Tuesday, May 19, 2009

ハプニングズ&Work語 BONUS COMBO... but not really

The other day at work, I had to explain to both a coworker the intricacies of Chiang Kai-shek fleeing the Chinese mainland from Mao Zedong's coming Communist forces, and later the Cultural Revolution in China (大文化革命). Not knowing how to say their respective names in Japanese, I first tried to katakana-ize them. To no avail. Then, I checked my English-Japanese dictionary. No dice. Finally, I went to old reliable, 広辞苑, my standby in tough situations like this. It turns out a lot of these Chinese names are transliterated in completely different ways than their English counterparts. Some examples:

Mao Zedong ⇒ 毛沢東(もうたくとう)
Deng Xiaopeng ⇒ 鄧小平(とうしょうへい)
Chiang Kai-shek⇒ 蒋介石(しょうかいせき)
Zhou Enlai ⇒ 周恩来(しゅうおんらい)


the_greatest_pip said...

That doesn't sound very fun at all ;0_0

jljzen said...


bipolarsun said...

Thats probably because these Chinese names still use the same charcaters as in Chinese but just use Japanese pronounciation. I might be wrong.