Those who read about or study the Three Kingdoms (or other Chinese periods) have probably come across different ways of Chinese pronounciations, such as Sun Quan and Sun Ch'üan or Zhuge Liang and Chu-ko Liang. It are the older texts who use the latter translations (Sun Ch'üan), known as Wade-Giles, while newer texts use the former translations (Sun Quan), known as Pinyin. Before Pinyin was widely acknowledged, Wade-Giles was very popular and the standard for Chinese pronounciations.

This article will offer you help, examples and links on how to convert Wade-Giles to Pinyin and viceversa.

Major DifferencesEdit

(from Pinyin to Wade-Giles)

  • b = p
  • c = ts'/tz'
  • d = t
  • g = k
  • j = ch
  • p = p'
  • q = ch'
  • r = j
  • t = t'
  • x = hs
  • z = ts/tz
  • ch = ch'
  • zh = ch
  • -i = -ih
  • -i = -(z)u
  • -ie = -ieh
  • -ian = -ien
  • -ui = -uei
  • -ong = -ung
  • -iong = -iung
  • -ue = -üeh
  • -uo = -o (-o after b, p, m, and f, -uo after initials)
  • er = erh
  • he = ho
  • ye = yeh
  • yan = yen
  • you = yu
  • yu = uü


Looking at the list above we learn that C = ts', so that would turn the name Cao Cao into Ts'ao Ts'ao, or Xing Cai into Xing Ts'ai.

Some more examples:
(Pinyin to Wade-Giles)

  • Huang Zhong = Huang Chong
  • Xiahou Dun = Hsiahou Tun
  • Du Yu = Tu Yü
  • Sima Shi = Ssŭma Shih
  • Zhou Yu = Chou Yü
  • Kong Rong = K‘ung Jung

External linksEdit

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