Jyutcitzi/粵切字

(Update, Wednesday November 3, 2021: This post was written when I first joined the Jyutcitzi Telegram group. It’s interesting, but depressing too. See this post for something more uplifting: https://cantoneselang.org/wp-admin/post.php?post=409 (It’s a letter I wrote to the Hamilton Chinese School). I still have high hopes for Jyutcitzi, but I left because I feel I would be happier if I continued with the cantobet project. I am still looking for people to help me because I feel like I have not succeeded in finding a place to belong to. I feel that the reason people don’t help me is because I am not a socially successful person, and I should strive to be a type of person that people want to be around. That is why I shouldn’t give up on finding someone to help me create a cantobet.)

Recently, I learned of the existence of Jyutcitzi, which is a script for Cantonese that was developed by a group of people without my involvement. Though it was painful to see my work pale in comparison to what their team had accomplished, I was relieved to learn that there now is a dedicated team of people working on a phonetic Cantonese script with similar goals of protecting the Cantonese language and making it more useful to people.

Their work can be found at https://github.com/jyutcitzi

as well as related links:

  1. Jyutcitzi GitHub master page
    https://github.com/jyutcitzi
  2. Transliterator, python (translates Honzi-English Cantonese passages into Honzi-Jyutcitzi passages. https://github.com/jyutcitzi/jyutcitzi-transliterate
  3. Jyutcitzi RIME based keyboard: https://github.com/jyutcitzi/jyutcitzi-RIME
  4. Jyutcitzi fonts: https://github.com/jyutcitzi/jyutcitzi-fonts
  5. Theoretical core: https://drive.google.com/drive/u/4/folders/1_rf_aNZLSeYxqiadczUec5cHwFQ0Ax6R
  6. JCZ and related Instagrams
    Cantonese script reform: https://www.instagram.com/cantonese_script_reform
    JCZ use demonstration: https://www.instagram.com/
    JCZ text: https://www.instagram.com/cantonese_writing/cantonese_new_script/
    JCZ calligraphy: https://www.instagram.com/canto_calligraphy/
    JCZ art: https://www.instagram.com/canton_era_hk/
    JCZ inspired hangeul:
    https://www.instagram.com/cantonese_hangeul/
    Jcz inspired hangeul: https://www.instagram.com/hkscript/
  7. YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WzZ8jfi1aA&t=34s&ab_channel=CantoneseScriptReformSociety
  8. JCZ-enabled talk page (JCZ are automatically rendered): https://cantotalk.com/
  9. Online traditional Chinese to Jyutcitzi converter: https://cantotalk.com/t.php?style=honzi_jcz&mode=font&subject=%E5%91%A2%E5%9A%BF%E5%98%A2%E4%BF%82%E6%BC%A2%E5%AD%97%E7%B2%B5%E5%88%87%E5%AD%97%E7%B2%B5%E6%8B%BC%E8%BD%89%E6%8F%9B%E5%99%A8

It includes a font, keyboard, but most importantly, a thriving community, videos, examples and other learning materials.

Partially inspired by the Korean alphabet, the Jyutcitzi takes a different design approach than the cantobet that I worked on(with a bit of help along the way), which was mostly developed overnight during my trip to Vancouver in an attempt to inspire someone to create an alphabet for Cantonese and was designed to be simple to learn.

While I don’t like some of the design decisions behind the Jyutcitzi script, it does function well, and I feel that it has a better chance of being adopted as a real Cantonese phonetic alphabetical writing system than the one developed mostly by me. I hope people will consider using Jyutcitzi to print books in Cantonese.

As for the cantobet from the Phonetic Cantonese Institute, which is just me right now, it remains unfinished. Perhaps one day when I am less busy will continue making the writing system I actually wanted, but I already know that my failure to find people to help me has led to the futility of my own personal efforts. The real energy and innovation in Cantonese writing has shifted to the Jyutcitzi project because they have a thriving community that I was not able to create on my own. It is a sad realization for me, but I hope that the Jyutcitzi will lead to a truly phonetic Cantonese script used around the world. The world has no need for the PCI Cantobet anymore… probably.