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On Foreign Translation of Chinese Names 精选

已有 12701 次阅读 2012-2-20 03:32 |个人分类:生活点滴|系统分类:海外观察| Chinese, Foreign, class, face, difficult

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I submit that Chinese names when translated phonetically into, sayEnglish,  suffer a distinct disadvantage. Namely, the name becomes ameaningless string of symbols that is difficult to pronounce and to remember.On the other hand, names, such as John or Mary, do not have this problembecause they have been regularly used and culture-laden. Similarly, I canremember and understand a Chinese name such as 王鴻飛but ordinary readers, Caucasian or otherwise,except those of ScienceNet or possibly of biochemicalworld, will not know anything about “Hong-Fei Wang”.

One cannot help wondering to what extent this difficulty hashindered the individual development of Chinese in the outside world.

(Note added Apr, 12, 2012: One more difficulty I forgot to mention in phonetic translation of Chinese name into English or other language is the loss of gender information. One cannot tell for example, Yu-Chi Ho is a female or male name while there is no problem with John Smith or Mary Smith. )



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