Zhou Youguang, inventor of Pinyin | John

The BBC has reported that Zhou Youguang, the man who brought literacy to millions in China after the communist victory in 1949, died on Saturday 14thJanuary, a day after celebrating his 111th birthday.
After working as a Wall Street banker, Zhou decided, in 1949, to return to China to help with rebuilding the country. In 1955, he abandoned a professorship in economics and began studying writing systems. It took three years to create Pinyin – literally ‘spelled sounds’ (拼音) – a writing system for Chinese based on the Roman alphabet, and his achievement of developing a romanised Mandarin…

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