Chinese postal romanization
| Chinese postal romanization ： ウィキペディア英語版|
Postal romanization〔''(Postal Romanization )'', Taipei: Directorate General of Posts, 1961.〕 was a system of transliterating Chinese place names developed by the Imperial Post Office in the early 1900s. The system was in common use until the 1980s.
For major cities and other places that already had widely accepted European names, traditional spellings were retained.〔Harris, Lane. "(A 'Lasting Boon to All': A Note on the Postal Romanization of Place Names, 1896–1949. )" ''Twentieth Century China'', 34, no. 1 (2008): 96–109.〕 With regard to other place names, the post office revised policy several times. Spellings given could reflect local pronunciation, Nanjing pronunciation, or Beijing pronunciation. Although pronunciation-based arguments were made for each of these options, using postal romanization to determine any form of Chinese pronunciation was limited by the fact that the system dropped out all dashes, diacritics, and apostrophes to facilitate telegraphic transmission.〔
At a conference held in 1906 in Shanghai, the post office selected a system of romanization developed by Herbert Giles called "Nanking syllabary."〔 Although Beijing dialect had served as a national standard since the mid-19th century, the system adopted was based on Nanjing pronunciation. French-appointed administrators ran the post office at this time, and they considered this system to be a less Anglicized alternative to Wade-Giles.
An imperial edict issued in 1896 renamed the Maritime Customs Post, reorganized this agency as a national postal service, and established the Imperial Post Office. In 1899, Robert Hart, as inspector general of posts, asked postmasters to submit romanizations for their districts. Although Hart asked for transliterations “according to the local pronunciation,” most postmasters were reluctant to play lexigrapher and simply looked up the relevant characters in a dictionary. The spellings they submitted generally followed a system created by Thomas Wade, now called the Wade-Giles system. This system had been developed in 1859 and was based on Beijing pronunciation. It became the standard method of romanizing Chinese after Herbert Giles published a dictionary using the system in 1892.〔Giles, Herbert, ''(A Chinese-English Dictionary )'', 1892.〕 The post office published a draft romanization map in 1903.〔''China Postal Working Map'' (1903)〕
Disappointed with this Wade-based map, Hart made another attempt to promote localism in 1905. He directed the postmasters to submit romanizations, "not as directed by Wade, but according to accepted or usual local spellings." Local missionaries could be consulted on this point, Hart suggested. Yet Wade's system did reflect pronunciation in most areas served by the post office, or at least in Mandarin-speaking areas.〔(This map ) shows where the various dialects of Chinese are spoken. Both Wade-Giles and pinyin are based on Northern Mandarin, which is shown in red. Although this is often called "Beijing dialect," both systems leave out language features that are local to Beijing.〕 A more serious disadvantage was that the French viewed Wade's system as Anglophone. The top position in the post office was held by Postal Secretary Théophile Piry. Piry had been appointed in 1901 due in part to the influence of the French government. Until 1911, the post office remained part of the Maritime Customs Service. As customs inspector general, Hart was Piry's boss. But French backing effectively gave Piry a postal fiefdom.〔
抄文引用元・出典: フリー百科事典『 ウィキペディア（Wikipedia）』
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