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How to pronounce Huawei

19/07/2012

It seems Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications company, is trying to increase its profile in the English-speaking world. Watch the video above to see people trying to pronounce the company’s name. About half way into the video, the presenter tells how the name is actually pronounced. He pronounces the name in the same way as is written on his board just below the logo, WAH-WAY.

There are many comments on the video discussing that WAH-WAY is the incorrect pronunciation. Actually, it seems as if Huawei have opted for the Cantonese pronunciation (see below) of the company’s Chinese name, which makes sense as the company is based in the Cantonese-speaking region of Guangdong. Bravo! It is nice to see some linguistic variation and also some recognition that Mandarin doesn’t have a monopoly on the pronunciation of Chinese characters. Despite opting for the Cantonese pronunciation, Huawei are still using the Mandarin Romanisation method (Hanyu Pinyin), which, admittedly, is rather confusing. The fact that Huawei didn’t use Cantonese Romanisation could be because there is yet any consensus to an accepted standard or maybe because they are affected by one of the CCP’s Mandarin-only policies. Who knows?

華為(华为)

Mandarin: Huáwéi

Cantonese(Jyutping): Waa4wai4

Cantonese(Yale): Wàhwàih

And just for comparisons sake,

Taiwanese: Huâ-uî

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From → Cantonese, Mandarin

2 Comments
  1. Anonymous permalink

    Happy Birthday Patrick

  2. You completed a number of nice points there. I did a litte research on the subject and found most people will have the same opinion with your blog.

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