Hot answers tagged transliteration
I'm not sure where you could get an accurate count for how many there are. Considering that loanwords have been coming into Chinese for thousands of years, it definitely won't be a trivial task. There is certainly quite a few, however, not all of which is current/widespread/universal. I'll list some here, and edit more in if I think of any later: Angel: ...
Actually they all came from their pronunciation. America: 美利坚 ("美国" for short) England: 英格兰 ("英国" for short)
They are not really called beautiful kingdom and hero kingdom. When Chinese come up with phonetic names of foreign things, they try to find a character that come close enough in sound while having a good meaning. Luckily 英 and 美 happen to correspond well with "Eng-" and "-me-" while having suitable meaning. Just like France 法兰西 (法国) has meaning of 法 Law. ...
Some says that "乔治" is very close to George in Shanghainese (上海話) since Shanghai was the big harbor allows international trades in 17th century. Lots of phrases are created/translated at that time. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_Pidgin_English
About the "乔" part of "George[dʒɔ:dʒ]", you can find some material in the 译音表(the Form of Ttransliteration). Besides, "奇" should be instead of "治" following the form. However, "约定俗成(the convention)" is one of the important rules of 《英文人名翻译准则》. Everybody often use "乔治" refer to "George", so that "乔治" is agreed upon gradually. Anyway, I don't know why did ...
There're no such character set like Japanese katakana. kana is a kind of phonography, but in Chinese only select similarly pronounced Hanzi(汉字) to transliterate loanword. Such as 沙发(sofa). Of course there're some commonly used idiom for special English pronunciation.
It's Mandarin transliteration by Portuguese Jesuit Fr. Inácio da Costa (17th century). Partial text: “大学之道，在明明德，在亲民，在止于至善” Ta hio chi dao, cai min min te, cai cin min, cai chi yu chi xen
Adding to the previous list: Bowling: 保龄球 bao ling qiu 滾木球 Buffet: 蒲飞 pu fei 自助餐 Calorie: 卡路里 ka lu li 热量单位 Cartoon: 卡通 ka tong 漫画 Motor: 摩托 mo tuo 电动机 Sundae: 新低 xin di 水果奶油,冰淇淋 T-Shirt: T-血 T-xue 短袖汗衫, 短袖圆领衫 Toast: 多士,吐司 duo shi, tu si 烤面包 Vitamin: 维他命 wei ta ming 维生素
It's just historical stuff. European countries that have commerce with China prior to the Ching dynasty and also modern countries after WWII, in general have fancier names. 希腊 for Greece 意大利 for Italy 瑞典 for Sweden 法国 for France 美国 for US 葡萄牙 for Portugal 马来西亚 for Malaysia 日本 for Japan etc. You just have to accept them as it is. It's hard to find a ...
Yes, there are preferred characters used in transliteration. But in Chinese the case is a little bit complicated than in Japanese. In Japanese, Katakana is part of the phonetic system of the language (although in written, those characters can be used with Kenji). In Chinese the phonetic system and the writing system are completely separated except in rare ...
Pronunciation ≠ Spelling! It's very important to distinguish spellings from pronunciations, so I'm using IPA throughout my answer. I don't know how you pronounce "wang" or "wong", but it's very likely that the closest pronunciation available in your dialect of English is neither of them. Chinese pronunciations I'm basing my IPA off of the Wikipedia help ...
It seems that "乔治" is the only one. And I think its pronunciation is the nearest one with its English counterpart In Chinese.
In fact, there is no meaning of beautiful (美) for America, it is just a name. Think about the name: Mr White, not means that the name is only for white people. We just show our kindness, that we like this country with positive words. When someone doesn't like America, he/she will call America "霉国", the pronounce of "美(mei3)" and "霉(mei2)" are similar. ...
Remember that despite having a writing system much more heavily vested in meaning vs pronunciation, Chinese still has a need to transcribe foreign sounds and words. Speakers of European languages tend not to notice this issue as much, because words from other languages can at least be approximated by sound, if not assimilated completely. Chinese does not ...
Yes, there are guidelines. We won't get confused in the 什 example because PRC had long contact with Russia, but we may get confused for some unfamiliar countries. Note that this guideline is only made and followed by authors and editors in mainland China. Taiwan and Hong Kong all have their own standards due to divergence in pronounciation. Whatsmore, ...
During the May Fourth Movement, many terms were "imported" from Japan to enrich the Chinese vocabulary for translation of Western idea. Not to mention that China, Hong Kong and Taiwan have been different translation for the same English word, for example: Cheese = 芝士 (HK) / 起司 (Taiwan) / 奶酪 (China) Toast = 多士 (HK) / 吐司 (Taiwan) / 烤面包 (China) Hence, it is ...
No, it is not the only one. Unless you think John sounds similar to 约翰. Chinese translations for foreign names and words (such as names of other stuff) are weird if you compare them to each other. People from the cities, Guangzhou, Hong Kong (Speaking Cantonese), and Shanghai (Speaking Wu), which were first open to the world, created these translations ...
Pretty much what @songyuanyao said, though, you will find some words in the dictionary that are marked (or defined I guess I should say) as "used in transliteration" like:哌、吖、叭...etc etc
Wang is the form of 拼音 (Pinyin). Wong is the form of 粤语 (Cantonese, Used in Guangdong province and Hong Kong). But The Cantonese style is a little different from Pinyin style, because Hong Kong used to be owned by Britain. British guys want to learn Cantonese more easily so they create the style. Notice that "Cantonese" means "广东的/广东人/广东话 (粤语)". "Canton" ...
When 巴 is used without context, it usually means part of Sichuan province. So 巴马 is a horse from Sichuan. 奥 is part of a room where you put offerings to your ancestors. So it is probably a cooked horse from Sichuan, put on a table in one of the house corners to please your ancestors. Not as funny as @zaolian's answer but anyways.
Yes, if it is the way you interpret the characters, you can translate that into a sentence. However, you probably should not say this to an average Chinese user, it would not make any sense to them. Actually, if you would like to interpreted 奥巴马 to any Chinese sentence that makes some sense, it is nearly impossible. I personally do not see an modern Chinese ...
There should be a list somewhere, as I imagine some linguist would have done research about it. It would be very long though. I don't believe there is an official one. Some characters that are commonly used in transliterations, off the top of my head: 布, 斯, 爾, 尼, 拉, 克, 阿, 格, 雷, 卡, 達.
Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible