photoThere’s a lot of debate out there on whether or not Zhuyin is better than Pinyin, which makes your pronunciation better, etc. (and I am caught up right in the middle of it). And I’ve thought out it. Really thought about it. And here’s my conclusion:

Your pronunciation can suck regardless of the system you use.

That being said, I think I finally realized why I prefer Zhuyin over Pinyin, and it’s the same reason I prefer the kanas over romaji: I’ve always loved how vastly different East Asian languages were from English–with Kanji, Hanzi, Katakana, Hiragana, Hangul–everything. That’s what really drew me to these languages to begin with. So, being stuck using Pinyin seemed, not necessarily bad, but that I was still trapped in that English environment. For me, to fully “immerse” myself in the language, I wanted to avoid (escape?) English, which meant avoiding Pinyin and learning Zhuyin.

So I always feel better seeing something like ㄅㄧˊㄐㄧㄢ rather than something like bíjiān. It also helps a text flow more, I believe, if you’re reading a book that has Zhuyin in there as a guide. It seems to make your brain glide along with the fact you’re looking at Chinese characters, instead of the sudden jarring of going from English letters to Chinese and back.

That’s just my thoughts on it, and although Pinyin ultimately wins out for speed and usefulness (no Zhuyin on US keyboards!), I still love seeing and using Zhuyin as my reading guide.