When phonetically translating Chinese to English, you not only lose the tones, you also lose the vowels not existing in English.
The currently established methods to deal with such problems are either the pinyin or old romanization methods.
The problem I have with the pinyin method that was popularized by China is that it sometimes erroraneously misses the original phonetics.
For example, the spelling “liu” actually is pronounced /lee-o/, which I actually think should be spelled “lio”, while “yu” and “iu” are pronounced /ü/. But when you have something that is supposed to be pronounced /lü/, you can’t spell it “liu” because it will coincide with the spelling of /lee-o/, so they invented an odd ball to represent /lü/, with the spelling “lv”.
Another example. “i” is supposed to be pronounced /ee/, but when you have “ui” you are supposed to pronounce it /oo-ay/, which I actually think should be spelled “uei” to be accurate and consistent. However, life is not perfect.
Yet another example. “h” is suppose to denote /h/, but when it is like “zh”, “ch”, or “sh”, it represents a rolled tongue. And speaking of “c”, it is almost always soft… Like /tz/ or /ts/ Which I think should be spelled “tz” or “ts”. Same thing goes with “q” and “x”.
So even an established system, such as the one previously described, has many inconsistencies, I will not dwell into the Romantized system which has many more inconsistencies (ex. Ever wonder how the spelling of “hs” came about? Or why “ch” is everywhere?)
In my simplistic mind, I think rolled tongue should always be denoted by “r”, /ay/ should always be spelled “ei”, and /ee-o/ should always be spelled “io”. There, consistency.