Liu Xiaobo

« previous post | next post »

Yesterday, the world rejoiced at the news of Liu Xiaobo's being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2010.  In China, however, the cyber police and media censors swung into frantic action to prevent word of this important event from being communicated to its 1.4 billion citizens.  They cordoned off the area where Liu's wife, Liu Xia, lives, and then whisked her off to an undisclosed location so that the press and television could not interview her.  Liu himself may still not know that he is the Peace Prize laureate.  And anyone who celebrates the award or mentions Liu's name (certainly not approvingly) is likely to end up in prison just like him.  Even Han Han, China's most formidable blogger, who seems to be able to say more than anyone else about contemporary life in China (but always most subtly and indirectly), was extremely careful about how he broached the subject:  see here and here.  (You must look very carefully to see what Han Han wrote).

Of course, the people of China are not stupid, nor are they fools, so they invariably find out what is going on and devise means for discussing it.

Here are some of the circumlocutions for Liu Xiaobo that have been swirling around the Chinese Internet:

Hanyu 汉语/Chinese:
Middle Sinitic 中古汉语:Lieu Hëux-pua
Wu 吴语:Leu Shiau-pu
Cantonese 粤语:Lau Hiu-bo
Minnan 闽南语:Lâu Hiáu-po
Hainan 海南话:Lao Rao-bo
Dalian 大连话:Liu Xiao-ber
Chongqing 重庆话:Liew Ciaor-bo
National Romanization 国语罗马字:Lyou Sheaubuo
Wade-Giles 威妥玛式:Liu Hsiao-Po

印欧语/Indo European:
English 英语:MINI BALL LIU or DAWN WAVE LIU
German 德语:Liu Schaubo
French 法语:Lïu Chopo
Spanish 西班牙语:Liu Giaobo
Italian 意大利语:Liu Sciopo
Romanian 罗马尼亚语:Liu Şeapo
Russian 俄语:Лю Сяобо
Czech 捷克语:Liou Siaopo

闪含语 Semitic:
Arabic 阿拉伯语:ليو قزايبو
Hebrew 希伯来语:ליו_שיאבו

汉字文化圈 other East Asian languages:
Japanese 日语:りゅう しょうは/ リュウ シャオボー
Korean 韩语:류 샤오보
Vietnamese 越南语:Lưu Hiểu Ba

Esperanto 世界语:Ljoŭ Ŝjaŭ-Bŭo

Anything to avoid writing "Liu Xiaobo," "刘晓波" (simplified), "劉曉波" (traditional), Liú Xiǎobō (Pinyin), because these would immediately be picked up by the cyber police.

Before closing, it is my duty to explain how to pronounce Liu Xiaobo's name, since I've heard it mangled by most spokesmen and commentators in recent days.  Here is the "textbook" IPA transcription for the Modern Standard Mandarin pronunciation of the three syllables of Liu Xiaobo's name:

/ljou/  (tone 2, "35")

/ɕjɑu/ (tone 3, "214" or "21")

/pɔ/ (tone 1, "55")

If you don't know how to read off IPA, then here are "spellers" for the three syllables:

LEE-OWE (pronounced as one syllable); many people are confused by the final "u," which doesn't sound like a "u" at all, but rather like a long "o".

SHE-OW (pronounced as one syllable).

BO (like "boy" with the "y" lopped off)

And here are a couple of recordings. The first one is a woman from Taiwan:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The second one is a speaker from Beijing:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

[Thanks to Jiahong Yuan, Zhao Lu, Jing Wen, Sophie Wei, Rebecca Fu, Brendan O'Kane, and Mi You]

Share:



42 Comments »

  1. MJP said,

    October 10, 2010 @ 9:50 am

    And already the Han Han post and the translation – as far as I can tell – have been deleted (unless I've missed the point of "you must look very carefully".)

    And anyone who celebrates the award or mentions Liu's name (certainly not approvingly) is likely to end up in prison just like him.

