last updated 7 Aug 2019
There are several different translations of Chinese names to the roman alphabet (Romanization or Chinese Phonetic Alphabet). Romanized names are designed to sound similar to the Chinese pronunciation. It allows entering on a standard keyboard and gives a consistent alphabetizing method
Wade-Giles (1912) was
developed by Thomas Francis Wade, a British ambassador in China and Chinese scholar who was the first professor of Chinese at Cambridge University. It is based on Mandarin.
Pinyin (1950) was developed in the 1950s by many linguists, including Zhou Youguang
It is based on the pronunciation of the Beijing dialect of Mandarin Chinese.
In 1978 mainland China officially adopted Pinyin.
The U.S. Library of Congress adopted Pinyin in 1999.
Taiwan stuck with Wade-Giles.
Taiwanese (Hō-ló-oē) whose century-old Pe̍h-ōe-jī (POJ) was developed by Presbyterian missionaries in Taiwan in the 19th century, is similar to Wade-Giles.
When people immigrate to the U.S. there is no standard Romanization required.
Family Names in this Genealogy:
Note: The character is shown in utf-8 code (A system for coding fonts in computers) then as a graphic image in ( ) for browsers which don't handle utf-8.
簡 () is translated to
Jiân/Jean in the Pinyin system and Chien in the Wade-Giles system.
See Examples of variations in Romanization - New World Encyclopedia
李 () is translated to Li in
Pinyin and Wade-Giles, but is often spelled as Lee in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Korea.
李 is the most common name in the world.
王 () Wang is the same in Pinyin and Wade-Giles
王 is the second common name in the world.
AncestorsChinese surname - New World Encyclopedia
New Chinese Romanization Guidelines | Library of Congress (LOC), 1999, LOC "Is moving to adopt the pinyin system of romanization of Chinese"
Chinese language romanization in Taiwan - Wikipedia
Chinese Character Sets
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