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I'm trying to make a word to word correspondence of the following sentence from chinese to english:

博格瑞牌法兰希小金文奶酪

Borgri Franchi Small Cheese [Google Translate]

The translation from google translate didn't made much sense. What is "borgri" and "Franchi"?

I'm trying to do a word by word translation but I'm having difficulty of separating the chinese characters into "words" that make up that chinese sentence so that I later could match it with the corresponding translated word in the english translation. But I'm having difficulty finding the boundary of each word.

In google translate, I tried to separate a word by adding the next character and seeing how it would translate into english, but this proves difficult because each time I add or reduce the next character the meaning differs from the previous one and thus becomes inconsistent.

This sentence was an example of what I'm trying to translate. It's written in a cheese product with the brand Bongra*n Gerard (replace * with i) (often abbreviated as B.G. It's a brand from France).

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The difficulty here is not just word parsing, but the localisation that the manufacturer has imposed. It's their product, so it's their rules.

博格瑞牌法兰希小金文奶酪

Let's parse this by highlighting the main content words

博格瑞法兰希小金文奶酪

Someone with some knowledge of cheese will recognise 金文奶酪 = Camembert (cheese). Some may even know that it can come in several sizes. That leaves the brand name and the product name.

博格瑞 法兰希 小金文奶酪

Those familiar with French geography in Chinese will see the art of translation in the product name: the Île-de-France in Chinese is called 法兰西岛 (although actually most local Chinese call it 巴黎大区 or 大巴黎区, which is not the official French definition of le Grand Paris).

A slight change of 西 to 希 for euphonic reasons, and you have the makings of a highly exportable product name.

The brand name has been shortened from its "assigned" Chinese version to something with three characters or less. This means that with 牌 it forms four characters, again producing that euphonic effect, so desired in marketing.

  • Wow didn't expect such deep answer. Thank you for sharing. From what you answered then I assume that if I would just say "do you sell 法兰希?" to a common Chinese person (who doesn't have any knowledge about cheese brand) it would be confusing for him, am I wrong? Unless you add the 牌 in front then would he understand that it is the name of a brand or how would you suppose to say it so that he would understand it is a brand name? – Tomsofty33 Sep 5 '18 at 15:13
  • @Tomsofty33 That would be correct; I would expect no-one outside the cheese world to understand 法兰希 in China or any other Chinese speaking community outside France / la francophonie, and even within France... well, your mileage may vary. – Michaelyus Sep 5 '18 at 15:15
  • Although u said that with 牌 it forms four characters to produce that euphonic effect, Just to double check, grammatically speaking as understood in Chinese, the more correct translation of 博格瑞 牌 法兰希... in English, it would be more understood as "Bongrain, ile de France brand,...." or is it more like "A Bongrain's brand, Ile de France..." ? Does the character 牌 ( brand) in this context is attached to the word before it (博格瑞 / BONGRAIN) or the word after it (法兰希 / Ile de France)? Grammatically. – Tomsofty33 Sep 5 '18 at 15:31
  • @Tomsofty33 Chinese is strictly "left-branching", so it's Bongrain brand, 'Ile-de-France' petit camembert cheese – Michaelyus Sep 5 '18 at 15:37
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博格瑞 the name of the product brand

牌 means brand

法兰希 French, but it should be 法兰西

小 small

金文奶酪 camembert, also 卡门贝尔奶酪

You can not translate it word by word, you have to re-order them

Borgri Small French Camembert??

  • Yes the Product Name is Petit Camembert. It does make sense but only for the two last words. "Small Camembert" => "Petit Camembert" – Tomsofty33 Aug 6 '18 at 10:01
  • I don't get why the selection of the word Camembert to be written as 金文奶酪 instead of 卡蒙伯尔 like in google translate? Also is it supposed to be French or is it supposed to be France? Is the Chinese translation of the word France and French different ? Soory I'm Noobi – Tomsofty33 Aug 6 '18 at 10:05
  • The brand is actually Ile de France which is made by the company B.G. (Bongrain Gerard). Usually Bongrain Gerard is written in the abbreviated form. Is there any possibility that the word 博格瑞 in this case the writer meant is as an abbrevation -> B.G instead of meaning "borgri"? Borgri doesn't make any sense to me. I'm assuming that the actual sentence translation is: "a B.G. Brand, France, Petit Camembert". But I'm definitely wrong. Or is the word "borgri" supposed to be the chinese sound of "bongrain", if it is so it still doesn't fit the context. – Tomsofty33 Aug 6 '18 at 10:15
  • Because is supposed to be "bongrain gerard brand, France" not just "bongrain brand, France" – Tomsofty33 Aug 6 '18 at 10:20
  • @Tomsofty3e Sorry, my product name translation is just a demo, the practical name should be the one that the company choose. 金文 or 卡门贝尔 are just two translations I found,it is the same thing. My English is not good, I just split the word for you, you can translate it youself. – Jacob Aug 6 '18 at 15:53

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