General Chinese (Tungdzih)

General Chinese is a way to write all major varieties of Chinese invented by Yuen Ren Chao (趙元任). It can also be used to write the pronunciations of Chinese characters in Korean, Japanese and Vietnamese.

There are two versions of General Chinese: General Chinese Syllabary (Tung-dzih Xonn-dzih), which uses Chinese characters phonetically, and includes 2,082 characters, and General Chinese Romanization (Tung-dzih Lo-maa-dzih), which uses the Roman alphabet and indicates tones with spelling.

The General Chinese Syllabary can be used to write Standard Written Chinese, which is based on Mandarin, and Classical Chinese. It is only used by a few hobbyists and groups.

General Chinese

General Chinese

Download an alphabet chart for General Chinese (Excel)

Sample text in General Chinese Romanization

Renren sraeng er dzihyeu, dzae zunqiem huo giuanlih-zhag itliut bhiengdeg. Tamen fuhyeo liisieq huo liangsim, bhieg ing yii xiuengdhee cuanxey de ziengzhen huhsiang duydhae.

Sample text in General Chinese Syllabary


Standard Chinese version (Traditional characters)


Standard Chinese version (Simplified characters)


Transliteration (Hànyǔ Pīnyīn)

Rénrén shēng ér zìyóu, zài zūnyán hé quánlì shàng yīlǜ píngděng. Tāmen fùyǒu lǐxìng hé liángxīn, bìng yīng yǐ xiōngdì guānxì de jīngshén hùxiāng duìdài.


All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Some details provided by Zerbie


Information about General Chinese

Chinese pages

Written Chinese: Oracle Bone Script, Simplified characters, Bopomofo, Types of characters, Structure of written Chinese, Evolution of characters, How the Chinese script works, Xiao'erjing, General Chinese

Spoken Chinese: Mandarin, Dungan, Wu, Shanghainese, Wenzhounese, Yue, Cantonese, Weitou, Min, Jian'ou, Taiwanese, Teochew, Fuzhounese, Puxian, Hakka, Xiang, Gan, How many people speak Chinese?

Other Chinese pages: Chinese numbers (數碼) | Chinese classifiers (量詞) | Electronic dictionaries | Chinese links | Books: Chinese characters and calligraphy | Cantonese | Mandarin, Shanghainese, Hokkien and Taiwanese

Page created 02.08.22. Last modified: 26.12.22


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