade and Herbert Giles, who developed the system in the 19th century.

Proper noun edit


  1. A system for transcribing the Beijing dialect of Mandarin Chinese into the Latin alphabet; formally uses hyphens and the spiritus asper apostrophe.
    • 1947 May, Earl Swisher, “MacNair, China”, in Pacific Historical Review[1], volume XVI, number 2, University of California Press, →ISSN, →OCLC, page 214:
      The pronunciation aids to Chinese names are of doubtful value. They are not phonetic, being only a slight modification of the Wade-Giles system, and become really confusing when Mandarin pronunciations are given for Cantonese or historical spellings.
    • 1969, “A note on transliteration”, in Joseph Kitagawa, editor, Understanding Modern China[2], Quadrangle Books, →LCCN, →OCLC, page 7:
      The problem of romanizing Chinese place names is a difficult one. Solutions differ from language to language, and there are several so-called "systems" used even in the English-speaking world.
      The system most widely accepted by professionals is the Wade-Giles system. One of its key advantages is that it permits the reader to check back to the original Chinese characters, since most dictionaries are arranged according to this romanization system.
    • 1977, “Explanatory Notes”, in Robert Dunn, editor, Chinese-English and English-Chinese Dictionaries in the Library of Congress[3], Library of Congress, →ISBN, →LCCN, →OCLC, page vii:
      In accordance with the LC manual of bibliographic style, the heading for each entry contains the essential bibliographic data taken from the corresponding LC catalog card. The Chinese titles are given in Wade-Giles romanization. If the English title and/or the title in Pinyin romanization appear in the original work, they are also provided.
    • 1979 March 5, Jay Mathews, “China Is China, But Hangchow Is Hangzhou”, in The Washington Post[4], →ISSN, →OCLC, archived from the original on 29 December 2023[5]:
      The old spelling system, named the Wade-Giles system after the two 19th century Britons who developed it, made correct pronunciation unnecessarily difficult. It used apostrophes to distinguish aspirated consonants, such as p'ai pronounced with a "p" sound, from unaspirated, such as pai pronounced with a "b" sound. The new Pinyin system eliminates this distinction, which most newspapers ignored anyway. "Beijing" is much closer to the Chinese pronunciation that "Peking", and Vice Premier "Deng" is better rendering than "Teng." But the new system uses some letters in ways that still confuse English speakers. Thers difficult letters are: "c" which should be prounced in this system like the "ts" in "its"; "q" which should be pronounced like the "ch" in "cheek"; "x" which should be pronounced like the "sh" in "she"; and "zh" which should be pronounced like the "j" in "jump".
      The system invented by Sir Thomas Wade, diplomat and Cambridge University professor, about 1860 and developed by Herbert Giles, also a Cambridge professor, is only the best known of several in use over the past 100 years. Some of the most familiar Chinese place names, such as Peking and Canton, are derived only partially, or not at all, from Wade-Giles.
    • 2016, Karen Steffen Chung, “Wade–Giles Romanization System”, in The Routledge Encyclopedia of the Chinese Language, Taylor & Francis, →ISBN, →OCLC:
      Most influential in further establishing the Romanization scheme first set down by Wade was Giles' 1,415-page A Chinese–English Dictionary, which became a standard reference work soon after its release in 1912. The orthography it employed came to be known as the Wade–Giles system of Romanization, and it was soon adopted by English-language academia, and then by the media and general public.
      In fact Giles' Romanization was only very slightly modified from Wade's – the differences are miniscule. Tones continued to be marked in the Wade–Giles system with numeral superscripts, with the neutral tone either being unmarked, or occasionally given the number '0' or '5'.
    • 2017 January 22, Martin Boyle, “Pinyin and a Taiwanese identity”, in Taipei Times[6], →ISSN, →OCLC, archived from the original on 21 January 2017, Editorials, page 6‎[7]:
      No longer does the ROC claim to be China and the writing systems that Taiwan uses for Chinese have changed to reflect this. Taiwan has held on to traditional characters and bopomofo, resolutely resisted simplified characters, mostly retained Wade-Giles and Yale for personal, political and geographical names in Taiwan, but grudgingly accepted the linguistic arguments for Hanyu pinyin signage in public spaces.
    • 2018 March 12, Sophie Zhou, “The T/Daos shall meet: The failure and success of English transliterations of Mandarin Chinese”, in English Today[8], volume 35, number 1, →DOI, →ISSN, →OCLC:
      The two most prominent systems of transliterations of Mandarin are Wade-Giles and Pinyin. Wade-Giles, established in the 19th century (Kaske,2008) is named after Herbert Allen Giles[...]
    • 2020 April 24, Kristen Schott, “The Language of Self-Discovery: On Jessica J. Lee’s “Two Trees Make a Forest””, in Los Angeles Review of Books[9], archived from the original on 07 July 2020:
      Lee starts her memoir with a recollection of hiking with her mother shortly after Gong, the author’s grandfather, has passed away, and the narrative veers into a discussion of translation. Lee explains that she uses traditional Chinese characters, and both the Wade-Giles romanization system and Hanyu Pinyin to transliterate certain details from Mandarin. By extent, this exemplifies the language variations not only in Taiwan but also in her own family. Wade-Giles, she notes, is employed by her elders, though she has been taught Hanyu Pinyin. “The gaps that bind us span more than the distances between words,” she writes.
    • 2023 February 10, Michael Auslin, “‘Fragile Cargo’ Review: The Long Rescue of China’s Past”, in Wall Street Journal[10], archived from the original on 05 March 2023:
      Aside from some stylistic unevenness (Mr. Brookes uses both modern pinyin and older Wade-Giles transliterations, when lay readers probably would find it easier to read only the latter, given its continued familiarity for historic places and names) and a few lapses into therapeutic editorializing, “Fragile Cargo” is a fascinating and inspiring story of triumph and the tragedy of war.
    • For more quotations using this term, see Citations:Wade-Giles.

Usage notes edit

This term is very often used attributively, as in Wade–Giles romanization, Wade–Giles spelling, Wade–Giles system, Wade–Giles transcription, Wade–Giles transliteration, Wade–Giles version, and so on. Some of these terms refer to the system itself; others refer to the transcriptions of specific words under this system; most can be used both ways. While the shorter form "Wade" should technically only refer to the versions of the system prior to Giles's contributions, it was in practice often used as a synonym for the final version.

Synonyms edit

Translations edit

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Wade-Giles”, in Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: Merriam-Webster, 1996–present. "First Known Use of Wade-Giles 1943, in the meaning defined above"

Further reading edit

Portuguese edit

Proper noun edit

Wade-Giles m

  1. Wade-Giles (transcription system for Mandarin)