Zhuyin facts for kids

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Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese

Zhuyin Fuhao, often abbreviated zhuyin and colloquially called bopomofo,In Chinese, "bo", "po", "mo" and "fo" are the first four of the conventional ordering of available syllables. As a result, the four syllables together have been used to indicate various phonetic systems. For Chinese speakers who were first introduced to the Zhuyin system, "bopomofo" means zhuyin fuhao.

Origin of zhuyin symbols
Zhuyin Pinyin Origin
b From , the top portion bāo
p From , the combining form of
m From , the archaic form of the radical
f From fāng
d From the archaic form of dāo. Compare the bamboo form .
t From the upside-down seen at the top of
n From /𠄎, ancient form of nǎi
l Calligraphic form of
g From the obsolete character guì/kuài" 'river'
k From kǎo
h From hàn
j From the archaic character jiū
q From the archaic character quǎn, graphic root of the character chuān (modern )
x From , a seal form of xià.
zh From Zhi1 seal.png/, archaic form of zhī.
ch From the radical chì
sh From the character shī
r A semi-cursive form of
z From the radical jié, dialectically zié
c Variant of qī, dialectically ciī. Compare semi-cursive form and seal-script .
s From the old character sī, which was later replaced by its compound sī.
i, y From
u, w From , ancient form of wǔ.
ü, yu From the ancient character qū, which remains as a radical
a From
o From the obsolete character 𠀀 hē, inhalation, the reverse of kǎo, which is preserved as a phonetic in the compound kě.
e Derived from its allophone in Standard Mandarin, o
e From yě. Compare the Warring States bamboo form
ai From 𠀅 hài, bronze form of .
ei From yí, an obsolete character meaning "to move".
ao From yāo
ou From yòu
an From the obsolete character hàn "to bloom", preserved as a phonetic in the compound fàn
en From yǐn
ang From wāng
eng From , an obsolete form of gōng
er From , the bottom portion of ér used as a cursive form
i (U+312D.svg, and inverted ) Perhaps , in addition to . It is the minimal vowel of , , , , , , that is spelled "ih" in Tongyong Pinyin and Wade-Giles and "i" in pinyin.

The zhuyin characters are represented in typographic fonts as if drawn with an ink brush (as in Regular Script). They are encoded in Unicode in the bopomofo block, in the range U+3105 ... U+312D.

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