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At first, I only knew about 特朗普 for representing the US President's name, since it follows Xinhua's transliteration scheme. However, the World Journal uses 川普 exclusively, even in its articles written in simplified characters. That makes sense for World Journal, considering that 川普 sounds like a Taiwanese transcription to me, but Google gives almost as many results for 川普总统 as for 特朗普总统, making me wonder: which is more immediately recognizable to Chinese speakers?

Would using one or the other sound particularly regional, or politically biased?

  • 川普 is used by VOA, most other internet sites, e.g. cctv,rfa,bbc have 特朗普 – user6065 Mar 1 '18 at 19:14
  • The official transliteration in Taiwan is 川普. 特朗普 is adopted by China. – user16115 Mar 1 '18 at 19:57
  • Mainland China: t (特) - rum (朗) - p(普), Taiwan: trum (川) - p (普). – 賈可 Jacky Mar 5 '18 at 7:28
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Haha, funny question. "特朗普" is the official transliteration, used most commonly in official media of China, such as CCTV(新闻联播)and People's Daily(人民日报), while "川普" is more often used in social media or among people's casual talking.

"川普" is transliterated based on the pronunciation of "Trump", which is reasonable. However, "特朗普" has been used as the transliteration for "Trump" for a long time. According to 《英语姓名翻译手册》(新华通讯社译名室,商务印书馆,2004年), which is an authentic book for transliterating English name, Donald Trump should be transliterated as 唐纳德。特朗普. In mainland China, the official medias usually follow that rule, so they usually use "特朗普". Other media, such as VOA or Taiwanese media does not necessarily follow this rule. So, the use of "川普" is also correct.

  • so VOA (and Taiwan government) is disrespectful to Donald Trump – user6065 Mar 1 '18 at 20:39
  • sorry, I may cause a little misunderstanding here. I don't think they are disrespectful, and the translation “川普” can be used. I did some survey, and it appers to me that "特朗普" is more authentic and official. You may refer to the following link for more info: zhihu.com/question/36452698 – Steve Yang Mar 1 '18 at 21:17
  • "四川普通话" doesn't really mean "dialect of Sichuan". Rather, it means "Mandarin with a Sichuan dialect accent" – Ben Yang Mar 2 '18 at 2:50
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Interestingly, when I googled by 川普, I got the search results showing the Baidu Baike uses 唐纳德·特朗普, and the Wikipedia redirects the page to 唐纳德·特朗普, even though the search result page shows 川普. The same Wikipedia page writes the following on the top of the page:

“川普”和“特朗普”均重定向至此。关于简称为川普的普通话变体,详见“四川普通话”。关于其他用法,详见“川普 (消歧义)”。

And the search result of the 川普 includes many pages written in Traditional characters (even though my macOS and Google account are set to Simplified Chinese, FYI).

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