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Pinyinglish

Pinyinglish

"Pinyinglish" is a word I made up to describe English words which can be written using only Chinese pinyin syllables.

Chinese has a limited number of syllables they use in the language. They use characters to write the language, but to represent words in an internationally recognized manner (for example, names in the Olympics), they most commonly use the pinyin romanization system.

When I first came to China I noticed in shoe stores almost all boxes were labeled "Pixie". I assumed this meant that Pixie was a big shoe manufacturer. Actually, "pixie" is just Chinese for "leather shoe". This is an example of pinyinglish.

There is a big difference between strict pinyinglish and loose pinyinglish. In strict pinyinglish the pinyin must represent a true Chinese word. "Pixie", cited above, is a strict pinyinglish word, since it means "leather shoe". Loose pinyinglish words are those which can be written solely with pinyin syllables, but don't mean anything in Chinese. There are a lot of these. Examples include words like guacamole, headache, luxuriating, and megalomania.

The letter combinations allowed in pinyin are the following:

a ai an ang ao
ba bai ban bang bao bei ben beng bi bian biao bie bin bing bo bu
ca cai can cang cao ce cen ceng ci cong cou cu cuan cui cun cuo
cha chai chan chang chao che chen cheng chi chong chou chu chuai chuan chuang chui chun chuo
da dai dan dang dao de dei den deng di dia dian diao die ding diu dong dou du duan dui dun duo
e ei en er
fa fan fang fei fen feng fo fou fu
ga gai gan gang gao ge gei gen geng gong gou gu gua guai guan guang gui gun guo
ha hai han hang hao he hei hen heng hong hou hu hua huai huan huang hui hun huo
ji jia jian jiang jiao jie jin jing jiong jiu ju juan jue jun
ka kai kan kang kao ke ken keng kong kou ku kua kuai kuan kuang kui kun kuo
la lai lan lang lao le lei leng li lia lian liang liao lie lin ling liu lo long lou lu luan lun luo lv lve
ma mai man mang mao me mei men meng mi mian miao mie min ming miu mo mou mu
na nai nan nang nao ne nei nen neng ni nian niang niao nie nin ning niu nong nou nu nuan nuo nv nve
o ou
pa pai pan pang pao pei pen peng pi pian piao pie pin ping po pou pu
qi qia qian qiang qiao qie qin qing qiong qiu qu quan que qun
ran rang rao re ren reng ri rong rou ru ruan rui run ruo
sa sai san sang sao se sen seng si song sou su suan sui sun suo
sha shai shan shang shao she shei shen sheng shi shou shu shua shuai shuan shuang shui shun shuo
ta tai tan tang tao te teng ti tian tiao tie ting tong tou tu tuan tui tun tuo
wa wai wan wang wei wen weng wo wu
xi xia xian xiang xiao xie xin xing xiong xiu xu xuan xue xun
ya yan yang yao ye yi yin ying yo yong you yu yuan yue yun
za zai zan zang zao ze zei zen zeng zi zong zou zu zuan zui zun zuo
zha zhai zhan zhang zhao zhe zhen zheng zhi zhong zhou zhu zhua zhuan zhuang zhui zhun zhuo

Many of these are never found in English ("zang"). "ΓΌ" is used in a few places, but is often represented by the letter "v", which is not otherwise used in Chinese. The single letter 'r' is sometimes added to the end of a word, especially in the Beijing dialect.

I used some quick elisp scripting on the cedict Chinese dictionary and the dictionary of American English on my Linux system to find pinyinglish words. Following is the list of strict pinyinglish words it found on these two lists. There are 123 proper nouns (not really fair, since many, like Beijing, are place names which occur in both languages), and 183 common nouns. The 2787 loose pinyinglish words are listed here.

306 Strict Pinyinglish words

Click on any word to find its Chinese meaning(s), as supplied by mdbg.net

A Adan Adelaide Ainu Alabama Alamo Alan Ali Angela Anna Anshan
Ba Bahama Bali Baotou Beijing Bi Bose
Chan Chang Changchun Changsha Che Chechen Chen Chengdu Chi Chongqing
Dada Dali Dalian Dan Daren Dean Deng Di Dubai
Funafuti Fushun Fuzhou
Ge Guangzhou Guantanamo Guiyang
Haifa Han Hangzhou Hansen He Huang Hui
Jilin Jinan
Kaifeng Kate Kong Kunming
Lanzhou Lean Li Lima Long Lou Lu
Mai Malabo Mali Manama Mandela Mani Manila Mao Masai Maya Meiji Mensa Milan Min Ming Mo
Na Nanchang Nanjing Ni Nike
Pa Pan Pei Po Pu
Qingdao
Shanghai Shenyang Shijiazhuang Si Sudan Sue Sui Sun Suzhou
Ta Taiwan Taiyuan Taliban Tangshan Tao Tatar Tianjin Tongan
Wang Wei Wu Wuhan
Xiongnu Xuzhou
Yang Yong Yuan Yunnan
Zhengzhou Zibo Zulu
a age aiming amen an
bailing bake bale ban bang banyan bar baying beige biding bin bite biting bode bore boxing
can cancan cane canting ceding change chi chichi chile chili chiming
dacha dance danger dangling dare dating deli die ding dire dour duding due dun dunce duo
e eye
fa fading fake fan fang fare fating faxing faze fen fence fuming fuse fuze
gala gang gangling gaoling gong gouge guiding gun
ha hailing hang he hen here hexing hour hula
jibing jingling jinxing
keen ken
la lade lading lei lie like liming lo long
m ma maiming make mama man mane manning me men mi mingling mini minting mocha mote mu muse
name nixing nu
o
pa pagan pan pang pen pi pie pin ping piping pixie poling puke pushier
r ran rang re rending renting run
sake sang sedan semi shanghai she shouting shun side simian siren song sun sushi
taming tan tang ti tie tier tiling timing ting titan tong tour touting tuba tun tutu
wadi wan wane wangling wanting weir wen wending women
ya ye yeti yo you yule
zeta

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