    On another note: I really like this sentence. Its couldn't be clearer or more concise, but I can imagine Knights of the Order of S&W keeling over from the effort of trying to logically explain the "not" or avoid the PAP construction…

  2. Twitter Trackbacks for Language Log » Liu Xiaobo [upenn.edu] on Topsy.com said,

    October 10, 2010 @ 9:56 am

    [...] Language Log » Liu Xiaobo languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=2699 – view page – cached October 10, 2010 @ 9:21 am · Filed by Victor Mair under Language and culture Tweets about this link [...]

  3. Peter Taylor said,

    October 10, 2010 @ 10:11 am

    And anyone who celebrates the award or mentions Liu's name (certainly not approvingly) is likely to end up in prison just like him.

    On another note: I really like this sentence. Its couldn't be clearer or more concise

    I think that if it were less concise it could be quite a bit clearer. I can work out what it means from the context, but I can't work out how it's supposed to make sense. Replacing "certainly not" with "especially" makes it work for me. My best guess is that the part before the parenthesis originally had a negative statement: this was rewritten, but the parenthesis wasn't.

  4. anon said,

    October 10, 2010 @ 11:16 am

    And already the Han Han post and the translation – as far as I can tell – have been deleted (unless I've missed the point of "you must look very carefully".)

    You have indeed. Han Han can't say anything about Liu Xiaobo without offending the censors and likely getting into trouble himself, but still wants to make a post about him. He therefore posts " ". No offensive content, but the meaning is there.

  5. david said,

    October 10, 2010 @ 11:25 am

    So how exactly are these used? A chinese forum poster or blogger would write something in chinese and then drop in e.g. the japanese script りゅう しょうは or arabic script ليو قزايبو in the middle?

    What happens if the reader doesn't know the script? If he googles e.g. "りゅう しょうは" and a website with the chinese or pinyin name comes up I assume it will be blocked….

  6. Andy said,

    October 10, 2010 @ 11:34 am

    Simply excellent advice. For those writing in the languages presented, they now know how to write Liu's name without being detected. And we know how to pronounce Liu's name when we *can* speak freely!

  7. zukeeper said,

    October 10, 2010 @ 11:50 am

    Well I just googled the Arabic from China and the guy's name came straight up so…

    ليو قزايبو

  8. Henning Makholm said,

    October 10, 2010 @ 12:04 pm

    Wade-Giles 威妥玛式:Liu Hsiao-Po…German 德语:Liu Schaubo

    What do table entries like these even mean? I thought Wade-Giles was by definition a method for representing Chinese sounds with Roman script? What is "威妥玛式" then? Is it some standard way of using hanzi to represent, specifically, Wade-Giles translitterations?

    And though "Liu Schaubo" looks like an orthographic combination that could occur in German, it does not actually mean anything in German. What is the relation between "德语" and "Liu Schaubo"? It cannot be a translation either way, because "Liu Schaubo" does not have a German meaning to translate. Is it some standard way of using hanzi to represent, specifically, German phonemes (apparently, completely differently from French or Spanish phonemes)?

  9. M said,

    October 10, 2010 @ 12:27 pm

    @Henning: the hanzi in the table are the names of the languages, for example in

    Italian 意大利语:Liu Sciopo

    意大利语 is Yi-da-li-yu / Italian.

    My understanding is that people in China are referring to 刘晓波 as (for example) "Liu Sciopo" in order to escape automated censors.

    But I too must ask, surely most people in China are not familiar with these writing systems? Wouldn't something based on homophones be more comprehensible?

