Information and documentation -- Romanization of Chinese

ISO 7098:2015 explains the principles of the Romanization of Modern Chinese Putonghua (Mandarin Chinese), the official language of the People's Republic of China as defined in the Directives for the Promotion of Putonghua, promulgated on 1956-02-06 by the State Council of China. This International Standard can be applied in documentation of bibliographies, catalogues, indices, toponymic lists, etc.

Information et documentation -- Romanisation du chinois

Informatika in dokumentacija - Latinični zapis kitajščine

Ta mednarodni standard razlaga načela latiničnega zapisa sodobne kitajščine putonghua
(mandarinščina), uradnega jezika Ljudske republike Kitajske, kot določajo direktive za promocijo kitajščine putonghua, ki jih je državni svet Kitajske sprejel 6. 2. 1956. Ta mednarodni standard se lahko uporablja v bibliografijah, katalogih, indeksih, seznamih toponimov itd.

General Information

Status
Published
Publication Date
09-Dec-2015
Current Stage
9093 - International Standard confirmed
Start Date
16-Mar-2021

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INTERNATIONAL ISO
STANDARD 7098
Third edition
2015-12-15
Information and documentation —
Romanization of Chinese
Information et documentation — Romanisation du chinois
Reference number
ISO 7098:2015(E)
ISO 2015
---------------------- Page: 1 ----------------------
ISO 7098:2015(E)
COPYRIGHT PROTECTED DOCUMENT
© ISO 2015, Published in Switzerland

All rights reserved. Unless otherwise specified, no part of this publication may be reproduced or utilized otherwise in any form

or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, or posting on the internet or an intranet, without prior

written permission. Permission can be requested from either ISO at the address below or ISO’s member body in the country of

the requester.
ISO copyright office
Ch. de Blandonnet 8 • CP 401
CH-1214 Vernier, Geneva, Switzerland
Tel. +41 22 749 01 11
Fax +41 22 749 09 47
copyright@iso.org
www.iso.org
ii © ISO 2015 – All rights reserved
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ISO 7098:2015(E)
Contents Page

Foreword ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................iv

Introduction ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................v

1 Scope ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 1

2 Terms and definitions ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 1

3 General principles of conversion of writing systems ..................................................................................................... 2

4 Principles for converting ideophonographic characters ............................................................................................ 3

5 Pinyin................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 4

6 Syllabic forms ........................................................................................................................................................................................................... 4

7 Tones ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 5

8 Punctuation................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 7

9 Numerals ....................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 7

10 Chinese Pinyin Orthography .................................................................................................................................................................... 7

11 Transcription rules for named entities ........................................................................................................................................ 8

12 Automatic transcription for named entities .........................................................................................................................12

12.1 Fully automatic syllable transcription .............................................................................................................................12

12.2 Rule-based and semi-automatic word transcription ..........................................................................................12

Annex A (normative) Table of Chinese syllable forms ....................................................................................................................14

Annex B (normative) Table of hexadecimal codes of Chinese vowels with tones ...............................................16

Annex C (normative) Ambiguity index for Chinese syllables ...................................................................................................17

Bibliography .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................18

© ISO 2015 – All rights reserved iii
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ISO 7098:2015(E)
Foreword

ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) is a worldwide federation of national standards

bodies (ISO member bodies). The work of preparing International Standards is normally carried out

through ISO technical committees. Each member body interested in a subject for which a technical

committee has been established has the right to be represented on that committee. International

organizations, governmental and non-governmental, in liaison with ISO, also take part in the work.

ISO collaborates closely with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) on all matters of

electrotechnical standardization.

The procedures used to develop this document and those intended for its further maintenance are

described in the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 1. In particular the different approval criteria needed for the

different types of ISO documents should be noted. This document was drafted in accordance with the

editorial rules of the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2 (see www.iso.org/directives).

Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements of this document may be the subject of

patent rights. ISO shall not be held responsible for identifying any or all such patent rights. Details of

any patent rights identified during the development of the document will be in the Introduction and/or

on the ISO list of patent declarations received (see www.iso.org/patents).

Any trade name used in this document is information given for the convenience of users and does not

constitute an endorsement.

For an explanation on the meaning of ISO specific terms and expressions related to conformity

assessment, as well as information about ISO’s adherence to the WTO principles in the Technical

Barriers to Trade (TBT) see the following URL: Foreword - Supplementary information

The committee responsible for this document is ISO/TC 46, Information and documentation.

This third edition cancels and replaces the second edition (ISO 7098:1991), which has been

technically revised.
Annexes A, B and C form the integral parts of this International Standard.
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ISO 7098:2015(E)
Introduction

The first edition of ISO 7098 was published in 1982 after ISO/TC 46 recognized the need for an

International Standard specifying the Chinese phonetic alphabet. The second edition was published in

1991.

This third edition is in response to new application needs, for instance to reflect current Chinese

romanization practice and new developments in China and the rest of the world.
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INTERNATIONAL STANDARD ISO 7098:2015(E)
Information and documentation — Romanization of Chinese
1 Scope

This International Standard explains the principles of the Romanization of Modern Chinese Putonghua

(Mandarin Chinese), the official language of the People’s Republic of China as defined in the Directives for

the Promotion of Putonghua, promulgated on 1956-02-06 by the State Council of China. This International

Standard can be applied in documentation of bibliographies, catalogues, indices, toponymic lists, etc.

