I know it's a bit "long" and massive to put Pinyin for every sentence, but the question remains to be asked: should we include it?
Share your opinion and if you want, propose alternatives/rules for this.
Is it technically possible to have pinyin show up in a hover? (I think the answer is no, but...) The way I could see this working is two-fold (this is just a mockup of what I would find extremely useful, hovering over characters to see the Pinyin):
Entire phrase in Pinyin:
Individual characters in Pinyin:
These don't appear to be possible, since there's nothing in, for example, the Japanese Stack Exchange that looks similar. But if Stack Exchange had a way of doing it so that we wrote something like [我很好:wǒ hěn hǎo] and Stack Exchange took care of the rest...
I'm just imagining a feature that doesn't exist. I think that it's extremely helpful if questioners and answers put Pinyin as well as characters in their posts, but as you say, it could be tedious.
Also not a general solution, but for Firefox there is Mandarin Popup, which I prefer to the previously menioned Perapera-kun. You just hover over any Chinese in a web page, and you get a popup with the pinyin and disctionary definition:
Another approach that StackExchange could support, by just supporting the elements, would be the
rb HTML5 elements. (No, the
rb elements aren't in the list of HTML elements Stack Exchange currently supports.) It would still be a little bit cumbersome to type out for each set of characters, but I can imagine Stack Exchange adding a Markdown style and/or toolbar button to facilitate it for Chinese and other languages. The article I linked to also has some suggestions for CSS for browsers that can't handle it natively.
I think this can be done so easily with Google Translate that it becomes unnecessary. If someone really wanted to find out they could just copy and paste into translate to get it.
Forcing it to become a standard is tedious and will be hard to enforce.
It also helps with memorizing if you have to make the effort to look it up you are more likely to remember it.
I personally think this would make the site look too much like a beginners site and may discourage advanced learners.
Japanese language stackexchange has implemented what @sillygwailo answered, which they called it Furigana support for details seeing here , so I think It is easy and necessary to add this feature.
There also need something like chinese extension so that we can input Hànyǔ Pīnyīn expediently. For this feature see more discussion here
This isn't really a general solution, but I have a Firefox addon installed called Perapera-kun which does a popup translation using CEDICT. Turn it on and it translates idioms, compound words, and single characters in a popup.
A zealous editor seem to have taken to the idea of adding pinyin to all (or most) Chinese sentences referenced. I do not think that this is a good idea. Including pinyin is important when the pronunciation of a character is at issue or with 多音字, and I think it is fine to include it as a courtesy when the OP clearly doesn't know much Chinese, but I believe -- and, based on the discussion here, most users seem to believe -- that adding pinyin to each question is unnecessary and distracting.
Readers who do not recognize certain characters are free to look them up in an online dictionary (of which there are many), but adding pinyin as a matter of course to posts by other users seems excessive unless it's clearly warranted.