Jyutping (Chinese: 粵拼; Jyutping: Jyut6ping3; literally: 'Yue (i.e. Cantonese) spelling'; Cantonese pronunciation: [jỳːt̚.pʰēŋ]) is a romanisation system for Cantonese developed by the Linguistic Society of Hong Kong (LSHK), an academic group, in 1993. Its formal name is The Linguistic Society of Hong Kong Cantonese Romanisation Scheme. The LSHK promotes the use of this romanisation system.

The name Jyutping (itself the Jyutping romanisation of its Chinese name, 粵拼) is a contraction consisting of the first Chinese characters of the terms Jyut6jyu5 (粵語, meaning "Cantonese speech") and ping3jam1 (拼音 "phonetic alphabet").

Jyutping Romanization
Cantonese YaleYuhtping


The Jyutping system[1] marks a departure from all previous Cantonese romanisation systems (approximately 12, including Robert Morrison's pioneering work of 1828, and the widely used Standard Romanization, Yale and Sidney Lau systems) by introducing z and c initials and the use of eo and oe in finals, as well as replacing the initial y, used in all previous systems, with j.[2]




  • Only the finals m and ng can be used as standalone nasal syllables.
  • ^ ^ ^ Referring to the colloquial pronunciation of these words.


There are nine tones in six distinct tone contours in Cantonese. However, as three of the nine are entering tones (Chinese: 入聲; Jyutping: jap6sing1), which only appear in syllables ending with p, t, and k, they do not have separate tone numbers in Jyutping (though they do in Cantonese Pinyin; these are shown in parentheses in the table below).

Tone name jam1ping4
Tone Number 1 2 3 4 5 6 1 (7) 3 (8) 6 (9)
The tone name in English high level or high falling mid rising mid level low falling low rising low level entering high level entering mid level entering low level
Contour[3] ˥ 55 / ˥˧ 53 ˧˥ 35 ˧ 33 ˨˩ 21 / ˩ 11 ˩˧ 13 ˨ 22 ˥ 5 ˧ 3 ˨ 2
Character Example 分/詩 粉/史 訓/試 焚/時 奮/市 份/是 忽/識 發/錫 佛/食
Example fan1/si1 fan2/si2 fan3/si3 fan4/si4 fan5/si5 fan6/si6 fat1/sik1 faat3/sek3 fat6/sik6

Comparison with Yale romanisation

Jyutping and the Yale Romanisation of Cantonese represent Cantonese pronunciations with the same letters in:

  • The initials: b, p, m, f, d, t, n, l, g, k, ng, h, s, gw, kw, w.
  • The vowel: aa (except when used alone), a, e, i, o, u, yu.
  • The nasal stop: m, ng.
  • The coda: i, u, m, n, ng, p, t, k.

But they differ in the following:

  • The vowels eo and oe represent /ɵ/ and /œː/ respectively in Jyutping, whereas the eu represents both vowels in Yale.
  • The initial j represents /j/ in Jyutping whereas y is used instead in Yale.
  • The initial z represents /ts/ in Jyutping whereas j is used instead in Yale.
  • The initial c represents /tsʰ/ in Jyutping whereas ch is used instead in Yale.
  • In Jyutping, if no consonant precedes the vowel yu, then the initial j is appended before the vowel. In Yale, the corresponding initial y is never appended before yu under any circumstances.
  • Jyutping defines three finals not in Yale: eu /ɛːu/, em /ɛːm/, and ep /ɛːp/. These three finals are used in colloquial Cantonese words, such as deu6 (), lem2 (), and gep6 ().
  • To represent tones, only tone numbers are used in Jyutping whereas Yale traditionally uses tone marks together with the letter h (though tone numbers can be used in Yale as well).

Comparison with Cantonese pinyin

Jyutping and Cantonese Pinyin represent Cantonese pronunciations with the same letters in:

  • The initials: b, p, m, f, d, t, n, l, g, k, ng, h, s, gw, kw, j, w.
  • The vowel: aa, a, e, i, o, u.
  • The nasal stop: m, ng.
  • The coda: i (except for its use in the coda /y/ in Jyutping; see below), u, m, n, ng, p, t, k.

