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Despite the importance of Cantonese and other southern coastal varieties of Chinese to foreign contact during the 19th century (as seen, for instance, in the number of Cantonese loanwords in English), the northern capital dialect has been formally sanctioned within the country for centuries.This status continued under the Republic, which retained the importance of the "National Language" ( in 5 tones, so homophones abound and most non Han words have multiple possible transcriptions.The Chinese characters developed to describe them may have originally transcribed local names, such as the proposed connection between the original "Eastern Yi" people ( was later applied to a people south of the Yangtze and then to many cultures as far south as Vietnam.Interaction with the states of Chu, Wu, and Yue during the Spring and Autumn and Warring States periods of the later Zhou brings the first certain evidence of transcription: most famously, the word jiāng ( The Western Han also saw Liu Xiang's transcription and translation of the "Song of the Yue Boatman" in his Garden of Stories.In practice, transcriptions based on both Cantonese and Mandarin pronunciations have been used.In Singapore, transcription standards are established by the Translation Standardisation Committee for the Chinese Media.The histories were in fact hastily compiled and suffered from inaccurate and inconsistent phonetic transcriptions of the same names.

It also includes transcription tables for names and terms which are not included.Increasingly, other countries are setting their own official standards for Chinese transcription and do not necessarily follow Xinhua's versions, just as Xinhua's version differs from Wade–Giles and other international standards.For example, the United States embassy in China recommends rendering "Obama" as “欧巴马” (Ōubāmǎ), while Xinhua uses “奥巴马” (Àobāmǎ).The book 御製增訂清文鑑 ("Imperially-Published Revised and Enlarged mirror of Qing") in Manchu and Chinese, used both Manchu script to transcribe Chinese words and Chinese characters to transcribe Manchu words with fanqie.As part of the promotion of Kaozheng studies in the philological field, Qianlong decided that the Chinese character transcriptions of names and words of the Khitan language in the History of Liao, the Jurchen language in the History of Jin, and the Mongolian language in the History of Yuan were not phonetically accurate and true to the original pronunciation.

It also includes transcription tables for names and terms which are not included.

Increasingly, other countries are setting their own official standards for Chinese transcription and do not necessarily follow Xinhua's versions, just as Xinhua's version differs from Wade–Giles and other international standards.

For example, the United States embassy in China recommends rendering "Obama" as “欧巴马” (Ōubāmǎ), while Xinhua uses “奥巴马” (Àobāmǎ).

The book 御製增訂清文鑑 ("Imperially-Published Revised and Enlarged mirror of Qing") in Manchu and Chinese, used both Manchu script to transcribe Chinese words and Chinese characters to transcribe Manchu words with fanqie.

As part of the promotion of Kaozheng studies in the philological field, Qianlong decided that the Chinese character transcriptions of names and words of the Khitan language in the History of Liao, the Jurchen language in the History of Jin, and the Mongolian language in the History of Yuan were not phonetically accurate and true to the original pronunciation.

Some scholars have tried to use it to reconstruct an original version of the otherwise unrecorded language of the Yangtze's Yue people before their incorporation into the Han.