Just a little mistake?

Hanyu pinyin is a pretty easy system of romanization to learn.  There are very few “rules” that stray from its connection with Chinese phonemes.  One of the rules is that the final iou is contracted to iu (unless there is no initial, in which case the i changes to y).  Other than for the sake of brevity, I’m not sure why this rule was adopted, but sometimes we can see the original pop through as a mistake.

My younger son was writing his journal today about Alice in Wonderland, which we saw yesterday, and after him telling me that he thinks it’s not good to write pinyin when he doesn’t know a character, and me telling him that that’s one of the best uses of pinyin, he wrote how Alice, after drinking water from a little bottle, “jiòu biàn 小了”.

Dear Diary,

As soon as you step into first grade in a Chinese elementary school, you are required to keep a journal for the teacher to check.  This continues until you graduate from high school.

My older son (9) doesn’t like to talk a lot, and hates writing, and can’t see the point in this exercise.  I constantly have to give him ideas, and throughout the two month winter holiday I just let him copy paragraphs from an encyclopedia of the animal world, just to keep his hand moving.  Continue…