But they have some differences:

  • The vowel oe represents both /ɵ/ and /œː/ in Cantonese Pinyin whereas eo and oe represent /ɵ/ and /œː/ respectively in Jyutping.
  • The vowel y represents /y/ in Cantonese Pinyin whereas both yu (used in the nucleus) and i (used in the coda of the final -eoi) are used in Jyutping.
  • The initial dz represents /ts/ in Cantonese Pinyin whereas z is used instead in Jyutping.
  • The initial ts represents /tsʰ/ in Cantonese Pinyin whereas c is used instead in Jyutping.
  • To represent tones, the numbers 1 to 9 are usually used in Cantonese Pinyin, although the use of 1, 3, 6 to replace 7, 8, 9 for the checked tones is acceptable. However, only the numbers 1 to 6 are used in Jyutping.


Traditional Simplified Romanization
廣州話 广州话 Gwong2zau1waa2
粵語 粤语 Jyut6jyu5
你好 你好 nei5 hou2

Sample transcription of one of the 300 Tang Poems:

Ceon1 hiu2
Maang6 Hou6jin4
春眠不覺曉, Ceon1 min4 bat1 gok3 hiu2,
處處聞啼鳥。 cyu3 cyu3 man4 tai4 niu5.
夜來風雨聲, Je6 loi4 fung1 jyu5 sing1,
花落知多少? faa1 lok6 zi1 do1 siu2?

Jyutping input method

The Jyutping method (Chinese: 粵拼輸入法) refers to a family of input methods based on the Jyutping romanization system.

The Jyutping method allows a user to input Chinese characters by entering the jyutping of a Chinese character (with or without tone, depending on the system) and then presenting the user with a list of possible characters with that pronunciation.

List of Jyutping keyboard input utilities

See also


  1. ^ "The Jyutping Scheme". The Linguistic Society of Hong Kong. Archived from the original on 26 April 2013. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
  2. ^ Kataoka, Shin; Lee, Cream (2008). "A System without a System: Cantonese Romanization Used in Hong Kong Place and Personal Names". Hong Kong Journal of Applied Linguistics: 94–98.
  3. ^ Matthews, S.; Yip, V. Cantonese: A Comprehensive Grammar; London: Routledge, 1994
  4. ^ FAQ: How to select Cantonese Phonetic IME (CPIME) in Windows 10

Further reading

  • Zee, Eric (1999). Handbook of the International Phonetic Association. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 58–60. ISBN 0521652367.

External links

Bei River

Bei River (北江;, pinyin: Běi Jiāng, jyutping: Bak1 Gong1, literally "North River") is the northern tributary of the Pearl River in southern China. The other two main tributaries of the Pearl River are the Xijiang River and the Dongjiang River.

The Bei River is 63.34 kilometres (39.36 mi) long and is located in northern Guangdong.


Cantonese is a variety of Chinese spoken in the city of Guangzhou (also known as Canton) and its surrounding area in Southeastern China. It is the traditional prestige variety and standard form of Yue Chinese, one of the major subgroups of Chinese.

In mainland China, it is the lingua franca of the province of Guangdong (being the majority language of the Pearl River Delta) and neighbouring areas such as Guangxi. It is the dominant and official language of Hong Kong and Macau. Cantonese is also widely spoken amongst Overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia (most notably in Vietnam and Malaysia, as well as in Singapore and Cambodia to a lesser extent) and throughout the Western world.

While the term Cantonese specifically refers to the prestige variety, it is often used in a broader sense for the entire Yue subgroup of Chinese, including related but largely mutually unintelligible languages and dialects such as Taishanese. When Cantonese and the closely related Yuehai dialects are classified together, there are about 80 million total speakers. Cantonese is viewed as a vital and inseparable part of the cultural identity for its native speakers across large swaths of Southeastern China, Hong Kong and Macau, as well as in overseas communities.