  10. Ran Ari-Gur said,

    October 10, 2010 @ 12:30 pm

    @Henning Makholm: "威妥玛式" is just Hanzi for "Wade-Giles transliteration system" (or the like), "德语" is just Hanzi for "German", and so on. (Disclaimer: I don't know any Chinese, that's just what I gather from Googling and consulting online dictionaries and such.) So, for example, this table entry:

    > German 德语:Liu Schaubo

    could equally be written this way:

    > German Deutsch: Liu Schaubo

    or just:

    > German: Liu Schaubo

  11. Graham Webster said,

    October 10, 2010 @ 12:32 pm

    @Henning Makholm:

    The tables don't represent a high-integrity linguistic fact. They indicate vaguely how to spell the phonetic pronunciation of Liu's name using standard pronunciations in each language. The hanzi next to Wade-Giles and German are simply the Chinese names for those categories. In pinyin, Wade-Giles is named for Thomas Wade using his Chinese name, Wēi Tuǒmǎ. German is named Déyǔ, where dé is the character used for Germany and yǔ means spoken language.

    Also – For the record, I've seen people mis-spelling even these circumventions as a tool to get them through. Also, there has been plenty of play with homonyms. A made-up example: 六小破 (lìuxiǎopò, literally "six little smashes").

  12. Jongseong Park said,

    October 10, 2010 @ 12:41 pm

    There are more circumlocutions if you include the non-Chinese-language media within China, but I don't want to tip off the censors…

  13. ensis said,

    October 10, 2010 @ 12:51 pm

    I'd be curious how they got to that particular Arabic transliteration.

    ليو قزايبو reads something like Līyū Qazāybū. A more correct transliteration into Arabic would be ليو شياوبو, or something like Līyū Shiyāwbū. I really don't understand how the "q" and the "z" snuck in there.

    Were they perhaps using the Uyghur alphabet?

  14. arthur waldron said,

    October 10, 2010 @ 12:53 pm

    Lots of people in China–educated people in major cities–still do not know. So censorship will slow the flow of information quite effectively. Whether giving them the news in Hebrew or Arabic will really help, that may be questioned.

  15. Yuval said,

    October 10, 2010 @ 1:09 pm

    The Arabic rendering is funny: it reads "Lyu Qzaybu", rather than phoneticize the first consonant of the second syllable as the perfectly cromulent ش‎, "sh" (as does Hebrew right below it with the ש, for example). Also, why the diphthong is given as "ay" rather than "ya" (Qzyabu)or "yau" is beyond me. Arabic phonology has no problem with either.

  16. Finally, a Nobel Peace Prize worthy of the name… « The Home for Wayward Statisticians said,

    October 10, 2010 @ 1:12 pm

    [...] Update (10 October). The folks at Language Log help us Foreign Devils pronounce our hero's name. [...]

  17. Jerry Friedman said,

    October 10, 2010 @ 1:22 pm

    @Peter Taylor: I understand "And anyone who celebrates the award or mentions Liu's name (certainly not approvingly) is likely to end up in prison just like him" as "And anyone who celebrates the award or mentions Liu's name (mentions it at all—certainly no one would mention it approvingly) is likely to end up in prison just like him."

    @MJP: I suspect many followers of Strunk and White would admire the concision of that sentence.

  18. Dan T. said,

    October 10, 2010 @ 3:27 pm

    Are the Chinese tyrants going to ban this site too, for mentioning the issue?

  19. ChasL said,

    October 10, 2010 @ 3:40 pm

    Are you, the entire expat China blogsphere, under some sort of self-censorshp to never mention the $650,000 Liu Xiaobo received from US government, via the NED, to conduct domestic political activity in China?

    Liu's financial sponsorship by the NED is in the public records, you just have to look up the now delted NED China grant publication in web archives like Way Back Machine.

    [(myl) This is not an area that I know a lot about. But I do know that Language Log is not part of the "expat China blogsphere", none of us being Chinese living outside of China (or non-Chinese living in China either).

    As for the question of Liu Xiaobo having once gotten funding from the NED, I don't know anything about it one way or the other. But the claim, entirely uncensored, is all over the internet, repeated in very similar wording by people like you.

