Archive for Transcription

Mongolian transliterations of Donald Trump's name

We've looked fairly intensively at transcriptions of our new President's name in Chinese and, en passant, in Japanese, Korean, and other languages:

"Trump translated" (8/31/16) — about halfway down in the o.p.

"Transcription of "Barack Obama", "Hillary Clinton", and "Donald Trump" in the Sinosphere" (10/2/16)

"Chinese transcriptions of Donald Trump's surname" (11/23/16)

For those who are interested in how the POTUS's name and surname are rendered in Mongolian scripts, both Cyrillic and traditional Mongolian writing, we now have Bathrobe's post at Spicks & Specks:

"'Donald Trump' in Mongolian" (4/13/17)

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More Sinological suffering

[This is a guest post by Brendan O'Kane. See "Sinological suffering", 3/31/17, for background.]


I snapped this picture at the library today:

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Topolectal traffic sign

This has apparently been around for awhile, but I'm seeing it now for the first time:

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VX in Chinese

By now practically the whole world knows that Kim Jong-nam, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un's older half-brother, was killed by the extremely toxic nerve agent called VX.  VX is much more potent than sarin, which was used by the Aum Shinrikyo cult to kill 12 people and injure thousands of others in the Tokyo subway in 1995.  Apparently, it's not clear why this series of nerve agents is called "V" ( "Victory", "Venomous", or "Viscous" are some of the possibilities).  Since research on these agents is restricted primarily to the military, not much is known about them in civilian circles.  Whatever the "V" stands for, and besides VX, other agents in the series include VE, VG, VM, and VR.

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Gambling Disturb Terrible

A friend of Anne Henochowicz spotted this T-shirt in an Akihabara, Tokyo shop:

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Sun-moon mountain-wood

Boris Kootzenko was intrigued by this sign in China:

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Zhou Youguang 1906-2017

Zhou xiansheng,

You were my dear friend for decades.  I wish that you had gone on living forever.  You will be sorely missed, but yours was a life well lived.

As the "Father of Pinyin", you have had an enormous impact on education and culture in China.  After you passed the century mark, you spoke out courageously in favor of democracy and reform.

Now, one day after your 111th birthday, you have departed, but you will always be in our hearts, brimming with light, as your name suggests.

Tearfully,

Victor

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Chinese lung cancer poeticizes in English

For several days I've been aware of a strange poem that has gone viral in China:

"Read The Smog-Inspired Poem That China Can't Stop Talking About" (NPR, 1/12/17)

The strangeness of the poem is due to its being written from the perspective of lung cancer and addressed to the patient.  You judge for yourself — here's the complete poem:

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Haifa subway station names

In several recent posts, I have pointed out how Chinese and Japanese announcements and greetings for foreigners are often pronounced in a special way that deviates markedly from what Chinese and Japanese would say to each other:

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Silent Night

Dave Cragin asks, "How did 平安夜 come to mean Christmas Eve?"

Now that's a good seasonal topic if ever there were one.

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Jordan / Qiaodan / 乔丹

There was quite a stir this week surrounding a high profile court case in China over Michael Jordan's suit to control the branding rights to his name.  The controversy is described in this NYT article by Sui-wee Lee:

"Michael Jordan Owns Right to His Name in Chinese Characters, Too, Court Rules" (12/7/16)

After reading the article, Ethan Merritt sent in some pertinent observations and questions:

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Chinese transcriptions of Donald Trump's surname

From the following post, we see that there are three main ways to transcribe Donald Trump's given name in Chinese and two main ways to transcribe his surname:

"Transcription of "Barack Obama", "Hillary Clinton", and "Donald Trump" in the Sinosphere" (10/2/16)

Here are the two prevailing transcriptions of "Trump" in Chinese characters:

Tèlǎngpǔ 特朗普 (mainland China, Macau, Malaysia/Singapore) — 4,970,000 ghits

Chuānpǔ 川普 (Taiwan, Hong Kong, but also on the mainland, especially on the internet) — 1,570,000 ghits

N.B.:  The relative popularity of these two forms is shifting among different groups in all of the designated regions.

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Hokkien-Tagalog-English-Spanish phrasebook

Page of a phrasebook published in 1941 (click to embiggen):

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