How to write GR

Why should you learn to write GR (Gwoyeu Romatzyh), as opposed to merely being able to read it passively? There are several possible reasons, two of them being:
  • to communicate in Chinese (perhaps via the Internet) using a standard US/European keyboard and without needing to add tone marks or numbers

  • to make notes when learning Chinese, using a romanization which forces you to include the tone of each syllable
In the following discussion we assume that you are already familiar with the Pinyin (PY) romanization system.

Basic principle of GR
In general, each syllable has a basic form representing Tone 1; the spelling is then modified according to certain rules to indicate the other tones. No accents or numbers are used.

Once you are familiar with the basic rules, you will find our interactive demonstration of GR tonal spelling an invaluable reference.

Next: ►Spelling rules

Acknowledgments Sincere thanks are due to Benjamin Ao, Tom Bartlett, Dan Bryant, Jim Dew and Richard Warmington for their help and patient comments.

Last revised October 2003

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