Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: English names into Chinese.

  1. #1
    Завсегдатай
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Seventh
    Posts
    4,113
    Rep Power
    15

    English names into Chinese.

    I was in Chinatown in London, and they have the street signs in English and then underneath its written in Chinese.

    But I was wondering, since Chinese uses Kanji and no phonetic alphabet, how do they write things like "Charing Cross Road" and "Leicester Square"? in Chinese?
    Ingenting kan stoppa mig
    In Post-Soviet Russia internet porn downloads YOU!

  2. #2
    Старший оракул
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    China
    Posts
    860
    Rep Power
    11
    They take characters which resemble the English syllables as closely as possible in sound. However, in each case they often have a choice between anything from zero to 4+ characters, because firstly there are four tones, and secondly there is often more than one meaning for a particularly phonetic syllable with a particular tone.
    So there is art to it, actually, Western companies in China try to find a combination that is relatively close to their original name in sound but has some pleasant and relevant meaning in Chinese. If I actually knew any Chinese I could go into more detail on this
    With something like Charing Cross, you have 3 syllables, but this may well end up as four in Chinese, because Chinese syllables always have 'initials' and 'finals', and only a certain set of sounds can be used as finals - almost all of them vowels (there are a few exceptions, such as 'ng'). So you'd have one character representing 'cha', another representing 'ring' (this would be difficult, because the Chinese phoneme represented by 'r' in Pinyin, the romanized script, is an utterly different sound from our 'r'), and (maybe) another representing something close to "cro" and then something with "s-". Maybe.
    Basically it's a pretty botched job, the differences are too big for there to be a good way to do this.
    Море удачи и дачу у моря

  3. #3
    Завсегдатай
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Seventh
    Posts
    4,113
    Rep Power
    15
    I think Charing Cross Road was written with three symbols.
    Ingenting kan stoppa mig
    In Post-Soviet Russia internet porn downloads YOU!

  4. #4
    Почтенный гражданин
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    303
    Rep Power
    10
    I didn't know they came up with the signs that way. Interesting. Sounds heaps of fun to play with.
    Here's an entirely amateurish example of said process. I have no idea whether these Kanji'fied names have grammatical considerations. But, for fun...

    cha = tea
    ren = man
    ke = thirsty
    ruci = as such

    (charen keruci) The 'i' is a 'eh' sound, not a distinct i like in English.

    Charling Cross = Kind-of Thirsty Tea Man

    For the record, here are the tones so someone can produce a counter argument, and so Pravit can put them into characters and see IF, by some amazing chance, these were the characters used for the sign.
    (Though, the characters never come through on this forum);

    cha2
    ren2
    ke3
    ru2ci3

  5. #5
    Завсегдатай
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    с. Хреновое Воронежской обл.
    Posts
    2,481
    Rep Power
    13
    If the characters never come through for you it probably means you haven't installed the fonts, they work fine on mine.

    Not sure that's exactly the way they would do it, since they lean more to picking nice-sounding things than to picking things that sound the same, but just for kicks(I'm just using the IME's first pick):

    查认可如此

    BTW, sometimes they translate the meaning instead of the sound. For example, "Oxford" in Chinese is translated literally as "ox" and "ford."

  6. #6
    Завсегдатай
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Seventh
    Posts
    4,113
    Rep Power
    15
    Ingenting kan stoppa mig
    In Post-Soviet Russia internet porn downloads YOU!

  7. #7
    Guest
    麦高's pronunciation is close to maccles

    田 means field.

    街 means street.

    西 means west.

    敏's pronunciation is close to min

    市 means city.

  8. #8
    Guest

    my ideas...

    From what I've seen with Chinese, is that they try to use a certain set of characters when representing (at least) countries and also just foreign words in general...

    from what i can figure if we use what seems like the "standard" set of characters Charing Cross Road would be:

    查尔英*克罗斯*路
    (cha er ying * ke luo si * lu)

    (路 - lu = road)


    as for Leicester Square, I'd think it's something like:

    莱克斯特*场

    (lai ke si te * chang)
    (场 - chang = square)

    but, with so many characters to choose from if you want to try for a different meaning you can do that too...but, it does seem like the chinese tend to reuse the same set of characters for representing the same syllables from other languages...usually...

    for a lot of names in Chinese characters go here:
    http://chineseculture.about.com/library/name/blname.htm

Similar Threads

  1. My English and Chinese for your Russian.
    By slylie in forum Penpals and Language Exchange
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: October 21st, 2010, 11:50 AM
  2. Your Chinese (Mandarin) for my English
    By heartfelty in forum Chinese
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: September 21st, 2010, 03:32 AM
  3. English names
    By Propp in forum Learn English - Грамматика, переводы, словарный запас
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: September 24th, 2006, 06:39 PM
  4. russian-english-german-chinese-japanese-arabic exchange
    By Oriental in forum Penpals and Language Exchange
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: July 5th, 2006, 07:33 PM
  5. Language exchange? Chinese or English for Russian?
    By stavrogin2001 in forum Penpals and Language Exchange
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: November 15th, 2004, 10:24 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  


Russian Lessons                           

Russian Tests and Quizzes            

Russian Vocabulary