Although Cantonese shares a lot of vocabulary with Mandarin, the two varieties are mutually unintelligible because of differences in pronunciation, grammar and lexicon. Sentence structure, in particular the placement of verbs, sometimes differs between the two varieties. A notable difference between Cantonese and Mandarin is how the spoken word is written; both can be recorded verbatim, but very few Cantonese speakers are knowledgeable in the full Cantonese written vocabulary, so a non-verbatim formalized written form is adopted, which is more akin to the Mandarin written form. This results in the situation in which a Cantonese and a Mandarin text may look similar but are pronounced differently.

Cantonese cuisine

Cantonese cuisine or more accurately, Guangdong cuisine (Chinese: 廣東菜), also known as Yue cuisine (粵菜), refers to the cuisine of China's Guangdong Province, particularly the provincial capital, Guangzhou (Canton). "Cantonese" specifically refers to only Guangzhou or the language known as Cantonese associated with it, but people generally refer to "Cantonese cuisine" to all the cooking styles of the speakers of Yue Chinese languages from within Guangdong. The Teochew cuisine and Hakka cuisine of Guangdong are considered their own styles, as is neighboring Guangxi's cuisine despite also being considered culturally Cantonese. It is one of the Eight Culinary Traditions of Chinese cuisine. Its prominence outside China is due to the large number of Cantonese emigrants. Chefs trained in Cantonese cuisine are highly sought after throughout China. Until recently, most Chinese restaurants in the West served largely Cantonese dishes.

Cantonese poetry

Cantonese poetry (Cantonese Jyutping: Jyut6 si1; Traditional Chinese: 粵詩) is poetry performed and composed primarily by Cantonese people. Most of this body of poetry has used classical Chinese grammars, but composed with Cantonese phonology in mind and thus needs to be chanted using the Cantonese language in order to rhyme.

Chinatown, Toronto

Toronto Chinatowns (Chinese: 多倫多華埠) are ethnic neighbourhoods in and around Toronto, Ontario, Canada, with a high concentration of ethnic Chinese residents and businesses. There are multiple Chinatowns in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area.

When used directly, the name typically refers to West Chinatown, which extends along Dundas Street West and Spadina Avenue. The Chinese community in this Downtown Chinatown originated from First Chinatown, which was located what used to be known as The Ward in the early 20th century. With changes in the city and subsequent waves of immigration from the mid-20th century onwards, Toronto has since developed East Chinatown at the intersection of Broadview Avenue and Gerrard Street, as well as Chinatowns in Scarborough and North York. In the Greater Toronto Area, Markham, Mississauga, and Richmond hill, have all developed sizable Chinatowns.

These neighbourhoods are major cultural, social and economic hubs for the Chinese-Canadian communities of the region.

Chinese sausage

Chinese sausage is a generic term referring to the many different types of sausages originating in China. The southern flavor of Chinese sausage is commonly known by its Cantonese name 'lap ceung' (or 'lap chong') (simplified Chinese: 腊肠; traditional Chinese: 臘腸; pinyin: làcháng; Jyutping: laap6 coeng2; Cantonese Yale: laahp chéung).

Culture of Hong Kong

The culture of Hong Kong, or Hongkongers culture, can best be described as a foundation that began with Lingnan's Cantonese culture (which is distinct to begin with) and, to a much lesser extent, non-Cantonese branches of Han Chinese cultures. It later became influenced by British culture due to British colonialism, resulting in a culture characterized by both Cantonese-ness and British-ness (Jyutping: Jyut6 jing1 wui6 zeoi6; Traditional Chinese: 粵英薈萃). Moreover, Hong Kong also has indigenous people, whose cultures have been absorbed into modern day Hong Kong culture. As a result, after the 1997 transfer of sovereignty to the People's Republic of China, Hong Kong has continued to develop an identity of its own.

Line 16 (Shenzhen Metro)

Line 16 (simplified Chinese: 十六号线; traditional Chinese: 十六號線; pinyin: Shíliù Hàoxiàn; Jyutping: Sap6 Luk6 Hou6 Sin3) of the Shenzhen Metro is a line under construction in north-eastern Shenzhen. it is scheduled to open in 2023. It runs from Dayun in Longgang District to Tianxi in Pingshan District. It operates 24 stations and the main tank is 29.4 kilometers long.

