Thursday, December 11, 2008

Names and Syllables

I'm thinking... why words that only has one syllable can become like... 2 to 3 syllables when converted to Chinese?

Don't get what I mean?

Take for example, BRAD PITT - 2 syllables.
Sekali when translated to Chinese, it becomes... 布莱德皮特!
5 syllables!


Brad Pitt = Bulaider Peter?

Maybe because there's no "R" in Chinese... I remember my tuition teacher for BM loved to poke fun of us Chinese when speaking Malay.

Lu Cina ah... tak pandai cakap itu "R" punya..
"Waaaahh... itu jam LOLEK cantik oh!
Saya suka itu kerita TULEK!
Saya mahu balik lumah sikalang lu."

Even we Chinese ourselves couldn't help but laughed our ..... (you know what) off.

By the way, to those car owners who thought its cool to have their "Chinese name" made into stickers and stick to their cars: Yo dude, its totally uncool mmkay.

I'm not saying that they shouldn't do it but.. please get your Chinese friends or whoever know how  to read Chinese to proofread before you stuck it to your rear bumper. Sometimes reading those Chinese words really got me choked on my bottle of water.

Like... *thinking of a Malay name*
... maybe Ahmad? According to Google translate, it should be 艾哈迈德, pronounced as Ai-ha-mai-der. (See, become 4 syllables!) But then if you ask those "sticker company" (Sorry, I don't know what's the proper name for that and where to do it actually), they might actually translate it to... 啊妈的? which.. is not very nice because it sounds like what uncles in kopitiam swear all the time.

Once a friend told me that her friend's "name" become "Prawn something" when translated. I'm thinking it must be a name that has to do with "sha". Because in Chinese, prawn sounds like "sia".

Oh ya.. I know there's a lot of Malays who enjoy Xiaxue's blog but when they told me about it, I always catch no ball one. They pronounced Xiaxue into something like.. "jaju-eh" or something funny. Its actually very simple, just replace the "X" to "S", sia-su-eh and you'll get it. Her nick actually means "snowing".  

And.. I don't understand why "John" in Chinese is not 尊 or something like that. Instead, it becomes... 约翰?

John... how can it becomes YUE HAN???
Someone enlighten me please?

Name like Jonathan terpulang becomes 乔纳森 (ciao-na-sen).
Its like, totally different!

There's no "th" in Chinese and they can't pronounce the "th" too. That's why if you'd seen those Taiwan programs, they actually said "Thank You" as "Seng-Q", "Three" as "Sureeee".

I need a Chinese teacher here.
Thank you.


LSM said...

Phonetically, Japanese is similar to Chinese so Brad Pitt would sound like "Bu Ra Do Pi Ttu". But the Japanese love shortcuts and so Brad Pitt actually becomes "Burapi" which, to me, sounds like Malay "Berapi" as in he's on fire (now there's a nice thought :D)

48 said...

I think John is pronounced 'hu-an' in spanish and the chinese 'yue-han' comes from that
(ba.. i guessing nya)