Vietnamese: Douglas


I’m aware that, since Vietnamese is written with Roman alphabets, names from other languages using Roman alphabets (e. g., English and French) can appear in their native form in Vietnamese texts (such as Douglas MacArthur – Wikipedia tiếng Việt). Recently, I discovered that speakers of the Vietnamese language sometimes Vietnamise foreign-language Roman-alphabet names: e. g., Victor Hugo’s name is Vietnamised as ‘Vichto Huygô’ (see Foreign Authors' Names In Vietnamese for details). I’m, therefore, curious about how the English name, ‘Douglas’, is Vietnamised.

I also wonder if there’s a standardised method to Vietnamise English names, similar to how there are Romanisation schemes for languages not written with Roman alphabets.
  • winds2clouds

    I'm afraid that there is no standard method. The Vietnamised word depends on the author of the text a lot. It depends on how the word sounds in Vietnamese, then the author will write down what they hear. For that reason, the Vietnamised word is quite personal.
    For example: the word "Hello" could be "Hé lô" or "Hế lô", "Doctor" could be "Đốc tơ" or "Đốc tờ", etc.
    In the past, I often encountered these words. It was kind of funny back then when a Roman-alphabet word could have more than one Vietnamised version. People found it unnecessary, and nowadays we are trying to be internationalised, so it's not trendy any more. We avoid Vietnamising languages like this as much as possible.
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