Mandarin Phonetic Symbols II

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Mandarin Phonetic Symbols II (國語注音符號第二式), abbreviated MPS II, is a romanization system formerly used in the Republic of China (Taiwan). It was created to replace the complex tonal-spelling Gwoyeu Romatzyh, and to co-exist with the popular Wade-Giles (romanization) and Zhuyin (non-romanization). MPS2 has been abandoned since 2000, officially supplanted by Tongyong Pinyin.


Based on the earlier and complex Gwoyeu Romatzyh, the tentative version of MPS II was released on May 10, 1984 by the Ministry of Education. After two years of feedback from the general public, the official version was established on January 28, 1986. To distinguish Zhuyin from the Mandarin Phonetic Symbols II ("Mandarin Zhuyin Symbols II"), the first Zhuyin is officially called "Mandarin Phonetic Symbols I" (國語注音符號第一式).

Despite its official status for over two decades until it was replaced by Tongyong Pinyin in 2000, MPS II existed only in some governmental publications (such as travel brochures and dictionaries). However, MPS II was not used for the official Romanized names of Taiwanese places. It never gained the same status as its Wade-Giles. In mainstream overseas communities, it is virtually unused and unheard of.


Tonal spelling of Gwoyeu Romatzyh is eliminated, and syllables of all tones are spelled identical (as in Gwoyeu Romatzyh's tone one). And the four diacritics representing the tones are identical to Zhuyin's.

  • The Romanization of the consonants is identical to Gwoyeu Romatzyh's.
  • It uses r for both:
    • ㄖ (pinyin r), and
    • what is written in pinyin as i after zh, ch, sh, r. (Although this use of r has a tonal diacritic on it and is always final.) This use is identical to Yale.
  • It uses z for both:
    • ㄗ (pinyin z), and
    • what is written in pinyin as i after z, c, s. (Although this use of z has a tonal diacritic on it and is always final.) This use is somewhat like Yale.
      • The z is not written after tz (i.e., no tzz), however. Tz corresponds to Pinyin zi.
  • Like Gwoyeu Romatzyh, -iou, -uen, and -uei are all written out, unlike the Pinyin/Wade -iu, -un, and -ui.
  • Gwoyeu Romatzyh's au persists (as opposed to the ao of Pinyin, Wade-Giles, and the later Tongyong Pinyin.)
  • Gwoyeu Romatzyh's iu (Pinyin ) is written as -iu and yu (alone).
  • Gwoyeu Romatzyh's -ong is spelled now -ung (like Wade-Giles).
  • Gwoyeu Romatzyh's el is spelled now er (like Pinyin).
  • Y- and w- are added to or replace i and u (respectively) in ways similar to Gwoyeu Romatzyh and identical to Pinyin.

An example of MPS II: "國語注音符號第二式" is written as gu-yǔ j-yīn f-hu d-r shr̀. Compare with pinyin, which writes it as guyǔ zhyīn fho d'r sh.

Spaces are generally used in place of hyphens, except in personal names, which use hyphens in between the syllables of the given names.

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