2 Terms and definitions
For the purposes of this document, the following terms and definitions apply.
2.1
character

element of a writing system, whether or not alphabetical, that represents a phoneme, a syllable, a word

or even prosodic characteristics of the language, by using graphical symbols (letters, diacritical marks,

syllabic signs, punctuation marks, prosodic accents, etc.) or a combination of these signs (a letter having

an accent or a diacritical mark)
EXAMPLE a, B, ω or Γ are, therefore, characters as well as basic letters.
2.2
alphabets
ordered character set, the order of which has been agreed upon
2.3
alphabetical characters
character set that contains letters (2.8)
2.4
alphanumeric characters
character set that contains both letters (2.8) and digits
2.5
graphic character

character that has a visual representation and is normally produced by writing, printing or displaying

2.6
ideophonographical character

graphic character (2.6) that represents an object or a concept and is associated with a sound element in

a natural language

EXAMPLE Chinese hanzi 鹤(crane), Japanese kanji 戦(war) and Korean hanja 册(book) are

ideophonographical characters.
2.7
Chinese characters
ideophonographical character set for recording the Chinese language

Note 1 to entry: Chinese characters (hanzi) are also used in the writing systems of other languages.

2.8
letter

graphic character (2.6) that, when appearing alone or combined with others, is primarily used to

represent a sound element of a spoken language
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ISO 7098:2015(E)
2.9
word segmentation
process of splitting text into a sequence of word segmentation unit
[SOURCE: ISO 24614-1:2010, 2.25]
3 General principles of conversion of writing systems

3.1 The words in a language, which are written according to a given script (the converted system),

sometimes have to be rendered according to a different system (the conversion system), normally used

for a different language.

This operation is often performed for historical or geographical texts, cartographical documents and,

in particular, for bibliographical work in every case where it is necessary to write words supplied in

various alphabets in a manner that allows intercalation with other words in a single alphabet so as

to enable a uniform alphabetization to be made in bibliographies, catalogues, indices, toponymic lists,

etc. It is indispensable in that it permits the univocal transmission of a written message between two

countries using different writing systems or exchanging a message, the writing of which is different

from their own. It, thereby, permits transmission by manual as well as mechanical or electronic means.

The two basic methods of conversion of a system of writing are transliteration and transcription.

3.2 Transliteration is the operation which consists of representing the characters of an entirely

alphabetical character or alphanumeric character system of writing by the characters of the

conversion alphabet.

In principle, this conversion should be made character by character: each character of the converted

alphabet is rendered by one character, and one only of the conversion alphabet, to ensure the complete

and unambiguous reversibility of the conversion alphabet into the converted alphabet.

When the number of characters used in the conversion system is smaller than the number of characters

of the converted system, it is necessary to use digraphs or diacritical marks. In this case, one shall avoid

as far as possible arbitrary choices and the use of purely conventional marks and try to maintain a

certain phonetic logic in order to give the system a wide acceptance.

However, it shall be accepted that the graphism obtained may not always be correctly pronounced

according to the phonetic habits of the language (or of all the languages) which usually use(s) the

conversion alphabet. On the other hand, this graphism shall be such that the reader who knows the

converted language may mentally restore unequivocally the original graphism and, thus, pronounce

it correctly.

3.3 Retransliteration is the operation which consists of converting the characters of a conversion

alphabet to those of the converted alphabet.

This operation is the exact opposite of transliteration; it is carried out by applying the rules of a system

of transliteration in reverse order so as to reconstitute the transliterated word to its original form.

3.4 Transcription is the operation which consists of representing the characters of a language, whatever

the original system of writing, by the phonetic system of letters or signs of the conversion language.

A transcription system is of necessity based on the orthographical conventions of a conversion language

and its alphabet. The users of a transcription system shall, therefore, have a knowledge of the conversion

language to be able to pronounce the characters correctly. Transcription is not strictly reversible.

Transcription may be used for the conversion of all writing systems. It is the only method that can

be used for systems that are not entirely alphabetical and for all ideophonographic writing systems

(Chinese, Japanese, etc.).
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ISO 7098:2015(E)

3.5 Romanization is the conversion of non-Latin writing systems to the Latin alphabet by means of

transliteration or transcription.

To carry out Romanization, it is possible to use either transliteration or transcription or a combination

of these two methods, according to the nature of the converted system.

3.6 A conversion system proposed for international use may call for compromise and the sacrifice of

certain national customs.

It is, therefore, necessary for each national community of users to accept concessions, fully abstaining

in every case from imposing as a matter of course solutions that are actually justified only by national

practice (for example, regarding pronunciation, orthography, etc.). However, these concessions would

obviously not relate to the use that a country makes of its national writing system: when this national

system is not converted, the characters constituting it shall be accepted in the form in which they are

written in the national language.

When a country uses two systems univocally, converting one into the other to write its own language,

the system of transliteration thus implemented shall be taken a priori as a basis for the international

standardized system, as far as it is compatible with the other principles mentioned hereafter.

3.7 Where necessary, the conversion systems should specify an equivalent for each character, not only

the letters but also the punctuation marks, numbers, etc.

They should similarly take into account the arrangement of the sequence of characters that make up the

text, for example, the direction of the script, and specify the way of distinguishing words and of using

separation signs and capital letters, following as closely as possible the customs of the language(s)

which use the converted writing system.
4 Principles for converting ideophonographic characters

4.1 The structure of ideophonographic characters, where conveyance of meaning is of greater

importance than that of pronunciation, entails the existence of a large number of characters (more than

60 000 in the case of Chinese), thus, making sign by sign transliteration impossible and resulting in the

need to devise a system of transcription.

Each character shall, therefore, be transcribed by one or more Latin letters standing for the

pronunciation or pronunciations of the character in question. This means that the transcriber shall be

familiar with the reading or readings of the text to be transcribed.

4.2 In as much as the transcription of ideophonographic characters is merely a matter of phonetic

notation in Latin letters of characters of the languages which use them, identical characters will require

different transcriptions depending on whether they are found in Chinese, Japanese or Korean texts.

4.3 On the other hand, the same character within the same language shall always be transcribed in the

same way regardless of the type of graphic representation utilized (traditional form or simplified form of

a Chinese character), except where a single character has more than one pronunciation.

