I'm trying to translate the children's book "Where Is Gah-Ning?" in Chinese. The Gah-Ning in question is Chinese-Canadian, and the book is written in English, so I don't know how to render her name.

I'm thinking 尕拧, because "small-stubborn" fits the character so well, but I don't know if it sounds like a name. It's totally OK if it sounds like a nickname, though.

Any ideas?

  • Discussion of suitability of character 尕 reminds some users of police woman 莫尕红 occurring in the TV drama <<无路可逃>> v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMTgyNTQ4NTA4.html who seems to belong to a national minority (Tibetan?)
    – user6065
    Apr 6, 2016 at 15:26
  • Although I never met a person with 尕 in his or her name, I know that character generally appears in the name of a person from northwest China (Gansu, Qinghai, Ningxia, etc.). In you case, perhaps 盖 is applicable. When it's used as a surname, the pronunciation would be Ge3 or Gai4. In classic Chinese, this character can mean "because, because of".
    – Huang
    Apr 7, 2016 at 11:03

3 Answers 3


Although it is a potentially valid to use the slightly derogatory "cute" nickname, it is much more likely to be a more standard-sounding given name, for example 佳寧 or perhaps 嘉寧, both pronounced Jiāníng in Mandarin and Gā-nìhng in Cantonese. To my ear, both are female names. A quick Google returns quite a few profiles with this exact given name, overwhelmingly female.

  • Thanks! I went with 嘉寧 and my teacher didn't complain. Apr 14, 2016 at 14:02

I prefer 佳宁(佳寧), meaning "nice and peaceful." Although this girl may be young and stubborn, the name you suggest sounds awful and should not be applied to a girl.
P.S. 尕 is a character used mainly in dialects. 拧 is used as a verb and never appears in people's names.


I haven't read the whole book yet. After reading the introduction of the book from Barnes & Noble

Gah-Ning is determined to visit the town of Kapuskasing. She tries riding her bicycle, then glides away on roller blades, but each time her father pulls up in the car and brings her back. He doesn't want her to go because he has heard that people go to Kapuskasing to shop like crazy!

I come up with the girl's name


and the name of the book




  • 1
    I don't agree with this translation, for it does not correspond to pronunciation rules. Apr 12, 2016 at 8:56
  • @AurusHuang From Wiktionary: : Wu (WT Romanisation): nyin (T3); zen (T3). The pronunciation nyin is very close to Ning. Please ask any person who speaks Shanghainese how to say 人.
    – Nobody
    Apr 12, 2016 at 9:40
  • Oh, please. "in" and "ing" are different in Chinese phonology. Apr 13, 2016 at 8:23
  • Okay, but I speak Mandarin, the girl in the story probably speaks Cantonese. Apr 14, 2016 at 14:02
  • Even in Shanghainese or Cantonese, "in" and "ing" are not interchangable. Apr 18, 2016 at 6:53

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