How to pronounce Tsai Ing-wen (Cai Ying-wen)
Some quick and dirty tips, as well as an in-depth explanation
first thing first:
- Cai – Pronounce as “ts” in “hats” plus “eye”
- Ying – Pronounce as “Eng” in “English”
- Wen – Pronounce as “when”
In this article, we will look at how to pronounce the name of the president Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), which in Hanyu Pinyin would be written Cài Yīngwén. Since most students use Hanyu Pinyin for pronunciation, I will henceforth use that, although the notes about pronunciation are of course relevant regardless of system. Cài Yīngwén was elected president of Taiwan on January 16th, 2016. And yes, her personal name means “English,” as in the language this article is written in.
Below are some easy instructions if you just want to have a rough idea how to pronounce the name. Then I’ll go through a more detailed description, including analysis of common learner errors.
Pronouncing Names in Chinese
Pronouncing names in Chinese can be very hard if you haven’t studied the language; sometimes it’s hard even if you have. Ignoring or mispronouncing tones will just add to the confusion. These mistakes add up and often become so serious that a native speaker would fail to understand. Read more about how to pronounce Chinese names.