4.4 Reversibility of Romanization systems of ideophonographic characters is impossible due to the

following factors:

— the disparity in pronunciation of a given character in two different languages or within a single

language;
— the high frequency of homophones within the same language (see Annex C);
— the possible coexistence of several writing systems within a given text.
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ISO 7098:2015(E)

4.5 In the case of those languages which use, even within the same text, more than one kind of script

(for example Kana and Chinese characters in Japanese, Hangul and Chinese characters in Korean), both

the transcription of the ideophonographic characters and the conversion of the other types of characters

(for example Kana/Hangul) should yield a consistent and homogeneous system of Romanization.

4.6 Although, as a rule, spacing between syllables of Chinese is regular, it is usual to transcribe the

different characters (or syllables) forming a single word by linking them together, in order to separate

the different words by the space.

The principles and rules for formation of words (orthography) shall be standardized to the language

concerned.

4.7 Although there are no capital letters in ideophonographic characters, it is usual when romanizing

to capitalize some words, following the national uses.
5 Pinyin

The Scheme of the Chinese Phonetic Alphabet (Hanyu Pinyin Fang’an or Pinyin Fang’an), which was

officially adopted on 1958-02-11 by the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China,

is used to transcribe Chinese. The transcriber writes down the pronunciation of Chinese characters

according to their readings in Standard Chinese (Putonghua).
6 Syllabic forms

6.1 Each Chinese character generally represents one syllable. One word may consist of one or more

syllables.
6.2 A Chinese syllable can be divided into two parts: initial and final.
6.2.1 Initial
— Bilabial: b p m;
— Labio-dental: f;
— Dorso-prepalatal: d t n l;
— Dorso-velar: g k h;
— Apico-alveolar: z c s;
— Apico-postalveolar: zh ch sh r;
— Dorso-palatal: j q x;
— Zero initial: nothing before the far left of the final.
6.2.2 Final

— Articulation A: Articulation with a, o, e as medial or main vowel. For example, a, o, e, ei, ao, ou, an,

ang, en, eng, ong, er, and with i in zi, ci, si, zhi, chi, shi, ri as main vowel.

— Articulation B: Articulation with u as medial or main vowel. For example, u, ua, uo, uai, ui, uan,

uang, un, ueng.

— Articulation C: Articulation with i as medial or main vowel. For example, i, ia, ie, iao, iu, ian, iang,

in, ing, iong.
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ISO 7098:2015(E)

— Articulation D: Articulation with ü as medial or main vowel. For example, ü, üe, üan, ün. Hanyu

Pinyin simplifies the spellings of syllables with ü by using the u form instead in cases where no

ambiguity could result.
6.3 Table of syllabic forms

The table of Chinese syllabic forms is given in Annex A. This table covers all syllables of Chinese

Putonghua except syllable ê and retroflexion syllable.
6.4 Reference dictionaries
Among reference books of modern Chinese are the following dictionaries.
— 中国社会科学院语言研究所词典编辑室编《. 现代汉语词典》(第6版). 北京: 商务印书馆, 2012.

Dictionary Compilation Division, Institute of Linguistics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, The

Contemporary Chinese Dictionary (6 Edition). Beijing: The Commercial Press, 2012.

This dictionary gives the transcriptions in Pinyin of more than 69 000 words.
— 《现代汉语词典(汉英双语)》. 北京: 外语教学与研究出版社, 2002.

The Contemporary Chinese Dictionary (Chinese-English). Beijing: Foreign Language Teaching and

Research Press, 2002.
This dictionary includes equivalent English explanations for Chinese words.
— 德范克主编. 《ABC 汉英大词典》. 夏威夷: 夏威夷大学出版社, 2003.

John DeFrancis. ABC Chinese-English Comprehensive Dictionary. Hawai’i: University of Hawai’i Press,

2003.

This dictionary includes 71 344 words, arranged in Pinyin alphabet order. It is easy to check by Pinyin.

— 《新华字典》(第11版). 北京: 商务印书馆,2011.
Xinhua Zidian (11 Edition). Beijing: The Commercial Press, 2011.

This dictionary includes the transcriptions in Pinyin of more than 10 000 characters.

These dictionaries can be complemented by the following list of Chinese characters.

— 中华人民共和国国务院《. 通用规范汉字表》. 北京:语文出版社, 2013.

State Council of People’s Republic of China. List of Standard Chinese Characters for General Use.

Beijing: Language and Culture Press, 2013.

This list includes 8 105 commonly-used Chinese characters. In addition, it has a concordance table

of simplified characters and non-simplified characters.
7 Tones
7.1 Chinese is a tonal language.

This means that the tone affects meaning. The same sound pronounced in different tones can mean

very different concepts.
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ISO 7098:2015(E)

Each syllable may have one of four tones or may be toneless. The four tones are marked by the following

diacritic signs (every diacritic sign has a special hexadecimal code):
— 1 tone (high and level tone) ˉ (hex: 0304);
— 2 tone (rising tone) ˊ (hex: 0301);
— 3 tone (falling-rising tone) ˇ (hex: 030C);
— 4 tone (falling tone) ˋ (hex: 0300).
Here is a graphical representation of the four tones.
Figure 1 — Graphical representation of the four tones of Putonghua (superposed)
1 tone
1st tone nd
2 tone
2nd tone
4 tone4th tone
3rd tone
st nd rd th
a) 1 tone b) 2 tone c) 3 tone d) 4 tone
Figure 2 — Graphical representation of the four tones of Putonghua (separate)

7.2 In the table of Chinese syllabic forms (see Annex A), the syllables do not carry tone marks. But in

the text, it is usual to indicate the tone of a syllable by placing the diacritic sign on a vowel.

EXAMPLE ē, é, ě, è.

The diacritic sign for tone is placed on the main vowel in the final part of a syllable.

EXAMPLE /béi/, /què/.

In the final part /éi/ of syllable /béi/, /é/ is the main vowel; and in the final part /uè/ of syllable /què/,

/è/ is the main vowel. Therefore, the tone sign is placed on /é/ and /è/, accordingly.

