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  By the way, does anybody knows here on the list, why is zero
syllable onset transcribed by "ng-" in French transcription of
Chinese? I found the following equivalences in a comparative chart
of various Chinese transcriptions:

Pinyin    French
----------------
ai        ngai
an        ngan
ang       ngang
ao        ngao
e         ngo
en        ngen
eng       ngeng
ou        ngeou

  Does it reflect e.g. a glottal catch pronounced in a southern
dialect the French first met? And why is the "ng-" prefix omitted
from syllable "a" (Pinyin "a") and "eul" (Pinyin "er") - if it is
not a typo?