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7

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. ...


7

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 ...


6

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


4

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 ...


4

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.


3

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 ...


3

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 ...


2

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 ...


2

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. ...


2

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, ...



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