In this case, Latin script letters have to be extended to indicate the Chinese vowels with different tones.

The hexadecimal codes of these extended Latin script letters are given in Annex B.

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ISO 7098:2015(E)
7.3 Neutral tone (atony) is indicated by the lack of a diacritic sign.

7.4 Changes of tone induced by the tone of the next syllable in a word are not shown.

7.5 For practical or technical reason, tones can also be expressed by numbers or letters.

For example, Arabic numbers 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 usually express respectively 1st tone, 2nd tone, 3rd tone,

4th tone and atony of Chinese.

7.6 Tone marks may be written as a learning tool; however, they can be omitted for convenience.

8 Punctuation

Punctuation marks similar to those existing in the sets of Latin characters are transcribed as their

Latin counterparts. Chinese specific punctuation marks are transcribed as follows.

Table 1 — Romanization of Chinese punctuation marks
Chinese mark Latin mark Note
° hex: 3002 . hex: 002E full stop
special comma used to set off a short
ˋ hex: 3001 , hex: 002C
pause in the series
• hex: 2022 Space hex: 0020 disconnect mark
…… hex: 2026 2026 … hex: 2026 horizontal ellipsis
9 Numerals

Numerals written in Chinese characters are transcribed in Pinyin. Numerals written in Arabic or

Roman characters are kept as such.
10 Chinese Pinyin Orthography
10.1 Most of commonly used Chinese words are polysyllabic words.

In international documentation and information, it is reasonable to link different Pinyin monosyllables

to form a polysyllabic Chinese word (see Annex C).

10.2 Before the Middle Age, the Greeks and Romans always knew what a word was, and they were able

to identify words even if the texts were written without spaces between neighbouring words at that time.

Afterwards, the spaces between words were invented in Europe. The use of spaces implies the concept

of word, it has become the standard for all modes of writing alphabetical languages to insert spaces

between words, and the publishers and librarians in the world apply this common standard.

10.3 In Chinese Pinyin, it is also necessary to use the spaces to separate words, not syllables.

The word segmentation is a very good tradition of world civilization. In the Romanization of Chinese, it

is beneficial to respect this good tradition.
10.4 In Chinese Pinyin, monosyllable is ambiguous.

One syllable can represent several Chinese characters. Therefore, Pinyin syllable is ambiguous in

representation of Chinese characters. In Chinese Pinyin, the ambiguity index of monosyllables is big.

In average, one Chinese syllable has to represent more than 20 Chinese characters for general use.

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ISO 7098:2015(E)

However, if different Chinese monosyllables are linked to form the polysyllabic Chinese word, the

ambiguity index of Pinyin syllable will be reduced. In order to disambiguate Pinyin syllables, it is

necessary to link different monosyllables to form a polysyllabic Chinese word.

10.5 The further description of the ambiguity index for Chinese syllables is given in Annex C.

10.6 Basic Rules for Chinese Pinyin Orthography (GB/T 16159-2012, Chinese Standard, 2012) contains

rules for separating or joining syllables to form a word: rules for spelling common words (nouns, verbs,

adjectives, pronouns, etc.), rules for spelling fused phrase expressions, rules for spelling personal names

and place names, rules for representing tones, rules for hyphenation at the end of line, etc.

10.7 At present, in Chinese linguistics, there is no clear common definition of a Chinese word yet, so it

is difficult to decide the boundary (dividing line) of a common Chinese word sometime, and, of course, it

poses difficulty to link the monosyllables to form a common polysyllabic Chinese word.

However, the boundary of a Chinese proper noun is relatively clear. It is not so difficult to link different

monosyllables to form a Chinese polysyllabic proper noun (the named entity as personal name,

geographic name, language name, ethnic name, tribal name, religion name, etc.), because the boundary

of a Chinese polysyllabic named entity is easy to decide according to the standards or regulations of

Chinese. In international documentation and information, it is necessary and possible to link different

Pinyin monosyllables to form a Chinese polysyllabic named entity in order to avoid ambiguity.

11 Transcription rules for named entities

11.1 Chinese personal names are to be written separately with the surname first, followed by the given

name written as one word, with the initial letters of both capitalized.
EXAMPLE 1 Li Hua (李华).
EXAMPLE 2 Wang Jianguo (王建国).
The traditional compound surnames are to be written together.
EXAMPLE 3 Zhuge Kongming (诸葛孔明).

The two-character or multi-character double surnames without traditional permanence are to be

written separately with the initial letters of both capitalized.
EXAMPLE 4 Zhang Wang Shufang (张王淑芳).
EXAMPLE 5 Xiang Situ Wenliang (项司徒文良).
EXAMPLE 6 Ouyang Meng Xiang (欧阳孟翔).
The pen names and other aliases are to be treated in the same manner.
EXAMPLE 7 Lu Xun (鲁迅).
EXAMPLE 8 Mao Dun (茅盾).
EXAMPLE 9 Zhang San (张三).
EXAMPLE 10 Wang Pangzi (王胖子).

11.2 A surname, given name or seniority order after the adjuncts “xiao”, “lao”, “da” and “a” is to be

written separately and with the initial letter of the last name capitalized.

Adjuncts such as “xiao”, “lao”, “da” and “a” should not be capitalized unless they appear at the beginning

of a sentence.
EXAMPLE 1 xiao Liu (小刘, younger Liu).
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ISO 7098:2015(E)
EXAMPLE 2 lao Qian (老钱, older Qian).
EXAMPLE 3 da Li (大李, older Li).
EXAMPLE 4 a Gui (阿贵, Mr. Gui).

If the character “xiao”, “lao”, “da” and “a” is part of a given name, follow the same practice for given names.

EXAMPLE 5 Wang Xiaojuan (王小娟).
EXAMPLE 6 Zhao Laoshan (赵老山).
EXAMPLE 7 Li Daqin (李大勤).
EXAMPLE 8 Lou Ashu (娄阿鼠).

