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Zhuyin fuhao is a phonetic script used in dictionaries, children's books, text books for people learning Chinese and in some newspapers and magazines to show the pronunciation of the characters. It is also used to show the Taiwanese pronunciation of characters and to write Taiwanese words for which no characters exist.

It was created in China between 1912 and 1913 by the Commission on the Unification of Pronunciation (讀音統一會), but was abandoned in favour of Hanyu Pinyin after 1949, and has been used in Taiwan since then.

Initially is was called 注音字母 (zhùyīn zìmŭ - "sound anotating letters") or 國音字母 (gúoyīn zìmŭ - "national phonetic letters") and it was first proposed as the national standard for transcribing Mandarin Chinese at a government-sponsored conference in 1913 and officially adopted as such in 1928. It was renamed 注音符號 (zhùyīn fúhào - "phonetic symbols") in 1930, and is popularly known as ㄅㄆㄇㄈ (bopomofo) after the names of the first 4 symbols.

Source from: Omniglot


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