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Taiwanese Romanization System

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Title: Taiwanese Romanization System  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Taiwanese Hokkien, Taiwanese Phonetic Symbols, Phofsit Daibuun, Comparison of Hokkien writing systems, Amoy dialect
Collection: Romanization, Southern Min
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Taiwanese Romanization System

Taiwanese Romanization System
Traditional Chinese 臺灣閩南語羅馬字拼音方案
Simplified Chinese 台湾闽南语罗马字拼音方案
Traditional Chinese 臺羅拼音
Simplified Chinese 台罗拼音

The Taiwanese Romanization System (Taiwanese Romanization: Tâi-uân Lô-má-jī Phing-im Hong-àn, Chinese: 台灣閩南語羅馬字拼音方案; pinyin: Táiwān Mǐnnányǔ Luómǎzì Pīnyīn Fāng'àn; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Tâi-ôan Lô-má-jī Pheng-im Hong-àn; often referred to as Tâi-lô) is a transcription system for Taiwanese Hokkien. It is derived from Pe̍h-ōe-jī and since 2006 has been officially promoted by Taiwan's Ministry of Education.[1] In is nearly identical to TLPA apart from using ts tsh j instead of c ch j for the fricatives /ts tsʰ dz/.


  • Alphabet 1
  • Values 2
    • Consonants 2.1
    • Vowels & Rhymes 2.2
    • Tones 2.3
  • References 3
  • External links 4


Taiwanese Romanization System uses 16 basic Latin letters (A, B, E, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, S, T, U), 7 digraphs (Kh, Ng, nn, Oo, Ph, Th, Ts) and a trigraph (Tsh). In addition, it uses 6 diacritics to represent tones.
Capital letter A B E G H I J K Kh L M N Ng O Oo P Ph S T Th Ts Tsh U
Lower case a b e g h i j k kh l m n ng nn o oo p ph s t th ts tsh u
  • "nn" is only used after a vowel to express nasalization, yet has no capital letter.
  • Palatalization occurs when "J, S, Ts, Tsh" followed by "i", so "Ji, Si, Tsi, Tshi" sometimes governed as trigraphs and hexagraph.
  • Of the 10 unused basic Latin letters, "R" is sometimes used to express dialectal vowels, while the others (C, D, F, Q, V, W, X, Y, Z) are only used in loanwords.



Bilabial Alveolar Alveolo-palatal Velar Glottal
Voiceless Voiced Voiceless Voiced Voiceless Voiced Voiceless Voiced Voiceless
Nasal m [m]
ㄇ 毛(moo)
n [n]
ㄋ 耐(nāi)
ng [ŋ]
ㄫ 雅(ngá)
Plosive Unaspirated p [p]
ㄅ 邊(pian)
b [b]
ㆠ 文(bûn)
t [t]
ㄉ 地(tē)
k [k]
ㄍ 求(kiû)
g [g]
ㆣ 語(gí)
Aspirated ph [pʰ]
ㄆ 波(pho)
th [tʰ]
ㄊ 他(thann)
kh [kʰ]
ㄎ 去(khì)
Affricate Unaspirated ts [ts]
ㄗ 曾(tsan)
j [dz]
ㆡ 熱(jua̍h)
tsi [tɕ]
ㄐ 尖(tsiam)
ji [dʑ]
ㆢ 入(ji̍p)
Aspirated tsh [tsʰ]
ㄘ 出(tshut)
tshi [tɕʰ]
ㄑ 手(tshiú)
Fricative s [s]
ㄙ 衫(sann)
si [ɕ]
ㄒ 寫(siá)
h [h]
ㄏ 喜(hí)
Lateral l [l]
ㄌ 柳(liú)
Bilabial Alveolar Velar Glottal
Nasal consonant -m [m]
-n [n]
-ng [ŋ]
Stop consonant -p [p̚]
-t [t̚]
-k [k̚]
-h [ʔ]
Syllabic consonant
Bilabial Velar
Nasal m [m̩]
ㆬ 姆(ḿ)
ng [ŋ̍]
ㆭ 酸(sng)

Vowels & Rhymes

Simple & Nasal
Front Central Back
Simple Nasal Simple Simple Nasal
Close i [i]
ㄧ 衣(i)
inn [ĩ]
ㆪ 圓(înn)
u [u]
ㄨ 污(u)
unn [ũ]
ㆫ 張(tiunn)
Mid e [e]
ㆤ 禮(lé)
enn [ẽ]
ㆥ 生(senn)
ㄜ 高(ko)
oo [ɔ]
ㆦ 烏(oo)
onn [ɔ̃]
ㆧ 翁(onn)
Open a [a]
ㄚ 查(tsa)
ann [ã]
ㆩ 衫(sann)
Tâi-lô IPA Bopomofo
ir [ɨ]
er [ə]
ee [ɛ]
ere [əe]
  • o pronounced [ə] ㄜ in general dialect in Kaohsiung and Tainan, [o] ㄛ in Taipei.
  • -nn forms the nasal vowels
  • There is also syllabic m and ng.
Vowel(s) Open syllabus Nasal Plosive
[m] [n] [ŋ] [p̚] [t̚] [k̚] [ʔ]
[a] a ann am an ang ap at ak ah annh
[ai] ai ainn aih ainnh
[au] au auh
[e] e enn eh ennh
[i] i inn im in ing ip it ik ih innh
[ia] ia iann iam ian iang iap iat iak iah iannh
[iau] iau iaunn iauh
[iə] io ioh
[iɔ] iong iok
[iu] iu iunn iuh iunnh
Vowel(s) Open syllabus Nasal Plosive
[m] [n] [ŋ] [p̚] [t̚] [k̚] [ʔ]
[ə] o oh
[ɔ] oo onn om ong op ok ooh onnh
[u] u un ut uh
[ua] ua uann uan uat uah
[uai] uai uainn
[ue] ue ueh
[ui] ui
[m̩] m mh
[ŋ̍] ng ngh
  • ing actually pronounced [ɪəŋ], ik actually pronounced [ɪək̚].


Tone No. 1 2(6) 3 4 5 7 8
Name 陰平 上聲 陰去 陰入 陽平 陽去 陽入
im-pîng siōng-siann im-khì im-ji̍p iông-pîng iông-khì iông-ji̍p
Symbol None Acute Grave None (-p, -t, -k, -h) Circumflex Macron Vertical line above (-p, -t, -k, -h)
´ ` ˆ ◌̄ ̍
Pitch ˥˥ ˥˩ ˧˩ ˧ʔ ˨˦ ˧˧ ˥ʔ
55 51 31 24 33
Example tong (東) tóng (黨) tòng (棟) tok (督) tông (同) tōng (洞) to̍k (毒)

A hyphen links elements of a compound word. A double hyphen indicates that the following syllable has a neutral tone and therefore that the preceding syllable does not undergo tone sandhi.


  1. ^ Tseng Rui-cheng (2009). Taiwan Minnanyu Luomazi Pinyin Fang'an Shiyong Shouce (Practical Manual for the Taiwan Southern Min Romanization System) (in Chinese). ROC Ministry of Education.  
  2. ^ 臺灣閩南語羅馬字拼音方案使用手冊

External links

  • 臺灣閩南語羅馬拼音及其發音學習網, Taiwanese Romanization System (Tai-lo) learning site by Ministry of Education, Taiwan
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