11.3 Certain Chinese personal names and titles have already fused traditionally and are written as one

word with the initial letter capitalized.
EXAMPLE 1 Kongzi (孔子, Master Confucius).
EXAMPLE 2 Baogong (包公, Duke Bao).
EXAMPLE 3 Xishi (西施,acme of beauty, 5 cent. B.C.).

11.4 In Chinese place names, a geographical proper name should be separated from the name of

jurisdiction or the geographical feature name.

The multi-character geographical proper name, the name of jurisdiction or the geographical feature name

should be separately written together as one word. The first letters of each element should be capitalized.

EXAMPLE 1 Beijing Shi (北京市, Beijing Municipality).
EXAMPLE 2 Hebei Sheng (河北省, Hebei Province).
EXAMPLE 3 Xikou Zhen (溪口镇, Xikou Town).
EXAMPLE 4 Shenzhen Tequ (深圳特区, Shenzhen Special E
...

SLOVENSKI STANDARD
SIST ISO 7098:2017
01-februar-2017
,QIRUPDWLNDLQGRNXPHQWDFLMD/DWLQLþQL]DSLVNLWDMãþLQH
Information and documentation -- Romanization of Chinese
Information et documentation -- Romanisation du chinois
Ta slovenski standard je istoveten z: ISO 7098:2015
ICS:
01.140.10 3LVDQMHLQSUHþUNRYDQMH Writing and transliteration
SIST ISO 7098:2017 en

2003-01.Slovenski inštitut za standardizacijo. Razmnoževanje celote ali delov tega standarda ni dovoljeno.

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SIST ISO 7098:2017
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SIST ISO 7098:2017
INTERNATIONAL ISO
STANDARD 7098
Third edition
2015-12-15
Information and documentation —
Romanization of Chinese
Information et documentation — Romanisation du chinois
Reference number
ISO 7098:2015(E)
ISO 2015
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SIST ISO 7098:2017
ISO 7098:2015(E)
COPYRIGHT PROTECTED DOCUMENT
© ISO 2015, Published in Switzerland

All rights reserved. Unless otherwise specified, no part of this publication may be reproduced or utilized otherwise in any form

or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, or posting on the internet or an intranet, without prior

written permission. Permission can be requested from either ISO at the address below or ISO’s member body in the country of

the requester.
ISO copyright office
Ch. de Blandonnet 8 • CP 401
CH-1214 Vernier, Geneva, Switzerland
Tel. +41 22 749 01 11
Fax +41 22 749 09 47
copyright@iso.org
www.iso.org
ii © ISO 2015 – All rights reserved
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SIST ISO 7098:2017
ISO 7098:2015(E)
Contents Page

Foreword ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................iv

Introduction ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................v

1 Scope ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 1

2 Terms and definitions ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 1

3 General principles of conversion of writing systems ..................................................................................................... 2

4 Principles for converting ideophonographic characters ............................................................................................ 3

5 Pinyin................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 4

6 Syllabic forms ........................................................................................................................................................................................................... 4

7 Tones ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 5

8 Punctuation................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 7

9 Numerals ....................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 7

10 Chinese Pinyin Orthography .................................................................................................................................................................... 7

11 Transcription rules for named entities ........................................................................................................................................ 8

12 Automatic transcription for named entities .........................................................................................................................12

12.1 Fully automatic syllable transcription .............................................................................................................................12

12.2 Rule-based and semi-automatic word transcription ..........................................................................................12

Annex A (normative) Table of Chinese syllable forms ....................................................................................................................14

Annex B (normative) Table of hexadecimal codes of Chinese vowels with tones ...............................................16

Annex C (normative) Ambiguity index for Chinese syllables ...................................................................................................17

Bibliography .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................18

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Foreword

ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) is a worldwide federation of national standards

bodies (ISO member bodies). The work of preparing International Standards is normally carried out

through ISO technical committees. Each member body interested in a subject for which a technical

committee has been established has the right to be represented on that committee. International

organizations, governmental and non-governmental, in liaison with ISO, also take part in the work.

ISO collaborates closely with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) on all matters of

electrotechnical standardization.

The procedures used to develop this document and those intended for its further maintenance are

described in the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 1. In particular the different approval criteria needed for the

different types of ISO documents should be noted. This document was drafted in accordance with the

editorial rules of the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2 (see www.iso.org/directives).

Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements of this document may be the subject of

patent rights. ISO shall not be held responsible for identifying any or all such patent rights. Details of

any patent rights identified during the development of the document will be in the Introduction and/or

on the ISO list of patent declarations received (see www.iso.org/patents).

Any trade name used in this document is information given for the convenience of users and does not

constitute an endorsement.

For an explanation on the meaning of ISO specific terms and expressions related to conformity

assessment, as well as information about ISO’s adherence to the WTO principles in the Technical

Barriers to Trade (TBT) see the following URL: Foreword - Supplementary information

The committee responsible for this document is ISO/TC 46, Information and documentation.

This third edition cancels and replaces the second edition (ISO 7098:1991), which has been

technically revised.
Annexes A, B and C form the integral parts of this International Standard.
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Introduction

The first edition of ISO 7098 was published in 1982 after ISO/TC 46 recognized the need for an

International Standard specifying the Chinese phonetic alphabet. The second edition was published in

1991.

This third edition is in response to new application needs, for instance to reflect current Chinese

romanization practice and new developments in China and the rest of the world.
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INTERNATIONAL STANDARD ISO 7098:2015(E)
Information and documentation — Romanization of Chinese
1 Scope

This International Standard explains the principles of the Romanization of Modern Chinese Putonghua

(Mandarin Chinese), the official language of the People’s Republic of China as defined in the Directives for

the Promotion of Putonghua, promulgated on 1956-02-06 by the State Council of China. This International

Standard can be applied in documentation of bibliographies, catalogues, indices, toponymic lists, etc.

