From Mandarin Chinese 拼音 (pīnyīn, literally “spelled sounds”).
- A system of romanization (phonetic notation and transliteration to roman script) for Mandarin that is used in the People's Republic of China. It helps with pronouncing Chinese characters. Consists of over 70 irregular “sounds” (not including accents) of vowels, consonants, and sounds that are irregular. It uses four different accents for each vowel: ā, á, ǎ, à, but sometimes the tones are represented by numbers 1 2 3 4 (e.g., pīnyīn or pin1yin1).
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