    And in fact, a few seconds of web search turns up an item (dated today) at ned.org in which they proudly acknowledge supporting his work:

    Among his many contributions to the advance of democratic ideas and values in China have been his work as editor of Democratic China magazine (English via GoogleTranslate) for several years until his arrest in 2008, and serving two terms as President of the Independent Chinese PEN Center, from 2003 to 2007.  NED is pleased to have been able to provide grant support to both organizations for their activities supporting free inquiry and freedom of expression over the years.

    Do you think that being active in organizations that are funded to promote democracy is a crime or even a source of shame?]

  20. Ethan said,

    October 10, 2010 @ 5:43 pm

    What is the path by which these transliterations into other languages are being created?

    I ask because Victor says that the name Liu is pronounced "lee-owe" with a long 'o'. Disregarding for the moment the question of what process resulted in the representation 'Liu' in English in particular, why do the transliterations into other alphabets (Cyrillic Лю, Japanese リュウ) also choose a character pronounced with a 'yu' sound rather than a 'yo' sound? Are they second-hand transliterations from the English, produced by non-Chinese speakers? Are they chosen by Chinese speakers whose pronunciation differs from what Victor gives as standard Mandarin?
    I wondered if alternatively it could be a question of the different vowel being perceived by Mandarin speakers as universal foreign accent. That is, if Mandarin speakers consistently pronounce foreign words containing 'yu' in their originating language as 'yo' when imported into Chinese, they might apply the same rule in reverse in choosing to transliterate a Mandarin word containing 'yo' using a roman/japanese/cyrillic character representing 'yu'. Is this what's happening here?

  21. Matt said,

    October 10, 2010 @ 5:57 pm

    Hi, can you upload on of the sound files to Wikipedia for the article about Liu there?

  22. Victor Mair said,

    October 10, 2010 @ 10:05 pm

    @Matt I don't know how to do that. Perhaps you (or someone else who knows how to do it) could refer Wikipedia readers to this post: http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=2699

  23. Uncle Angel said,

    October 10, 2010 @ 10:19 pm

    I usually transliterate forbidden words into Cyrillic or Greek letters, although they don't necessarily reflect how the Russians or Greeks would represent pinyin.

    I'm sure the Chinese also use various circumlocutions as well, which is another means I use to try and stay off the radar if I'm discussing some touchy subject on my blog.

    I note that my blog was a little slower to appear this morning, which might've been because I used "Nobel Prize" as one of the tags in a recent entry.

    Dan T., individual entries might get nobbled in due course. I've found that articles which I've been able to read on the BBC or The Guardian when the some news about China is first published can be read with impunity, but if you go back to them some time later, they will've been blocked. But, it seems more likely you're going to get blocked if you're a player (e.g. Danwei, ESWN, The Peking Duck) rather than a minor nobody like me with almost no audience at all, or an entity such as Language Log whose primary area of interest isn't actually China.

  24. Kevin Iga said,

    October 10, 2010 @ 11:36 pm

    @Ethan: Syllables ending in "-iu" (using the Pinyin transliteration system, which is the current official transliteration system advocated by the mainland Chinese government) have a range of pronunciation, depending on where the speaker is from. The "standard" pronunciation is "-yo" followed by a slight glide to "u", but it is easy to find speakers who say "-yu", especially in the south. My guess is that it went from "-yu" to "-yo", partly on the evidence that in many of the same situations, Cantonese has "-yu" (almost sounds like "-i-u", as two syllables, to my ear), and partly on the transliterations, including older transliteration systems: The Wade-Giles system dates from the 19th century and uses this same transliteration for this diphthong. There are other similar situations, like "-üan" being pronounced "-üen", "-ian" being pronounced "-ien", and "-ui" being pronounced "-uei".

  25. Mandy said,

    October 10, 2010 @ 11:50 pm

    The Arabic transliteration of Liu's name is particularly strange (it's not written in Uyghur either). Strangely, if you search Liu's name on Arabic Wikipedia in ليو قزايبو (lyu qzāybu), you will be redirected to ليو شياوبو (lyu shyāwbū).

