Discussion in '中文+方言 (Chinese)' started by daveyinaz, Apr 23, 2013.

  1. daveyinaz New Member

    I recently bought an item from an Asian vendor. He told me that he would write "Serenity" for me. I tried to look online for the pinyin translation and all that but what I saw wasn't the same. So I think I need help.

    Since new members are not allowed to post links: put http in front of //
  2. Lucia_zwl

    Lucia_zwl Senior Member

    Hi, I think he might want to transcribe the sound of "serenity" into Chinese (but still with a mistake).
    The Pinyin of those four characters on the item are "she neng li di", but the second and third characters should change with one another.*

  3. xiaolijie

    xiaolijie Senior Member

    English (UK)
    Are these the characters 舍能利蒂 (intended to be "se/ren/i/ty")? Then I think all the characters are in the right place, and the second and third don't need to swap their positions.
    (Or perhaps I'm missing something :))
  4. Lucia_zwl

    Lucia_zwl Senior Member

    I presume so, but /r/ in English is often transcribed as "l" in Pinyin, well, not always.

  5. xiaolijie

    xiaolijie Senior Member

    English (UK)
    In many Chinese dialects, [n] and [l] are often mixed up, aren't they? :)
  6. Lucia_zwl

    Lucia_zwl Senior Member

    Yes, like in Sichuan and Hunan, and you remind me of a tongue twister: 门外有四匹马,你爱拉哪俩拉哪俩。(sorry if it's off the topic:p)
  7. 绫子1982 New Member

    Chinese - Mandarin
    The characters in the picture are 舍能利蒂, "She Neng Li Di" in pinyin. We don't even have this word in Chinese.
  8. xiaolijie

    xiaolijie Senior Member

    English (UK)
    The characters are intended to transcribe the sounds of "serenity", so they're not words. I think "Serenity" is here rendered into Chinese as a name.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2013
  9. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    Talking about the style, I think 舍能利蒂 sounds pretty much like a religious term, as you can often find these four characters in Buddist scripts. For a modern Chinese (PRC) style of name translation, 塞雷妮蒂 (reads "sai lei ni di") is more likely.
  10. Youngfun

    Youngfun Senior Member

    Bắc Kinh
    Wu Chinese & Italian
    I think in Hong Kong "n" is often transcribed with "l" sound.
    Also the other way around, as both "n" and "l" are pronounced "l".

    I can think of McDonald's=麦当劳 and latte=拿铁. I think these transliteration originated in Hong Kong.

    This confusion of "n" and "r/l" in Serenity=舍能利蒂 also looks like a Hong Kong transliteration.
  11. daveyinaz New Member

    If this is the case, then that would make sense.
  12. Wesley To

    Wesley To Member

    Why not use the word 靜?
  13. SuperXW

    SuperXW Senior Member

    Or maybe 祥和 or 寧靜致遠 or something...
    But there was a time when Chinese accepted Western culture and tended to transcribe their sounds into Chinese, you know, feel pretty "stylish".
    Think about New Culture Movement in China, 1919, when we got the translations of 羅曼蒂克, 幽默, 德先生, 賽先生...
  14. Wesley To

    Wesley To Member

    Good point. Btw, your Chinglish is perfect. No need to correct. Just like mine.:D
  15. xiaolijie

    xiaolijie Senior Member

    English (UK)
    Owners of posts #12 & #13:
    I think you two have lost the plot :p. The OP asked what characters (for "Serenity") were written there on the item he bought, and not how best to translate "Serenity".
    Also, if "Serenity" here is indeed a name, then the "sound-translation" tends to be more common.
  16. OneStroke Senior Member

    Hong Kong, China
    Chinese - Cantonese (HK)
    I don't think it's confusion. It's more like dropping the /n/ sound altogether and replacing it with /l/, which of course is another unfortunate display of declining language skills. :(

    The government have just announced that the reading part of the HKDSE oral exam will be scrapped, and that will give people even less incentive to correct their pronunciation.

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