Lingnan Confucianism

Lingnan Confucianism (Cantonese Jyutping: Ling5 naam4 jyu4 hok6; Traditional Chinese: 嶺南儒學) refers to the Confucian schools of thoughts in Lingnan - the Southern Chinese provinces of Guangdong and Guangxi. These schools are primarily formed by Cantonese people, who have traditionally been the dominant demographic in the region.

Lingnan architecture

Lingnan architecture (Chinese: 嶺南建築; Jyutping: Ling5 naam4 gin3 zuk1), or Cantonese architecture, refers to the characteristic architectural style(s) of the Lingnan region - the Southern Chinese provinces of Guangdong and Guangxi. Usually, it is referring to the architecture associated with the Cantonese people - with other peoples in the area (such as the Hakka and the Teochew) having their own styles. This style began with the architecture of the ancient non-Han Nanyue people and absorbed certain architectural elements from the Tang Empire and Song Empire as the region sinicized in the later half of the first millennium AD.

Lingnan culture

Lingnan culture, or Cantonese culture, refers to the regional Chinese culture of the Southern Chinese/Lingnan twin provinces of Guangdong and Guangxi, the names of which mean "eastern expanse" and "western expanse" respectively.

Strictly speaking, the term "Lingnan culture" has two definitions:

In a purely geographical sense, the term includes not only Cantonese culture, but also the cultures of minority groups (such as the Hakkas, Teochews, Taishanese and the non-Chinese groups such as the Zhuangs) within the Lingnan region.

More typically, is only used in referring to Cantonese culture, the historically dominant culturo-linguistic force in Guangdong and Guangxi.This article uses the second definition of "Lingnan culture" - as the synonym of "Cantonese culture".

With the migration of the Cantonese people to nearby Hong Kong and Macau, as well as in many overseas communities, Lingnan/Cantonese culture has become an influential cultural force in the international community, and forms the basis of the cultures of Hong Kong and Macau.

Lingnan garden

Lingnan garden (Cantonese Jyutping: Ling5 naam4 jyun4 lam4; Traditional Chinese: 嶺南園林), also called Cantonese garden, is a style of garden design native to Lingnan - the traditionally Cantonese provinces of Gwongdung and Gwongsai in southern China. It, alongside the likes of Sichuanese garden and Jiangnan garden, is one of the major styles of Chinese garden.The Lingnan region is the south of the Ng Leng Mountains, spanning southern Fujian, Gwongdung, and Gwongsai, located in the Eurasian continent's southeastern edge. With such a natural barrier as the Ng Leng Mountains and extensive river network, the region has strong sunlight and receives regular monsoon. Plants are lush throughout the year, showing a subtropical natural landscape. With this rich natural scenery, people in Lingnan have been able to create a rich and colorful style of traditional gardens distinct from gardens in other Han Chinese regions.


The loquat (Eriobotrya japonica) (from Cantonese Chinese: 盧橘; Jyutping: lou4gwat1, nowadays called Chinese: 枇杷; pinyin: pípá; Jyutping: pei paa) is a species of flowering plant in the family Rosaceae, a native to the cooler hill regions of China to south-central China. It is also quite common in Japan, Korea, hilly Regions of India (Himachal), Potohar and foothill regions of Pakistan and some can be found in some Northern part of the Philippines, and hill country in Sri Lanka. It can also be found in some southern European countries such as Cyprus, Malta, Italy, Spain and Portugal; and several Middle Eastern countries like Israel, Lebanon and Turkey.It is a large evergreen shrub or tree, grown commercially for its yellow fruit, and also cultivated as an ornamental plant.

Eriobotrya japonica was formerly thought to be closely related to the genus Mespilus, and is still sometimes known as the Japanese medlar. It is also known as Japanese plum and Chinese plum, also known as pipa in China.

Michael Ning

Michael Ning (Chinese: 凌智豪; Jyutping: ling4 zi3 hou4 born 5 November 1979) known professionally as Chinese: 白只; pinyin: bái zhī; Jyutping: baak6 zi2

is a Hong Kong born Chinese actor best known for his role in the 2015 film Port of Call.