    Major Arabic news networks like al-jazeera and al-dustour have Liu's name as ليو شياوبو (lyu shyāwbū), which is the correct transliteration, so it's a mystery to me how they managed to get lyu qzāybū.

    Have they figured out the phonetic mistake and then later corrected it or there is some sort of censorship at work here (Uyghurs in Xinjiang can early search for Liu's name in Arabic), who knows?

    Liu knew that he's the recipient of the award – according to a HK source, on hearing the news, he broke down in tears, saying that the award belongs to those who perished during the massacre.

  26. xah lee said,

    October 11, 2010 @ 12:41 am

    thumbs down for this post. I'm sorry to say.

    propaganda, factually incorrect info, biased implications and hintings.

    Won't say much about this… since it's too controversial and any debate here will probably ends up a mess.

    if posted here the pure linguistics issue of ways to say the name of Liu Xiaobo without being detected, than that could be a interesting and a good topic for lang log. Adding the few paragraphs of personal view, or US American view, is too much for me.

    for one thing, i'm in the school against the concept of “universal human rigths”; meaningless, destructive, woe-begetting. We have many linguistics here, but do we have expert philosophers on what's called “morality”, who might express against this currently majority sactioned, inalienable, “human rigths” view?

  27. ChasL said,

    October 11, 2010 @ 1:08 am

    myl, conducting domestic political activity under foreign sponsorship is illegal in most countries. Have you read Foreign Agent Registration Act? We put people away for 25 years for stuff Liu Xiaobo did in China.

    Liu's conviction on attempt to subvert state authority rested on similar grounds. Chinese court verdict (provided above), page 4 section 1 & 2 clearly established Liu's foreign agent status thru foreign remittance he received and withdrew from his bank account.

    [(myl) The parallel is not clear to me. According to the Wikipedia article, the Foreign Agents Registration Act

    ... requires people and organizations that are under foreign control ("agents of a foreign principal") to register with the Department of Justice when acting on behalf of foreign interests. This law defines the agent of a foreign principal as someone who:

    1. Engages in political activities for or in the interests of a foreign principal;
    2. Acts in a public relations capacity for a foreign principal;
    3. Solicits or dispenses any thing of value within the United States for a foreign principal;
    4. Represents the interests of a foreign principal before any agency or official of the U.S. government.[1]

    The Department of Justice has found that most violations of this law are unintentional and is attempting to work out problems without legal action.

    Even fairly egregious violations seem to be treated rather leniently (again from Wikipedia):

    Samir Vincent, An Iraqi-American businessman who admitted helping Saddam Hussein's government in the oil-for-food scandal was fined $300,000 and sentenced to probation. He was charged, among other counts, with conspiracy to act as an unregistered agent of a foreign government.

    If a Chinese foundation would like to give Language Log a grant to encourage our efforts to make Chinese linguistic and cultural matters more accessible to English-speaking audience, I'm sure that we could work something out — and I would not anticipate being sentenced to 11 years in jail for taking the money.]

  28. LQ said,

    October 11, 2010 @ 1:10 am

    Just to head off any attempt at engagement at the pass: If you take a look at xah lee's website, you can see that he has a great deal of what I'll generously call fringe writings. Moving on…

  29. xah lee said,

    October 11, 2010 @ 4:12 am

    i feel strongly on this issue.

    I noticed ChasL above has also expressed similar view against this blog article, and lang log editor has commented. So, perhaps it's ok to make a few alternative view comments. If editors feel my comment is not appropriate, no problem. I'll just continune to read other interesting lang log toics.

    i don't know Liu Xiaobo till now. I was born and grew up in Taiwan till 14. (but my parents were born in china) I've never set foot on china. On taiwan/china issue, i tend to support china. Am also haven't paid much attention to chinese politics, don't think ever read one piece of news on China politics in past 20 years… except in recent years have paid some attention to politics of Taiwan (my birth country), due to president Chen Shui-bian corruption.

    one of my favorite writer, is Li Ao, a well known free speech proponent, writer, historian, who's been in jail for 10 or so years by Taiwan's KMT party.

