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Pinyin Tone Marks

By August 16, 2011

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Pinyin is a Romanization method for representing the spoken sounds of Chinese characters. For example, the Chinese character 我 can be represented in Pinyin as wǒ or wo3, meaning that this character is pronounced in the third tone.

Either numbers or tone marks are acceptable in Pinyin, but tone marks are a bit easier to read. So how do you add tone marks to a Pinyin text?

There are several software tools that handle this task. For example, pinyin.info has an online converter that changes tone numbers to tone marks. Another one at mandarintools.com converts several types of Romanization, including Bopomofo.

If you prefer to input tone marks while typing on your computer, there is an input method for Windows called Pinyinput. If you are on Linux or BSD, you can use ibus.

These are just a few of the software tools available for writing Pinyin tone marks. If you have a favorite, please let us know by leaving a comment.


July 25, 2012 at 11:38 am
(1) Wayne Wong says:

On the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, the quickest, easiest, and most fun way to type pīnyīn with tone marks is with the app Pinyin Typist. It enables you to produce exactly the pīnyīn text you want or need, just about anytime, anywhere, without requiring you to be online or wait for a web page.

Pīnyīn text produced in Pinyin Typist can be easily copied & pasted, emailed, tweeted, and saved as a snippet.

Links for Pinyin Typist:
App Store
Official Web Page

[Full disclosure: I am the developer of Pinyin Typist. I think it is easy to confirm that all the above is true, though!]

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