中国

Discussion in '中文+方言 (Chinese)' started by Lotfi MA, Aug 3, 2008.

  1. Lotfi MA Member

    Cairo, Egypt
    Arabic
    Could someone, please, tell me how the name: "China" is pronounced in the Chinese language(s)?

    Thanks in anticipation.
     
  2. shivasprogeny Member

    Columbus, OH, USA
    English - Ohio, USA
    In Mandarin it is "zhong guo" which is pronounced sort of like joong (where the "j" is like "jar") gwah.

    Since Chinese is a tonal language the first word should be a high level tone and the second should be a rising tone (kind of like when you ask a question and the pitch rises). You can listen to it here: forvo.com/word/%E4%B8%AD%E5%9B%BD(zhongguo) (sorry I can't do links).

    It literally means "middle country."
     
  3. Lotfi MA Member

    Cairo, Egypt
    Arabic
    Dear Shivasprogeny,

    Thank you very much indeed for this perfect answer.
     
  4. Lotfi MA Member

    Cairo, Egypt
    Arabic
    Could you – or someone else – please, tell me how long China's name: "zhong guo" dates back, and what about the older name that is pronounced sort of like: "Sseen"; when was it used, its origin, and meaning?
    Appreciating it in advance.
     
  5. Ajura Senior Member

    English
    Chonggwo that is the right pronounciation...
     
  6. shivasprogeny Member

    Columbus, OH, USA
    English - Ohio, USA
    There's actually a really good wikipedia article on this very topic!

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_of_China
     
  7. dumdum33 Member

    New York
    English (U.S.)
    I am curious to know whether or not there is a word in chinese for "China."

    In the U.S. if we were talking about Italy, we say Italy. But in Italy if they were talking about their country they would say "Italia" because that is how you say it in italian. Spain would refer to their country as "España."

    So how would a person in China refer to their country? Would they just call it "China?"
     
  8. pixEl2lifEx109 Member

    American English
    Well, in Chinese we would say 中国, pronounced zhong guo, meaning central nation.
     
  9. dumdum33 Member

    New York
    English (U.S.)
    Thank you! But how do you pronounce that? Is it something along the lines of "Chung-gwo"??
     
  10. pixEl2lifEx109 Member

    American English
    In Mandarin Chinese, the pinyin is zhong guo and it's pronounced kinda like "joong gwo". If you looked up precisely how to pronounce the zh, it's easy to pronounce the rest.
     
  11. snowyau Member

    Sydney, Australia
    English - Australian, Mandarin, Cantonese
    Probably - "middle kingdom"; or as JRR Tolkien might put it, Middle Earth :). The Chinese regarded themselves as the centre of the universe.

    There's a good explanation here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_of_China#China
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2008
  12. alphabetman New Member

    miami beach. fl
    English American
    Not ironically, the African word CONGO would appear to mean the same thing. The ending -GO corresponds to the Chinese GUO - and the Greek GIA ( as in GEO-graphy or PANGEA ). The Con-go is also a middle land, in Africa. There seems to have actually been a pre-Babel language. The G-sound emanates from the CENTER of the body - the GUT. Things GROW ( another G-word) from the center of the Earth outwards, in the mind's eye of our forefathers, hence words like gush and geiser as well. We are all connected. :)
     
  13. indigoduck Senior Member

    Canadian English
    Bear in mind, "Zhong Guo" is the mandarin pronounciation.

    The Cantonese pronounciation varies a little bit but is very similar and is pronounced "Zhong Guok" - take the mandarin pronounciation and add a "tailing K" to the end of "Guo" (slightly different accent as well, of course! but much simpler than the 2 dialects below).

    But for example, the Foochow dialect of Fukian (闽东) province pronounces it quite different entirely.

    中 Zhong is pronounced "Dyun" - the closest word in english would be the word "Dune" in sand dunes...

    国 Guo is pronounced "Ngo" (nasal sound) similar to 我 in cantonese. This sound doesn't exist in english. In textbooks, they try to use the "ng" sound in the english word "thing", and then attach an "O" sound to it.

    In Hakka (which closely represents the way chinese was spoken long long time ago), it's pronounced "Tson" "Ngu" - even more complicated to transcribe into English.
     
  14. Ajura Senior Member

    English
    It depends on the chinese language you are talking about.

    Kejia (Hakka)
    - Romanization: Chûng-koet
    Mandarin
    - Hanyu Pinyin: Zhōngguó
    - Wade-Giles: Chung¹-kuo²
    Listen (help·info)
    Min
    - Hokkien POJ: Tiong-kok
    Wu
    - Romanization: tson平 koh入
    Yue (Cantonese)
    - Jyutping: zung¹ gwok³
     
  15. indigoduck Senior Member

    Canadian English
    What in english is "China" refers to the "Qin" dynasty. The western explorers who visited China visited it during the "Qin" dynasty.
     
  16. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    Not form the Qin dynasty itself, that was very short lived, just two emperors, about 200B.C. but from the empire of Qin. At that time China was created as a union of smaller empires. One of them was Qin. Actually the "union" was a conquest of the other empires by Qin and the name was for some time used to refer to the unified country as a whole. It is believed that this name was carried to the Middle East and to the West, possibly already in Roman times, by merchants on the Silk Road.
     
  17. alphabetman New Member

    miami beach. fl
    English American
    land ( guh ) of connections (con ) therefore - is therefore more appropriate. Either way our pre-babel language code is showing!
     

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