[<< wikibooks] Pinyin/Guanyin
Guanyin is the Goddess of Mercy. She is usually shown as female but sometimes shown as male. Her full name is Guanshiyin which means "Observing the Sounds (or cries) of the World."
Guānyīn shì Cíbēi Nǚshén; tōngcháng xiǎnshì wéi nǚxìng, yǒushí wéi nánxìng; quánmíng Guānshìyīn, yìsī shì “Guānchá Shìjiè de Shēngyīn (huò kūshēng).”

Many Buddhists agree that Guanyin came from the bodhisattva Avalokitesvara. Before the arrival of Buddhism to China, Guanyin was shown as a male in India where she was known as Avalokitesvara. When Buddhism came into China and became popular, many Buddhists transformed Avalokitesvara into a female named Guanyin.
Hěnduō Fójiàotú rènwéi, Guānyīn yuánzì Avalokitesvara púsà. Fójiào chuánrù Zhōngguó qián, Guānyīn zài Yìndù yuánběn xiǎnshì wéi nánxìng, yuánmíng Avalokitesvara. Fójiào zài Zhōngguó liúxíng hòu, hěnduō Fójiàotú bǎ Avalokitesvara gǎiwéi nǚxìng, mìngmíng Guānyīn.