MDBG has the following entry:


green (golf) (loanword)

果岭 doesn't really sound anything remotely like green, 岭 especially doesn't match up with the end of green.

How did green become 果岭?

  • IMO if you cut off uǒ​ from guǒ​lǐng​ it’s a very close approximation of green (close as you can get for Mandarin). You just have to say guǒ​lǐng​ by heavily de-stressing the first syllable.
    – dROOOze
    Jul 8 '19 at 2:13
  • Never heard of the word
    – fefe
    Jul 8 '19 at 2:15
  • @droooze Makes sense. By that estimation something like 格林 would have been much more apt.
    – Mou某
    Jul 8 '19 at 3:13
  • You're right, but maybe it's a regional phonetic approximation rather than standard Mandarin.
    – dROOOze
    Jul 8 '19 at 3:17
  • The word 果岭 means putting green, see here: 果岭, a term in golf.
    – xenophōn
    Aug 13 '19 at 14:16

Like you said in the comment, something like 格林 indeed would have been a better phonetic approximation. But the translation (even by sound) should also consider its meaning if possible. 岭 means hill or mountain in Chinese. And since a golf course resembles a hill for having ups and downs, 岭 would be more approriate to describe such an area. However I think 果 is purely phonetic.

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