2 Terms and definitions
For the purposes of this document, the following terms and definitions apply.
2.1
character

element of a writing system, whether or not alphabetical, that represents a phoneme, a syllable, a word

or even prosodic characteristics of the language, by using graphical symbols (letters, diacritical marks,

syllabic signs, punctuation marks, prosodic accents, etc.) or a combination of these signs (a letter having

an accent or a diacritical mark)
EXAMPLE a, B, ω or Γ are, therefore, characters as well as basic letters.
2.2
alphabets
ordered character set, the order of which has been agreed upon
2.3
alphabetical characters
character set that contains letters (2.8)
2.4
alphanumeric characters
character set that contains both letters (2.8) and digits
2.5
graphic character

character that has a visual representation and is normally produced by writing, printing or displaying

2.6
ideophonographical character

graphic character (2.6) that represents an object or a concept and is associated with a sound element in

a natural language

EXAMPLE Chinese hanzi 鹤(crane), Japanese kanji 戦(war) and Korean hanja 册(book) are

ideophonographical characters.
2.7
Chinese characters
ideophonographical character set for recording the Chinese language

Note 1 to entry: Chinese characters (hanzi) are also used in the writing systems of other languages.

2.8
letter

graphic character (2.6) that, when appearing alone or combined with others, is primarily used to

represent a sound element of a spoken language
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2.9
word segmentation
process of splitting text into a sequence of word segmentation unit
[SOURCE: ISO 24614-1:2010, 2.25]
3 General principles of conversion of writing systems

3.1 The words in a language, which are written according to a given script (the converted system),

sometimes have to be rendered according to a different system (the conversion system), normally used

for a different language.

This operation is often performed for historical or geographical texts, cartographical documents and,

in particular, for bibliographical work in every case where it is necessary to write words supplied in

various alphabets in a manner that allows intercalation with other words in a single alphabet so as

to enable a uniform alphabetization to be made in bibliographies, catalogues, indices, toponymic lists,

etc. It is indispensable in that it permits the univocal transmission of a written message between two

countries using different writing systems or exchanging a message, the writing of which is different

from their own. It, thereby, permits transmission by manual as well as mechanical or electronic means.

The two basic methods of conversion of a system of writing are transliteration and transcription.

3.2 Transliteration is the operation which consists of representing the characters of an entirely

alphabetical character or alphanumeric character system of writing by the characters of the

conversion alphabet.

In principle, this conversion should be made character by character: each character of the converted

alphabet is rendered by one character, and one only of the conversion alphabet, to ensure the complete

and unambiguous reversibility of the conversion alphabet into the converted alphabet.

When the number of characters used in the conversion system is smaller than the number of characters

of the converted system, it is necessary to use digraphs or diacritical marks. In this case, one shall avoid

as far as possible arbitrary choices and the use of purely conventional marks and try to maintain a

certain phonetic logic in order to give the system a wide acceptance.

However, it shall be accepted that the graphism obtained may not always be correctly pronounced

according to the phonetic habits of the language (or of all the languages) which usually use(s) the

conversion alphabet. On the other hand, this graphism shall be such that the reader who knows the

converted language may mentally restore unequivocally the original graphism and, thus, pronounce

it correctly.

3.3 Retransliteration is the operation which consists of converting the characters of a conversion

alphabet to those of the converted alphabet.

This operation is the exact opposite of transliteration; it is carried out by applying the rules of a system

of transliteration in reverse order so as to reconstitute the transliterated word to its original form.

3.4 Transcription is the operation which consists of representing the characters of a language, whatever

the original system of writing, by the phonetic system of letters or signs of the conversion language.

A transcription system is of necessity based on the orthographical conventions of a conversion language

and its alphabet. The users of a transcription system shall, therefore, have a knowledge of the conversion

language to be able to pronounce the characters correctly. Transcription is not strictly reversible.

Transcription may be used for the conversion of all writing systems. It is the only method that can

be used for systems that are not entirely alphabetical and for all ideophonographic writing systems

(Chinese, Japanese, etc.).
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3.5 Romanization is the conversion of non-Latin writing systems to the Latin alphabet by means of

transliteration or transcription.

To carry out Romanization, it is possible to use either transliteration or transcription or a combination

of these two methods, according to the nature of the converted system.

3.6 A conversion system proposed for international use may call for compromise and the sacrifice of

certain national customs.

It is, therefore, necessary for each national community of users to accept concessions, fully abstaining

in every case from imposing as a matter of course solutions that are actually justified only by national

practice (for example, regarding pronunciation, orthography, etc.). However, these concessions would

obviously not relate to the use that a country makes of its national writing system: when this national

system is not converted, the characters constituting it shall be accepted in the form in which they are

written in the national language.

When a country uses two systems univocally, converting one into the other to write its own language,

the system of transliteration thus implemented shall be taken a priori as a basis for the international

standardized system, as far as it is compatible with the other principles mentioned hereafter.

3.7 Where necessary, the conversion systems should specify an equivalent for each character, not only

the letters but also the punctuation marks, numbers, etc.

They should similarly take into account the arrangement of the sequence of characters that make up the

text, for example, the direction of the script, and specify the way of distinguishing words and of using

separation signs and capital letters, following as closely as possible the customs of the language(s)

which use the converted writing system.
4 Principles for converting ideophonographic characters

4.1 The structure of ideophonographic characters, where conveyance of meaning is of greater

importance than that of pronunciation, entails the existence of a large number of characters (more than

60 000 in the case of Chinese), thus, making sign by sign transliteration impossible and resulting in the

need to devise a system of transcription.

Each character shall, therefore, be transcribed by one or more Latin letters standing for the

pronunciation or pronunciations of the character in question. This means that the transcriber shall be

familiar with the reading or readings of the text to be transcribed.

4.2 In as much as the transcription of ideophonographic characters is merely a matter of phonetic

notation in Latin letters of characters of the languages which use them, identical characters will require

different transcriptions depending on whether they are found in Chinese, Japanese or Korean texts.

