Sun, Feb 22, 2009 - Page 2 News List

League protests Ma’s decision to replace Tongyong

By Lin Chia-chi  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taipei City councilors Liu Yao-ren, right, Chuang Jui-hsiung, center, and Huang Siang-cyun hold up signs with their names written on them highlighting the abundance of instances the letter “x” is used in China’s spelling system. The trio said that using China’s system rather than Taiwan’s Tongyong spelling system was tantamount to siding with China.


The Taiwan Pinyin League yesterday called on the Control Yuan to impeach Premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄), Minister Without Portfolio Ovid Tzeng (曾志朗) and Minister of Education Cheng Jei-cheng (鄭瑞城) over their decision to replace Tongyong Pinyin with Hanyu Pinyin as the national standard Romanization system.

On International Mother Language Day yesterday, the Taiwan Pinyin League and its head Yu Bor-chuan (余伯泉), who led the team that designed Tongyong Pinyin, staged a rally to protest the government’s decision to adopt Hanyu Pinyin, saying it violated the Universal Declaration of Linguistic Rights.


Yu said President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) was being guided by his ideology in replacing Tongyong Pinyin with Hanyu Pinyin, which would cost the nation between NT$7 billion (US$210 million) and NT$8 billion at a time when the public is struggling to make a living because of the recession.

Ma’s administration favors Hanyu Pinyin — invented in China — over Tongyong Pinyin because it belittles Taiwanese, Yu said.


He said it would be a waste of money to replace Tongyong Pinyin with Hanyu Pinyin nationwide as a survey conducted by the education ministry showed that only 6 percent of the nation’s transliterations used pinyin.

Making the statement near the Taipei MRT’s Ximen station, Democratic Progressive Party Taipei City councilors Chuang Jui-hsiung (莊瑞雄) and Liu Yao-ren (劉耀仁) covered the letter “X” on the Ximen Station nameplate with an “S” sticker.

The councilors urged the government to at least adopt both Hanyu Pinyin and Tongyong Pinyin at the same time for use on road signs and street names.

Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation staffers at Ximen Station later removed the “S” sticker.

Ling Chi-yao (陵啟堯), a spokesman for the company, said that changing station names was up to the Taipei City Government because the company was owned by the government.

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