    I read up on Liu Xiaobo for perhaps just half a day recently. I'm against supporting him for several reasons:

    • US politics and propaganda against China. (Dalai Lama, Falun Gong, and now Liu Xiaobo)

    • Liu Xiaobo's “Charter 08” manifesto, to me seems downright treason. (can be likened to us creating a manifesto against the US Constitution.)

    • Liu's Chapter 08 manifesto's central theme goes alone the lines of “universal human rights”, which i do not believe. And to me, that simply seem to be a tactic of demagogy.

    • Several essays Liu Xiaobo has written attacking my most revered writer Li Ao.

    i have written many essays documenting my sentiments and findings in the past few years. (sorry, am not a professor or affiliated with any well-known organization. So if my writings seem fringe… that'd be a weakness on my part)

    if you do spend time to read the following links, try to honestly look into the opposite of the coin, else there'd be no point. (too loong a comment if i quote all relevant paragraphs.)

    general links: (between eng and chinese Wikipedia versions, i ordered them so that the one with more info is on top. Usually the info quality and quantity difference is large on some chinese topic, partly due to large difference of readers's lang and cultural background)
    http://zh.wikipedia.org/zh-tw/李敖
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Li_Ao
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liu_Xiaobo
    http://zh.wikipedia.org/zh/刘晓波
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charter_08
    http://zh.wikipedia.org/zh/陳水扁

    • 〈Li Ao on Tiananmen Square Protests Of 1989〉
    http://xahlee.org/Periodic_dosage_dir/Li_Ao_on_Tiananmen_Square.html

    • 〈Scientology and Falun Gong〉
    http://xahlee.org/Periodic_dosage_dir/t2/scientology_falun_gong.html

    • 〈Li Ao on Tibet and Dalai Lama〉
    http://xahlee.org/Periodic_dosage_dir/tibet.html

    for criticisms of “universal human rights”, i guess the topic is old. But Wikipedia provides some starting points if you not already familiar with this
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights#Critiques_of_human_rights
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_human_rights#Debate
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master-slave_morality
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nihilism
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_slavery

    (i don't necessarily agree with the above… but am just citing well-established philosophies against the universal “human rights” concept)

    Nobel prize, especially Peace, is very controversial, and this is a well-established fact. It is often criticized as politically motivated. In many cases, the laureates are considered war mongers by many.
    http://xahlee.org/math/math_prizes_and_Nobel_Ignobility.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nobel_Prize_controversies#Peace

    To find Liu's articles attacking Li Ao, just google: “李敖,刘晓波”. Here's some of his essay titles:

    • 劉曉波:話說李敖——精明的驕狂

    • 刘晓波:李敖在北大如何摸老虎屁股?

    • 刘晓波文选:话说李敖之二紧跟暴君毛泽东

  30. Pflaumbaum said,

    October 11, 2010 @ 6:48 am

    The Romanian transliteration 'Şeapo' is also odd, 'au' is common in the language, even as part of a triphthong 'eau'.

    Are those of us mentioning these issues missing the point – are the transliterations specifically designed not to Google Translate easily back to 'Liu Xiaobo'?

  31. outeast said,

    October 11, 2010 @ 9:29 am

    Will all these circumlocutions really work? Surely this is not a new strategy – I know that a very helpful gentleman has been using similar approaches in attempting to make me aware of cH.EAP V1@G.RA, C1@L!5 for a long time. Does it really get around the filters?

  32. Jin Liu said,

    October 11, 2010 @ 11:39 am

    I just tried to search the following circumlocutions on the Baidu, but yielded nothing. If they have already been "harmonized," how come the google search didn't get many either?

