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Discussion in '中文+方言 (Chinese)' started by ShakeyX, Apr 28, 2014.

  1. ShakeyX Senior Member

    British English
    I am aware that 纽约 means New York and the characters are used for their phonetic value (to best transcribe New York).

    I was just wondering if any additional thought had been put into this transcription (i.e. Coca-Cola as 可口可樂 where they have purposefully used 可口 to mean "delicious fun" aswell as having the correct sound value).

    Is there any "meaning" consideration in the name 纽约. I notice they both have the same radical... is this something to do with water? Out of all the possible ways to write the sound Niǔyuē, why these characters?

  2. Hyperpolyglot Senior Member

    Originally intended to transcribe New York as 妞约,which means "date with a chick", but then it's not good to use it for public or other official terms so it was changed from 妞to纽
  3. Testing1234567 Senior Member

    Hong Kong
    Wow, I didn't know this! I just thought that 紐 was used to transcribe "new" just as "New Zealand" is 紐西蘭, and then 約 is used to transcribe "York" (there's a place named York).
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2014
  4. ShakeyX Senior Member

    British English
    The thing that made me curious Testing1234567 is that the sound "new" can be transcribed in many different ways. (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/niǔ#Mandarin)

    忴 忸 扭 杸 炄 狃 紐 纽 莥 鈕 钮 靵 all sound exactly the same in Modern Mandarin (to the best of my knowledge) and they all give the sound Niǔ ("New")

    So why
    紐/纽 was chosen is what I was interested in.

    I wonder now if there is any historic reason why "date with a chick" would have been chosen :p or it was just coincidence.
  5. Skatinginbc

    Skatinginbc Senior Member

    Mandarin 國語
    No meaning. Pure transliteration.
    紐 for "new" (e.g., 纽芬兰); 約 for /yor-/ or /jor-/ (e.g., 约旦).
    Convention--that's all. The convention usually takes the character's Middle Chinese pronunciation into consideration. For instance, 紐 Mandarin niu < Middle Chinese nju vs. 杸 Mandarin niu < Middle Chinese dʑiuo. It also picks a common word (e.g.., 紐 is the most commonly used word among all the candidates that you listed). Words with negative connotations are also eliminated.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2014
  6. Youngfun

    Youngfun Senior Member

    Pekino, Ĉinujo
    Chinese/Italian - bilingual
    In Mainland New Zealand is 新西兰.
    So I always found 纽约 highly inconsistent for two reasons:
    - 纽 instead of 新
    - 约 instead of 约克, the Chinese translation of York, England.

    But 纽约 sounds so much better than 新约克……
  7. SuperXW Senior Member

    So this is a joke?
    纽 is always the most common transliteration of sounds like "new", "neo" etc, considering none of other Chinese characters with a similar sound can be both easy and neutral.
    We don't do 忴 忸 扭 杸 炄 狃 紐 纽 莥 鈕 钮 靵 because no one recognize them. They are extremely rare characters.
    We don't do 牛 (cow), 妞 (girl) because it would bring some funny effect...
  8. Youngfun

    Youngfun Senior Member

    Pekino, Ĉinujo
    Chinese/Italian - bilingual
    Beside, "dating a chick" should be 约妞... and the tone is also different.
  9. Hyperpolyglot Senior Member

    i read it from a newspaper of how many of US cities' name got translated into various language, guess it was wrong, I recalled it was a comedic section.

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