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三岛由纪夫 (三島由紀夫)

Discussion in '中文+方言 (Chinese)' started by mask-13, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. mask-13 Junior Member

    Hello everyone!
    Is it true that when Chinese people speak about Japanese writer Mishima Yukio (三岛由纪夫 or 三島由紀夫) they call him Sāndǎo Yóujìfū?
    If yes, is it a general rule of reading Japanese names in Chinese?
    Thanks in advance!
  2. xiaolijie

    xiaolijie MOD

    English (UK)
    I think it'd be a lot of hard work for Chinese speakers to try to adopt or emulate the native Japanese readings for Japanese names (Mishima Yukio (三島由紀夫), Yokohama (横浜), Nagasaki (長崎), etc. are all native Japanese readings), so as long as the names are written in Chinese characters, Chinese speakers would say those characters the way they normally say them in Chinese, irrespective of how the names in Japanese actually sound like.

    This is my guess, but you're right to ask and we do need confirmation from Chinese native speakers.
  3. schur Junior Member

    Chinese - Mandarin
    Yes, mask. We read their names directly in Chinese if they're written in characters. However, a few of Japanese names are written in 假名 not characters, we shall find another way.
  4. schur Junior Member

    Chinese - Mandarin
    In fact it's a very interesting question. Although most characters in Chinese and Japanese are same, there are several characters are not in standard Chinese. Also, both Chinese and Japanese government simplified the characters in their own wishes, one may not be able to read Japanese special characters easily.

    横浜 in xiaolijie's post is a good example. 浜 in Japanese is simplified from 濱, but Chinese simplified it as 滨. We'll use 横滨 instead. If you look 浜 in a Chinese dictionary, it's read as bāng.

    Japanese special characters, such as 凩, 凪 etc will be a big challenge for us, at least me, since they're not officially accepted.
  5. mask-13 Junior Member

    Thank you!
    And how do you write names written in 假名? Do you write Japanese 假名 in Chinese text or you replace it with characters that sound or look similar?
  6. xiaolijie

    xiaolijie MOD

    English (UK)
    假名 (= kana) is the Japanese writing and is very unfamiliar to Chinese, so I don't think they'd go out of their way to write kana in a piece of Chinese writing. The first thing they'd do I think is to find out if there are equivalent characters (in meaning) for the name, and if there are, they would use the characters. If there are no equivalent characters, they would then go by the sound of the name and use Chinese characters to transcribe the sound for the name, just as they'd do with Western names.
  7. Youngfun

    Youngfun Senior Member

    Pekino, Ĉinujo
    Chinese/Italian - bilingual
    In this name they are all Chinese characters, so you definitely use the Chinese reading Sāndǎo Yóujìfū as you said.

    Doraemon can be called called both by the meaning translation 机器猫 (ji1 qi4 mao1: cat robot) and by sound-translation 哆啦A梦 (duo1 la1 ei1 meng4).
    The famous actress 苍井そら :)p) is called 苍井空 in Chinese, as そら means sky, 空 in Chinese.
    Some Japanese names have no meaning (usually written in Katakana), so they can be only translated by sound, such as Sony 索尼,Pikachu 皮卡丘。
  8. xiaolijie

    xiaolijie MOD

    English (UK)
    So, as both Youngfun and I have said above, here is a summary of the order of preference for dealing with Japanese names in Chinese:
    1. Using the Chinese characters directly, if they exist.
    2. Using the meaning translation of the name,
    3. Using the sound transcription of the name.
  9. hkenneth Junior Member

    Minneapolis, USA
    Chinese - Mandarin & Shanghainese
    If there is a kana in one's name, usually we would select a kanji (Chinese character) that has the same meaning of that kana (not pronunciation nor look), and read it as it is in Chinese. The reason Japanese use kana instead of kanji in their names are usually because the kanji that kana stands for is too complicated to write or uncommon in everyday usage in nowadays Japan.

    For example, Miyazaki Aoi, her Japanese name is: 宮崎あおい, here あおい is her given name which is written in the form of kana. あおい in kanji can be either 葵 (sunflower) or 青 (blue in Japanese/green in Chinese), but since it's a girl's name, we choose 葵 for あおい and call her Gong Qi Kui in Chinese.
  10. hkenneth Junior Member

    Minneapolis, USA
    Chinese - Mandarin & Shanghainese
    It may not be simply "the meaning translation of the name". In Japanese, most words in its kana form has a strict rule to map a certain set of kanji (Chinese characters). For example, あめ in Japanese means sweets, or 糖 in Chinese, but the Kanji for あめ is actually 飴, which also means sweets in Chinese, but rarely if ever used in modern day Chinese. The reason is, Japanese borrowed Chinese / Chinese characters in the ancient time, so the choose of kanji for their kana usually feels more antique than its modern day Chinese counterparts.

    Some examples:

    kana     kanji         Chinese translation
    かわ  川          河
    あかり    明り(明里 if in name) 灯
    とびら    扉 门
    あおい    青 蓝

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