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Jyutping Romanization

Jyutping is a romanisation system for Cantonese developed by the Linguistic Society of Hong Kong (LSHK), an academic group, in 1993. Its formal name is the Linguistic Society of Hong Kong Cantonese Romanization Scheme. The LSHK advocates for and promotes the use of this romanisation system.


The name Jyutping (itself the Jyutping romanisation of its Chinese name, 粵拼) is a contraction consisting of the first Chinese characters of the terms Jyut6jyu5 ( 粵語 , meaning "Yue language") and ping3jam1 ( 拼音 "phonetic alphabet", also pronounced as "pinyin" in Mandarin).

Despite being intended as a system to indicate pronunciation, it has also been employed writing Cantonese as an alphabetic language—in effect, elevating it from its assistive status to a written language.


The Jyutping system [1] departs from all previous Cantonese romanisation systems (approximately 12, including Robert Morrison's pioneering work of 1828, and the widely used Standard Romanization, Yale and Sidney Lau systems) by introducing z and c initials and the use of eo and oe in finals, as well as replacing the initial y, used in all previous systems, with j. [2]

In 2018, it was updated to include the -a and -oet finals, to reflect syllables recognized as part of Cantonese phonology in 1997 by the Jyutping Work Group of the Linguistic Society of Hong Kong. [3]






There are nine tones in six distinct tone contours in Cantonese. However, as three of the nine are entering tones (Chinese :入聲; Jyutping :jap6sing1), which only appear in syllables ending with p, t, and k, they do not have separate tone numbers in Jyutping (though they do in Cantonese Pinyin; these are shown in parentheses in the table below). A mnemonic which some use to remember this is 「風水到時我哋必發達」or “Feng Shui [dictates that] we will be lucky.”

Tone name jam1ping4
Tone number123456136
The tone name in Englishhigh level or high fallingmid risingmid levellow fallinglow risinglow levelentering high levelentering mid levelentering low level
Contour [4] ˥ 55 / ˥˧ 53˧˥ 35˧ 33˨˩ 21 / ˩ 11˩˧ 13˨ 22˥ 5˧ 3˨ 2
Character example分/詩粉/史訓/試焚/時奮/市份/是忽/識發/錫佛/食

Comparison with Yale romanisation

Jyutping and the Yale Romanisation of Cantonese represent Cantonese pronunciations with the same letters in:

But they differ in the following:

Comparison with Cantonese pinyin

Jyutping and Cantonese Pinyin represent Cantonese pronunciations with the same letters in:

But they have some differences:


Traditional Simplified Romanization
廣州話广州话Gwong2 zau1 waa2
粵語粤语Jyut6 jyu5
你好你好nei5 hou2

Sample transcription of one of the 300 Tang Poems:

Ceon1 Hiu2
Maang6 Hou6 jin4
春眠不覺曉,Ceon1 min4 bat1 gok3 hiu2,
處處聞啼鳥。cyu3 cyu3 man4 tai4 niu5.
夜來風雨聲,Je6 loi4 fung1 jyu5 sing1,
花落知多少?faa1 lok6 zi1 do1 siu2?

Jyutping input method

The Jyutping method (Chinese :粵拼輸入法) refers to a family of input methods based on the Jyutping romanization system.

The Jyutping method allows a user to input Chinese characters by entering the jyutping of a Chinese character (with or without tone, depending on the system) and then presenting the user with a list of possible characters with that pronunciation.

List of Jyutping keyboard input utilities

See also


  1. "The Jyutping Scheme". The Linguistic Society of Hong Kong. Archived from the original on 26 April 2013. Retrieved 3 January 2016.
  2. Kataoka, Shin; Lee, Cream (2008). "A System without a System: Cantonese Romanization Used in Hong Kong Place and Personal Names". Hong Kong Journal of Applied Linguistics: 94–98.
  3. 1 2 Linguistic Society of Hong Kong. "Jyutping 粵拼". Archived from the original on 2021-01-06. Retrieved 2020-10-07.
  4. Matthews, S.; Yip, V. Cantonese: A Comprehensive Grammar; London: Routledge, 1994
  5. FAQ: How to select Cantonese Phonetic IME (CPIME) in Windows 10

Further reading

Related Research Articles

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pinyin</span> Romanization scheme for Standard Mandarin

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cantonese</span> Variety of Yue Chinese spoken in Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Macau

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tâi-uân Lô-má-jī Phing-im Hong-àn</span> Transcription system

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