ERIC Number: ED240840
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Nov
Reference Count: 0
The Use of Etymology and Phonetic Symbols (Zhuyin Fuhao) in Teaching First Year Chinese.
Laychuk, J. L.
The complex and subtle nature of Chinese requires an early understanding of the characters that extends beyond radical and phonetic identifications. Etymological explanations of character forms give students insight into the literary language, aid in character memorization and retention, and stimulate interest. Chinese presents special problems in communicating to students the standard of Chinese phonetics, but has the advantage that significantly fewer phonetic possibilities and modifications have to be mastered by comparison with Indo-European languages. Several systems for transliteration into Latin script exist, and "pinyin" most faithfully represents Chinese phonetic values. However, the phonetic symbol system used in China and Taiwan, despite its relative unfamiliarity to most Chinese language instructors, is a better device than any transliteration system for communicating standard Chinese pronunciation. The "Zhuyin Zimu" (phonetic alphabet) and "Zhuyin Fuhao" (phonetic symbols) are useful because: (1) they directly represent Chinese sounds without an alien alphabet; (2) their novelty to students avoids linguistic interference and allows greater standardization among students; (3) they are relatively simple, consisting of 37 symbols taught by groups in terms of points of articulation and followed by instruction in tones; and (4) the written transcription is accurate. (MSE)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (San Francisco, CA, November 24-26, 1983).