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Yuen Ren Chao

Chao Yuen Ren (Chinese: 趙元任; pinyin: Zhào Yuánrèn; 3 November 1892 – 25 February 1982) (known in the West as Yuen Ren Chao) was a Chinese-American linguist, educator, scholar, poet, and composer, who contributed to the modern study of Chinese phonology and grammar. Chao was born and raised in China, then attended university in the United States, where he earned degrees from Cornell University and Harvard University. A naturally-gifted polyglot and linguist, his Mandarin Primer was one of the most widely used Mandarin Chinese textbooks in the 20th century. He invented the Gwoyeu Romatzyh romanization scheme, which, unlike pinyin and other romanization systems, can transcribe Mandarin Chinese pronunciation without needing diacritics to indicate tones.

Birth and Death Data: Born November 3rd, 1892 (Tianjin), Died February 24th, 1982 (Cambridge)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1921

Roles Represented in DAHR: speaker


Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor [Trial 1921-11-22-01] 10-in. 11/22/1921 Chinese lessons, nos. 10 and 15 Yuen Ren Chao Language instruction speaker  


Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Chao, Yuen Ren," accessed July 28, 2021,

Chao, Yuen Ren. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved July 28, 2021, from

"Chao, Yuen Ren." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 28 July 2021.

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