East Asia Student

Random Stuff Related to East Asia

Mandarin

80 Chinese characters commonly used in phonetic transcriptions

I’ve created this list of Chinese characters commonly used in phonetic transcriptions (conversion from other languages by sound). These are useful for reading the names of many countries and brand names in Chinese.

*Note to those planning tattoos and other questionable ideas:* This page is *not* "[the Chinese alphabet](/china/chinese-alphabet-nonsense/ "Chinese alphabet nonsense")", as there is no such thing. Chinese does not have an alphabet. It is not possible to "spell" things with Chinese characters. The list below just contains characters that are often used in _phonetic transcription_. That is, creating similar sounding words in Chinese for names, brands and loanwords.

80 common phonetic transcription characters

Study this list on Skritter

Plain text: [common-phonetic-transcription-chinese-characters.txt, 5.4kb]

奧 ào obscure; mysterious; profound [traditional]

奥 ào obscure; mysterious; profound [simplified]

巴 bā long for; to wish; cling to

保 bǎo defend; protect

貝 bèi shell; money (Kangxi radical 154) [traditional]

贝 bèi shell; money (Kangxi radical 154) [simplified]

博 bó extensive; ample; rich; obtain; aim

帛 bó silk

布 bù cloth; announce; to spread [traditional]

布 bù cloth; announce; to spread [simplified]

城 chéng city; town; city walls

达 dá attain; extend; pass through; to reach [simplified]

達 dá attain; extend; pass through; to reach [traditional]

颠 diān to jolt; to fall; peak; summit [simplified]

顛 diān to jolt; to fall; peak; summit [traditional]

丁 dīng male adult; robust; cubes (of food); T-shaped (4th Heavenly Stem)

頓 dùn pause; arrange; stamp feet; suddenly; (mw for meals) [traditional]

顿 dùn pause; arrange; stamp feet; suddenly; (mw for meals) [simplified]

多 duō many; much; a lot of

尔 ěr (archaic) you; that; thus [simplified]

爾 ěr (archaic) you; that; thus [traditional]

法 fǎ law; method; way

啡 fēi coffee

夫 fū husband; man

歌 gē song

干 gān to concern; shield (Kangxi radical 51) [traditional]

干 gàn, gān to work; do; manage; tree trunk, to concern; shield; dry; clean (Kangxi radical 51) [simplified]

谷 gǔ valley (Kangxi radical 150) [traditional]

谷 gǔ valley (Kangxi radical 150), grain; millet [simplified]

哈 hā exhale; sip; (sound of laughter)

华 huá, Huà glory; flowery; abbreviation for China, Mount Hua in Shaanxi province [simplified]

華 huá, Huà glory; flowery; abbreviation for China, Mount Hua in Shaanxi province [traditional]

基 jī base; foundation; basic

加 jiā add; to increase; plus

坚 jiān strong; solid; firm [simplified]

堅 jiān strong; solid; firm [traditional]

卡 kǎ, qiǎ card; calorie, get stuck

可 kě can; may; able to; but; approve; very

克 kè gram; overcome; restrain

庫 kù warehouse; storehouse [traditional]

库 kù warehouse; storehouse [simplified]

拉 lā, lá to pull; to play (string instruments); to drag, to slash; to chat

腊 là cured meat; 12th lunar month [simplified]

臘 là cured meat; 12th lunar month [traditional]

兰 lán orchid; elegant; graceful [simplified]

蘭 lán orchid; elegant; graceful [traditional]

利 lì advantage; benefit; profit

力 lì power; force; strength (Kangxi radical 19)

领 lǐng neck; collar; to lead [simplified]

領 lǐng neck; collar; to lead [traditional]

琉 liú sparkling stone; glazed; opaque

羅 luó, luō gauze; net for catching birds; collect; sieve [traditional]

罗 luó, luō gauze; net for catching birds; collect; sieve [simplified]

马 mǎ horse (Kangxi radical 187) [simplified]

馬 mǎ horse (Kangxi radical 187) [traditional]

麦 mài wheat (Kangxi radical 199) [simplified]

麥 mài wheat (Kangxi radical 199) [traditional]

美 měi beautiful; America

盟 méng oath; pledge; covenant; alliance

米 mǐ rice; meter (Kangxi radical 119)

緬 miǎn remote; distant; Myanmar or Burma [traditional]

缅 miǎn remote; distant; Myanmar or Burma [simplified]

姆 mǔ child’s governess; matron

納 nà receive; accept; pay; sew; nano- [traditional]

纳 nà receive; accept; pay; sew; nano- [simplified]

尼 ní Buddhist nun

紐 niǔ button; knob; bond [traditional]

纽 niǔ button; knob; bond [simplified]

羣 qún (variant of 群) crowd; group; (mw for groups, flocks, or swarms)

塞 sāi, sè, sài stop up; to stuff, obstruct, place of strategic importance

沙 shā sand; granule

神 shén God; unusual; mysterious; spirit

士 shì scholar; warrior (Kangxi radical 33)

斯 sī this; then; thus; (phonetic)

特 tè special; unusual; extraordinary

图 tú diagram; plan; picture; seek [simplified]

圖 tú diagram; plan; picture; seek [traditional]

吐 tǔ, tù to spit, to vomit; throw up

脫 tuō to shed; take off; to escape [traditional]

脱 tuō to shed; take off; to escape [simplified]

汪 wāng collect or accumulate (of liquid); expanse of water; deep and vast (of a body of water); bark (onomatopoeia)

威 wēi power; might; prestige

维 wéi maintain; preserve; dimension [simplified]

維 wéi maintain; preserve; dimension [traditional]

凱 kǎi triumphant; victorious; victory [traditional]

凯 kǎi triumphant; victorious; victory [simplified]

微 wēi micro; tiny; miniature

乌 wū crow; black [simplified]

烏 wū crow; black [traditional]

亚 yà Asia; Asian; second [simplified]

亞 yà Asia; Asian; second [traditional]

沿 yán by; along

伊 yī he; she; this; that; (third person pronoun)

意 yì meaning; thought; wish; expect

议 yì criticize; discuss; talk over [simplified]

議 yì criticize; discuss; talk over [traditional]

英 yīng flower; hero; England

由 yóu follow; from; by; through

与 yǔ, yù (formal) and; to give; together with, participate [simplified]

與 yǔ, yù (formal) and; to give; together with, participate [traditional]

澤 zé marsh; swamp; luster; brilliance [traditional]

泽 zé marsh; swamp; luster; brilliance [simplified]

爭 zhēng struggle; fight/compete for [traditional]

争 zhēng struggle; fight/compete for [simplified]

志 zhì aspiration; will [traditional]

志 zhì aspiration; will; sign; record; remember [simplified]

治 zhì to cure; to rule

茲 zī herewith [traditional]

兹 zī herewith [simplified]

最 zuì the most; -est; (indicator for superlative)

作 zuò do; make; regard as; act as; write

Tags