Zhuyin Guide

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Zhuyin Guide

Zhùyīn fúhào ( ) is the main transliteration system for Taiwanese Mandarin. It is more colloquially known is Bopomofo, after the first four characters of the Zhuyin "alphabet" ㄅㄆㄇㄈ.

Zhuyin consists of 37 characters and four tone marks. It is possible to express all possible sounds in Mandarin using Zhuyin. It was introduced in China during the 1910s, however, has been subsequently replaced in the Mainland by Hanyu Pinyin.

Despite not being commonly used in Mainland China, Zhuyin fuhao is still an official transliteration system in Taiwan and remains widely used for educational purposes and electronic input methods (as used on computers and mobile devices).

Bopomofo Chart

b (p)

From 勹, the ancient form and current top portion of (bāo)

Example: 八 (ㄅㄚ, bā)

Zhuyin Tones

Zhuyin expresses Mandarin tones in much the same way as Hanyu Pinyin, however, the 1st or high tone is not marked in Zhuyin, and the 5th or neutral tone is denoted with the ˙ marker.

When written vertically the tone is usually placed on the right-hand side of the Zhuyin syllable. When written horizontally tones are generally marked after the syllable.

The following is a Zhuyin example for the word ( gào su ) ( ) , or "to tell".


ㄍㄠˋ ㄙㄨ˙
Tone Zhuyin Pinyin
1 (None) ◌̄
2 ˊ ◌́
3 ˇ ◌̌
4 ˋ ◌̀
5 ˙ (None)