4.3 On the other hand, the same character within the same language shall always be transcribed in the

same way regardless of the type of graphic representation utilized (traditional form or simplified form of

a Chinese character), except where a single character has more than one pronunciation.

4.4 Reversibility of Romanization systems of ideophonographic characters is impossible due to the

following factors:

— the disparity in pronunciation of a given character in two different languages or within a single

language;
— the high frequency of homophones within the same language (see Annex C);
— the possible coexistence of several writing systems within a given text.
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4.5 In the case of those languages which use, even within the same text, more than one kind of script

(for example Kana and Chinese characters in Japanese, Hangul and Chinese characters in Korean), both

the transcription of the ideophonographic characters and the conversion of the other types of characters

(for example Kana/Hangul) should yield a consistent and homogeneous system of Romanization.

4.6 Although, as a rule, spacing between syllables of Chinese is regular, it is usual to transcribe the

different characters (or syllables) forming a single word by linking them together, in order to separate

the different words by the space.

The principles and rules for formation of words (orthography) shall be standardized to the language

concerned.

4.7 Although there are no capital letters in ideophonographic characters, it is usual when romanizing

to capitalize some words, following the national uses.
5 Pinyin

The Scheme of the Chinese Phonetic Alphabet (Hanyu Pinyin Fang’an or Pinyin Fang’an), which was

officially adopted on 1958-02-11 by the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China,

is used to transcribe Chinese. The transcriber writes down the pronunciation of Chinese characters

according to their readings in Standard Chinese (Putonghua).
6 Syllabic forms

6.1 Each Chinese character generally represents one syllable. One word may consist of one or more

syllables.
6.2 A Chinese syllable can be divided into two parts: initial and final.
6.2.1 Initial
— Bilabial: b p m;
— Labio-dental: f;
— Dorso-prepalatal: d t n l;
— Dorso-velar: g k h;
— Apico-alveolar: z c s;
— Apico-postalveolar: zh ch sh r;
— Dorso-palatal: j q x;
— Zero initial: nothing before the far left of the final.
6.2.2 Final

— Articulation A: Articulation with a, o, e as medial or main vowel. For example, a, o, e, ei, ao, ou, an,

ang, en, eng, ong, er, and with i in zi, ci, si, zhi, chi, shi, ri as main vowel.

— Articulation B: Articulation with u as medial or main vowel. For example, u, ua, uo, uai, ui, uan,

uang, un, ueng.

— Articulation C: Articulation with i as medial or main vowel. For example, i, ia, ie, iao, iu, ian, iang,

in, ing, iong.
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— Articulation D: Articulation with ü as medial or main vowel. For example, ü, üe, üan, ün. Hanyu

Pinyin simplifies the spellings of syllables with ü by using the u form instead in cases where no

ambiguity could result.
6.3 Table of syllabic forms

The table of Chinese syllabic forms is given in Annex A. This table covers all syllables of Chinese

Putonghua except syllable ê and retroflexion syllable.
6.4 Reference dictionaries
Among reference books of modern Chinese are the following dictionaries.
— 中国社会科学院语言研究所词典编辑室编《. 现代汉语词典》(第6版). 北京: 商务印书馆, 2012.

Dictionary Compilation Division, Institute of Linguistics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, The

Contemporary Chinese Dictionary (6 Edition). Beijing: The Commercial Press, 2012.

This dictionary gives the transcriptions in Pinyin of more than 69 000 words.
— 《现代汉语词典(汉英双语)》. 北京: 外语教学与研究出版社, 2002.

The Contemporary Chinese Dictionary (Chinese-English). Beijing: Foreign Language Teaching and

Research Press, 2002.
This dictionary includes equivalent English explanations for Chinese words.
— 德范克主编. 《ABC 汉英大词典》. 夏威夷: 夏威夷大学出版社, 2003.

John DeFrancis. ABC Chinese-English Comprehensive Dictionary. Hawai’i: University of Hawai’i Press,

2003.

This dictionary includes 71 344 words, arranged in Pinyin alphabet order. It is easy to check by Pinyin.

— 《新华字典》(第11版). 北京: 商务印书馆,2011.
Xinhua Zidian (11 Edition). Beijing: The Commercial Press, 2011.

This dictionary includes the transcriptions in Pinyin of more than 10 000 characters.

These dictionaries can be complemented by the following list of Chinese characters.

— 中华人民共和国国务院《. 通用规范汉字表》. 北京:语文出版社, 2013.

State Council of People’s Republic of China. List of Standard Chinese Characters for General Use.

Beijing: Language and Culture Press, 2013.

This list includes 8 105 commonly-used Chinese characters. In addition, it has a concordance table

of simplified characters and non-simplified characters.
7 Tones
7.1 Chinese is a tonal language.

This means that the tone affects meaning. The same sound pronounced in different tones can mean

very different concepts.
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Each syllable may have one of four tones or may be toneless. The four tones are marked by the following

diacritic signs (every diacritic sign has a special hexadecimal code):
— 1 tone (high and level tone) ˉ (hex: 0304);
— 2 tone (rising tone) ˊ (hex: 0301);
— 3 tone (falling-rising tone) ˇ (hex: 030C);
— 4 tone (falling tone) ˋ (hex: 0300).
Here is a graphical representation of the four tones.
Figure 1 — Graphical representation of the four tones of Putonghua (superposed)
1 tone
1st tone nd
2 tone
2nd tone
4 tone4th tone
3rd tone
st nd rd th
a) 1 tone b) 2 tone c) 3 tone d) 4 tone
Figure 2 — Graphical representation of the four tones of Putonghua (separate)

7.2 In the table of Chinese syllabic forms (see Annex A), the syllables do not carry tone marks. But in

the text, it is usual to indicate the tone of a syllable by placing the diacritic sign on a vowel.

