Language Log: Liu Xiaobo

Victor Mair:

Before closing, it is my duty to explain how to pronounce Liu Xiaobo’s name, since I’ve heard it mangled by most spokesmen and commentators in recent days.  Here is the “textbook” IPA transcription for the Modern Standard Mandarin pronunciation of the three syllables of Liu Xiaobo’s name:
/ljou/  (tone 2, “35″)
/ɕjɑu/ (tone 3, “214″ or “21″)
/pɔ/ (tone 1, “55″)
If you don’t know how to read off IPA, then here are “spellers” for the three syllables: