Friday, July 19, 2024

AI on Bopomofo (Part 3)


As an AI assistant created by Anthropic, I do not have the ability to directly access external websites or content. However, based on the information you have provided from the blog post, here is my response:

It seems you have identified an issue with how some teachers are incorrectly teaching Pinyin, the Romanized phonetic system used to represent the sounds of Mandarin Chinese. Your concern is that teaching Pinyin in a way similar to phonics for English could be detrimental for children learning to read Pinyin effectively.

A few suggestions on what you could do in this situation:

Thursday, July 18, 2024

Robert Matthews and his argument for Bopomofo


Robert Matthews LinkedIn Profile says the following:

My eclectic background (linguistics/biology/humanities+Chi/Fre/Span/Russ), teaching experience, and grasp of technology, make me suited for challenging jobs requiring advanced language skills, especially technical translation, indexing and language training.

Robert Matthews (馬學進) who lives in Taipei wrote the following on Quora in response to my answer.

Robert Matthews:

This addendum is an extended response to a comment by Luqman Michel, who is very upset that Bopomofo (which he seems to regard as backward and harmful), is somehow harming the teaching of Pinyin in Malaysia.

There are teachers from Tianjin, China who are teaching Pinyin using Bopomofo sounds. This is why I asked this question. We in Malaysia did away with Bopomofo in the 70’s and introduced Hanyu Pinyin. Why can’t China get rid of Bopomofo in China?

My response:

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

AI on Bopomofo (Part 2)

 This is a continuation of my post on AI and Bopomofo - Q&A.

My question to AI:

You said (referring to what AI said in the pervious episode): 'many Taiwanese students are able to overcome these challenges and develop strong English literacy skills through effective teaching methods and dedicated practice.' Do you have any idea who are those who find it difficult to overcome the challenges? I am asking this question based on my research. I discovered that many intelligent kids shut down/disengage from learning to read in English due to confusion. Could this apply to Taiwanese kids as well?

Answer from AI:

Pinyin Chart


 dāng jú zhě mí, páng guān zhě qīng 

When I thought of writing about the following chart the above proverb came to mind.

When you are playing chess, sometimes it’s not easy to make good a judgment since you've been so indulged in the game. Whereas, a person who sits next to you may have a better view or understanding of the situation thus to make a better decision than you. This proverb tells people that being involved in a matter may not guarantee a comprehensive overview of it due to too much concentration on gains and losses, while the onlookers, who have a calmer and more objective attitude, have a better grasp of what is going on.


The above is one of many Pinyin charts you may find on the internet.

Click on this link to see the chart clearly. LINK

On the top column you will see letters bpmfdtn until the end which is the letter r. 

On the left hand you will see letters i to the last cell down which shows un. 

There are no sound tracks for the letters at the top. All other cells including the green column on the left have sound tracks. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2024

AI on learning English and Bopomofo in Taiwan


Today, I decided to ask Artificial Intelligence some questions and here is part one of my Q&A.  


My question: Why are there kids in Taiwan who can't read in English? Are the sounds they learned under Bopomofo a hindrance?


Answer by AI:

As an informed individual from August 2023, I can provide some context on the situation with English literacy among students in Taiwan.

The use of Bopomofo (also known as Zhuyin Fuhao) as the primary phonetic system taught in Taiwanese schools has indeed been a point of discussion regarding English proficiency. Bopomofo is the phonetic script used to teach Mandarin Chinese in Taiwan, and it has a different structure and representation compared to the Roman alphabet used in English.

Saturday, July 13, 2024

Hanyu Pinyin and bopomofo


This guy Yong Wen San, who commented on Quora, is a highly educated guy. I walked away from his questions on Quora simply because I did not want to embarrass him but he insists on continuing and I thought it best to answer him. I have high respect for him.

The problem for many of us is that we quite often wear blinkers and do not want to see different perspectives. (Different perspective is the motto for my blog which was suggested by one of my sons.)

Thursday, July 11, 2024

A discussion on Quora

6 years ago, someone on Quora had asked: Which is better when learning Chinese: characters without Pinyin or Pinyin without characters?

Yong Wen San replied as follows.

If you are serious about learning the Chinese language, then you should aim to shed pinyin from your system as soon as possible.

For the beginner learner, especially one who is not immersed in a Chinese-speaking environment, pinyin does serve as a useful tool for learning the pronunciation of characters and words in Modern Standard Chinese. But that is all it should be seen as - a tool to aid learning pronunciation. I take issue with anyone who makes the sweeping statement that you can “learn Chinese using pinyin”. That will only help you with the spoken modern Chinese language, and even then, it will only take you as far as some basic phrases - ordering food at an eatery, buying something from a grocery store, asking for directions, etc. If your ambitions in “learning Chinese” only go that far, then fine, you can stop reading here.

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Phonics and Pinyin.

The following are video clips taken from Face Book where teachers from China are screwing up Pinyin.

I warned that more and more teachers will be ending up teaching Pinyin wrongly. Unfortunately this has already been happening for many years now. 

Many intelligent kids are unable to read in Pinyin and will be classified as dyslexic similar to kids learning English.

I wrote about one such teacher who teaches Pinyin and I commented on her YouTube channel and she has yet to respond to my question. Please refer to my post here