EXAMPLE ē, é, ě, è.

The diacritic sign for tone is placed on the main vowel in the final part of a syllable.

EXAMPLE /béi/, /què/.

In the final part /éi/ of syllable /béi/, /é/ is the main vowel; and in the final part /uè/ of syllable /què/,

/è/ is the main vowel. Therefore, the tone sign is placed on /é/ and /è/, accordingly.

In this case, Latin script letters have to be extended to indicate the Chinese vowels with different tones.

The hexadecimal codes of these extended Latin script letters are given in Annex B.

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7.3 Neutral tone (atony) is indicated by the lack of a diacritic sign.

7.4 Changes of tone induced by the tone of the next syllable in a word are not shown.

7.5 For practical or technical reason, tones can also be expressed by numbers or letters.

For example, Arabic numbers 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 usually express respectively 1st tone, 2nd tone, 3rd tone,

4th tone and atony of Chinese.

7.6 Tone marks may be written as a learning tool; however, they can be omitted for convenience.

8 Punctuation

Punctuation marks similar to those existing in the sets of Latin characters are transcribed as their

Latin counterparts. Chinese specific punctuation marks are transcribed as follows.

Table 1 — Romanization of Chinese punctuation marks
Chinese mark Latin mark Note
° hex: 3002 . hex: 002E full stop
special comma used to set off a short
ˋ hex: 3001 , hex: 002C
pause in the series
• hex: 2022 Space hex: 0020 disconnect mark
…… hex: 2026 2026 … hex: 2026 horizontal ellipsis
9 Numerals

Numerals written in Chinese characters are transcribed in Pinyin. Numerals written in Arabic or

Roman characters are kept as such.
10 Chinese Pinyin Orthography
10.1 Most of commonly used Chinese words are polysyllabic words.

In international documentation and information, it is reasonable to link different Pinyin monosyllables

to form a polysyllabic Chinese word (see Annex C).

10.2 Before the Middle Age, the Greeks and Romans always knew what a word was, and they were able

to identify words even if the texts were written without spaces between neighbouring words at that time.

Afterwards, the spaces between words were invented in Europe. The use of spaces implies the concept

of word, it has become the standard for all modes of writing alphabetical languages to insert spaces

between words, and the publishers and librarians in the world apply this common standard.

10.3 In Chinese Pinyin, it is also necessary to use the spaces to separate words, not syllables.

The word segmentation is a very good tradition of world civilization. In the Romanization of Chinese, it

is beneficial to respect this good tradition.
10.4 In Chinese Pinyin, monosyllable is ambiguous.

One syllable can represent several Chinese characters. Therefore, Pinyin syllable is ambiguous in

representation of Chinese characters. In Chinese Pinyin, the ambiguity index of monosyllables is big.

In average, one Chinese syllable has to represent more than 20 Chinese characters for general use.

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However, if different Chinese monosyllables are linked to form the polysyllabic Chinese word, the

ambiguity index of Pinyin syllable will be reduced. In order to disambiguate Pinyin syllables, it is

necessary to link different monosyllables to form a polysyllabic Chinese word.

10.5 The further description of the ambiguity index for Chinese syllables is given in Annex C.

10.6 Basic Rules for Chinese Pinyin Orthography (GB/T 16159-2012, Chinese Standard, 2012) contains

rules for separating or joining syllables to form a word: rules for spelling common words (nouns, verbs,

adjectives, pronouns, etc.), rules for spelling fused phrase expressions, rules for spelling personal names

and place names, rules for representing tones, rules for hyphenation at the end of line, etc.

10.7 At present, in Chinese linguistics, there is no clear common definition of a Chinese word yet, so it

is difficult to decide the boundary (dividing line) of a common Chinese word sometime, and, of course, it

poses difficulty to link the monosyllables to form a common polysyllabic Chinese word.

However, the boundary of a Chinese proper noun is relatively clear. It is not so difficult to link different

monosyllables to form a Chinese polysyllabic proper noun (the named entity as personal name,

geographic name, language name, ethnic name, tribal name, religion name, etc.), because the boundary

of a Chinese polysyllabic named entity is easy to decide according to the standards or regulations of

Chinese. In international documentation and information, it is necessary and possible to link different

Pinyin monosyllables to form a Chinese polysyllabic named entity in order to avoid ambiguity.

11 Transcription rules for named entities

11.1 Chinese personal names are to be written separately with the surname first, followed by the given

name written as one word, with the initial letters of both capitalized.
EXAMPLE 1 Li Hua (李华).
EXAMPLE 2 Wang Jianguo (王建国).
The traditional compound surnames are to be written together.
EXAMPLE 3 Zhuge Kongming (诸葛孔明).

The two-character or multi-character double surnames without traditional permanence are to be

written separately with the initial letters of both capitalized.
EXAMPLE 4 Zhang Wang Shufang (张王淑芳).
EXAMPLE 5 Xiang Situ Wenliang (项司徒文良).
EXAMPLE 6 Ouyang Meng Xiang (欧阳孟翔).
The pen names and other aliases are to be treated in the same manner.
EXAMPLE 7 Lu Xun (鲁迅).
EXAMPLE 8 Mao Dun (茅盾).
EXAMPLE 9 Zhang San (张三).
EXAMPLE 10 Wang Pangzi (王胖子).

11.2 A surname, given name or seniority order after the adjuncts “xiao”, “lao”, “da” and “a” is to be

written separately and with the initial letter of the last name capitalized.

Adjuncts such as “xiao”, “lao”, “da” and “a” should not be capitalized unless they appear at the beginning

of a sentence.
EXAMPLE 1 xiao Liu (小刘, younger Liu).
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EXAMPLE 2 lao Qian (老钱, older Qian).
EXAMPLE 3 da Li (大李, older Li).
EXAMPLE 4 a Gui (阿贵, Mr. Gui).
If the character “xiao”, “lao”, “da” and “a” is part
...

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