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I'm trying to figure out how to correctly translate the name of a character which is written as 柯西. I've used a few translation resources, and all of them output Cauchy, however, the pronunciation (according to Google Translate) sounds similar to the greek letter Xi, and to make matters worse, this character is a part of a group where every other character's name is also a greek letter. When auto-translated into Chinese, Xi yields , however, its pronunciation is nothing like the original name, so I assume that if the author did mean the character to be called Xi, they wouldn't use for that purpose.

So the question I'm having is, can 柯西, possibly mean Xi as a greek letter, which is specifically used as a name?

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    我只听说过柯西-黎曼等式 Cauchy-Riemann Equations ……
    – Zhang
    Aug 19 '21 at 5:28
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The letters of the Greek alphabet already have set transliterations.

For Ξ/ξ, for which the Latin is xi (with various pronunciations in English, ranging from /ksiː/ to /zaɪ/), the standard Chinese version is 克西, which in Mandarin Pinyin is transcribed as kèxī. You're right that the sound is very close to the Mandarin for Cauchy, with just a difference in tone for one character; but that is different enough to be classified as a different word.

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Unless it refers to a Chinese person, "柯西" in modern Chinese almost always means the great mathematician Augustin-Louis Cauchy. Since he is so famous, people would avoid transliterating other names to the same characters, to prevent misunderstanding.

I've never heard of a western person whose last name is "Xi". If there is, I suspect his name would be transliterated as "奚", "熙", etc.

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  • I see, though the character in question isn't western, but not Chinese either (it's an alien). Also, 柯西 is not necessarily a last name, it's just the name they are known by. But I infer from the answer that the likelihood that it's supposed to mean Xi is negligible.
    – Shadow97
    Aug 20 '21 at 15:46

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