Paper wrapped cake

Paper wrapped cake (Chinese: 紙包蛋糕; Jyutping: zi2 baau1 daan6 gou1) is a type of Chinese pastry. It is one of the most common pastries served in Hong Kong. It can also be found in most Chinatown bakery shops. In essence, it is a chiffon cake baked in a paper cup.In the bakeries of Chinatown, San Francisco, it is commonly referred to as "sponge cake."

Pengjiang District

Pengjiang (Chinese: 蓬江; pinyin: Péngjiāng; Jyutping: fung4gong1) is a district of Jiangmen, Guangdong province, China.

Sanjiao, Zhongshan

Sanjiao (Chinese: 三角镇; pinyin: Sānjiǎo zhèn; Jyutping: saam1gok3 zan3) is a town at the northeast of Zhongshan, Guangdong province, China. It is adjacent to Guangzhou and Panyu on the north. It covers an area of 70.32 km2 (27.15 sq mi) and has a permanent population of 56,000 and migrant population of 60,000.

Xun River

The Xun River (Chinese: 浔江, pinyin: Xún Jiāng, jyutping: Cham4 Gong1) is a short section of the main branch of the Pearl River system upstream from the Xi Jiang in China. Although less than 150 km long, it is of considerable importance in Guangxi Province as it drains the majority of the province. The Xun River in name is formed by the Yu and Qian rivers, with the Qian being the greater of the two tributaries. The Xun then flows out of Guiping and through Pingnan, finally joining with the Gui Jiang in Wuzhou to form the Xi Jiang. The Xun is also a section of the Pearl's longest tributary.

The Xun River flows from west to east roughly along the Tropic of Cancer.


Yusheng, yee sang or yuu sahng (Chinese: 魚生; pinyin: yúshēng; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: hî-seⁿ or hû-siⁿ), or Prosperity Toss, also known as lo hei (Cantonese for 撈起 or 捞起) is a Cantonese-style raw fish salad. It usually consists of strips of raw fish (sometimes salmon), mixed with shredded vegetables and a variety of sauces and condiments, among other ingredients. There is also a vegetarian version of this dish, where the fish is replaced with soy "fish", which resembles salmon. Yusheng literally means "raw fish" but since "fish (魚)" is commonly conflated with its homophone "abundance (余)", Yúshēng (魚生) is interpreted as a homophone for Yúshēng (余升) meaning an increase in abundance. Therefore, yusheng is considered a symbol of abundance, prosperity and vigor.

While versions of it are thought to have existed in China, the contemporary version was created and popularised in the 1960s amongst the ethnic Chinese community and its consumption has been associated with Chinese New Year festivities in Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore in Maritime Southeast Asia.

Today, the common form of yusheng is the qicai yusheng (七彩鱼生; "seven-coloured raw fish salad") served in local restaurants during the Chinese New Year period. Also referred to as facai yusheng (发财鱼生; "prosperity raw fish salad") or xinnian yusheng (新年鱼生; "Chinese New Year raw fish salad"), this present colourful take on yusheng has an uncertain origin. However, there are two competing claims to the origins of the modern take on yusheng: first was said to be invented by a Malaysian named Loke Ching Fatt in Seremban, Malaysia in the 1940s; second was said to be created in the 1960s by chefs Lau Yoke Pui, Tham Yui Kai, Sin Leong and Hooi Kok Wai, together known as the "Four Heavenly Kings" in the Singapore restaurant scene. The recipe generally includes ingredients such as shredded white and green radish and carrots, ginger slices, onion slices, crushed peanuts, pomelo, pepper, essence of chicken, oil, salt, vinegar, sugar and more.

Standard Mandarin
Hanyu PinyinYuèpīn
Bopomofoㄩㄝˋ ㄆㄧㄣ
Gwoyeu RomatzyhYuehpin
Yue: Cantonese
Yale RomanizationYuhtping
Canton Romanizationyüd6 ping3

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