romanization of names
About the Wade-Giles system:
In this site, names of all the places in the Mainland are in the pinyin system, but those in Taiwan follow the Wade-Giles system, or however they have in Taiwan.
Basically, I do not want to confuse the readers with new labels to names that they are likely to be already familiar with. For example, Hong Kong will be Hong Kong and not Xiang-gang, which is the pinyin way of romanization of the city's name.
For names that are already quite known in the West, such as the word oolong, I will not use the proper pinyin presentation, which is wu'long. In cases where there is already a popular translation of the name, such as Phoenix, I'll use this rather than the pinyin presentation, Fenghuang, which basically represents the same meaning. Other popular names that have already been mis-represented with products of other natures, such as Bohea, Congou, and Pekoe, will be referred to but their proper representations re-established in related writings.
Reading words in pinyin is actually a bit awkward only in the beginning, but since there is a good logic in the structure, it becomes quite natural once you have tried a few words. Please note that the dictionaries listed above are not comprehensive as to the names of tea and places in China.
As for Japanese, the other language with names that are romanized in this site, the more popular romaji presentation is employed, as in the Hepburn system, but without the macrons in the general text (same as in the case of Chinese pinyin names), for ease of reading. The alphabets in this system basically follow the English phonologic habits so one basically read the words as English. It is not accurate, according to my Japanese friends, but it has the advantage of cognitive efficiency, and most writings for popular reading follow this same convention. For more information, these are some useful links:
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