Romanization Guidelines

Below are a few guidelines we used to perform romanization of Chinese/Japanese lyrics depending on their spoken/sung language.

Mandarin Chinese

Romanization used: Pinyin

Hanyu Pinyin (漢語拼音) or simply Pinyin is the official romanization system for Standard Mandarin Chinese, developed since the 1950s. It is by far the most standardized and widely used romanization system without doubt, and hence at, any Mandarin Chinese lyrics are romanized using Pinyin.

*NOTE: Most of the Chinese characters on are in Traditional Chinese (正體字/繁體字). They are most commonly used in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau. And I personally prefer Traditional Chinese over Simplified Chinese due to its inherent beauty and originality.


Romanization used: Yale Romanization

There are two very commonly used romanization systems for Cantonese:
Jyutping (粵拼) vs Yale Romanization.

At, we use the Yale Romanization for Cantonese as it appears to be more intuitive for people who are relatively foreign to Cantonese language and its romanization.

One very good example is the consonant j in Jyutping, replaced with y in Yale.
For instance, the word 音 is romanized (without tone) as jam in Jyutping and yam in Yale Romanization (the actual pronunctiation sounds like 'yum' in English). Clearly, using Jyutping might cause some confusion for people trying to follow the Cantonese lyrics.

Useful tools for Cantonese romanization:

Minnan (or Hokkien)

Romanization used: Taiwanese Romanization

There are two romanization systems that we have discovered to romanize the Minnan (閩南語) language (or Taiwanese Hokkien):
Pe̍h-ōe-jī or POJ (白話字) vs Taiwanese Romanization (臺灣閩南語羅馬字拼音), also known as Tai-lo (臺羅), abbreviated as TL.

Both are widely used, however, for POJ, nasal vowel is indicated by superscripted n, and back vowel (simple) o is indicated by a superscripted . (dot).
For instance, the word 想 is romanized (without tone) as siuⁿ in POJ and siunn in TL (it may look confusing, but the 'nn' is not pronounced, it represents nasal vowel);
and the word 雨 is romanized as ho͘ in POJ and hoo in TL.

At, we use the Taiwanese Romanization for Minnan (Hokkien).

These two romanization systems are actually very similar as TL is derived from POJ.
Besides, TL is one of the officially promoted phonetic notation systems by Taiwan's Ministry of Education.

Find out more about the difference between POJ and TL here.

Useful tools for Minnan (Hokkien) romanization:
Taiwanese Romanization:

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