    Middle Sinitic 中古汉语:Lieu Hëux-pua
    Wu 吴语:Leu Shiau-pu
    Cantonese 粤语:Lau Hiu-bo
    Minnan 闽南语:Lâu Hiáu-po
    Hainan 海南话:Lao Rao-bo
    Dalian 大连话:Liu Xiao-ber
    Chongqing 重庆话:Liew Ciaor-bo

  33. Quercki said,

    October 11, 2010 @ 5:48 pm

    This reminds me of the naming taboo that I just learned about this week. Does this make him an "exalted person?"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naming_taboo

  34. Mike Maxwell said,

    October 11, 2010 @ 8:54 pm

    Xah Lee wrote:
    > Adding the few paragraphs of personal view, or US American view,
    > is too much for me.

    You'll find lots of that here: American views, British views, and a number of other countries; mostly on language-related topics, but occasionally on other things. We're like that; we tend to take advantage of the rights our governments give us. I doubt that any of us has ever gone to jail for putting into writing what we believe, nor do I believe our countries are any worse for it. Quite the contrary.

    > i feel strongly on this issue.

    So do we.

  35. q said,

    October 12, 2010 @ 1:49 am

    "• Liu Xiaobo's “Charter 08” manifesto, to me seems downright treason."

    No more or less treasonous than Li Ao's writings that got him jailed. Note that even under Li Ao's preferred system of "one country two systems," Liu Xiaobo would not have been jailed if he had made his statements in that "other" system used in the SAR's.

    It seems your position is quite contradictory, except for the fact that Liu Xiaobo criticized Li Ao.

  36. Jim Dew said,

    October 12, 2010 @ 12:59 pm

    Perhaps the easiest way – at least for English speakers – to get a reasonable approximation of the pronunciation of the name Liu Xiaobo is to put it in the old Yale romanization system: Lyóu Syǎubwō

    The National Romanization (often cited as GR, for Gwoyeu Romatzyh) is of course very close to the Yale, though the version in Victor's original post, Lyou Sheaubuo, contains a small error: the final syllable should be bo. In any case, we should all be aware that accurate pronunciation is learned by ear, and repetition, rather than by trying to interpret spellings without aural guidance.

    Of the two recordings, the one from Beijing is clearly better than the other. If someone can put a recording on Wikipedia, it should be the voice of the speaker from Beijing.

  37. Gao said,

    October 12, 2010 @ 8:45 pm

    Nice exercise, but “Liu Schaobo”, “Lïu Chopo”, “Liu Giaobo” and “Liu Şeapo” are not at all “swirling around the Chinese Internet”. You've just made that up. Or can you give sources for any of those?

  38. minus273 said,

    October 13, 2010 @ 4:55 am

    Mitbbs folk calls him "Wavelet".

  39. China: More reactions to a first Nobel Prize :: Elites TV said,

    October 13, 2010 @ 5:57 am

    [...] around China's first Nobel laureate, Liu Xiaobo, has ranged from his nomination and the censorship which followed it, his writings, suitability, the talking points against him, his detractors, how many people know [...]

  40. Jeanne said,

    October 16, 2010 @ 6:08 pm

    The award was announced while I was traveling in China. I learned of it by watching the news banners on CNN Hong Kong. Oddly, the reports by the CNN talking heads always seemed to occur while our Yangtze river boat was between receivers. The only thing Chinese watchers saw was that Being blasted the award as "blasphemy." I asked our Chinese guides–they had never heard of him.

  41. Cina: altre reazioni al Premio Nobel per la Pace a Liu Xiaobo « NOTIZIE CORSARE said,

    October 20, 2010 @ 5:25 pm

    [...] della candidatura [en, come tutti i link che seguono tranne dove diversamente indicato] e della censura della sua vittoria, delle sue opere, della suaidoneità o meno [a ricevere il premio], delle principali [...]

  42. Nobel Prize Not So Peaceful Lately | What I Learned Today said,

    December 10, 2010 @ 5:59 am

    [...] source: http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=2699 [...]

RSS feed for comments on this post · TrackBack URI

Leave a Comment