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Translate a romanized Fukien/Hokkien name into chinese


bubdub
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My background is Chinese Indonesian and according to what I have been told my family spoke the Fukien/Hokkien dialect of chinese. My wife speaks cantonese and we would like to give our daughter a chinese name, but I can't give her the chinese character for my last name. What I am looking for a translation of my romanized chinese last name Tjiam into the appropriate chinese character. My pretty much pronounce it as it is written, but it is entirely possible that they are not pronouncing it correctly.

Many thanks.

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Apa kabar? :-) I am also Yinni Huaqiao (Chinese Indonesian).

I was hoping that your last name will be listed here, but no luck:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indonesian-sounding_names_adopted_by_Chinese_Indonesians

Unfortunately I don't know, but I can find it in Google. I'll see if I can ask my parents the next time I talk with them.

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Wow thanks for the link, unfortunately my father's surname isn't in there. The romanized chinese last name is Tjiam but my last name is Hardjana. I would greatly appreciate any help you can give. My wife is adamant on choosing a chinese name and will only finalize it once she know what my chinese name actually is. I did find my mother's chinese maiden name on there so it was nice to see :)

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  • 2 weeks later...
You mean Tjiam? You can't translate it in Chinese directly. You need add sth.... and if you translate it, it cannot be one word. You just can choose some of them.

Like Tan Jiaming.

Hi Cyndi,

What bubdub means is that his last name is Tjiam, in romanized / Indonesianized Hokkien. He needs to know what that character is and the Pinyin, so they can choose an appropriate name for their child.

In Indonesia, around late 1960s there came a regulation (although officially it was an "encouragement") for Indonesian citizens of Chinese ancestry to change names to Indonesian sounding ones, so the OP's Indonesian last name is Hardjana.

I am still researching what Tjiam is in Mandarin :-)

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hey,

As far as I know (and that being very little) '詹' is a common Chinese surname. It is pronounced Zhān in Mandarin and Chiam(1st tone) in Hokkien/Taiwanese (POJ romanization).

So my suggestion of 詹 was based on the possibility of Tjiam being pronounced Chiam1.

Chaxiu

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Chaxiu,

Thanks for posting the Pinyin for Zhan1. I don't have Chinese Perakun at work so I couldn't see how to pronounce that character. I saw that there is another Zhan, with 2nd tone, Zhan2. Do you know how that will be pronounced in Hokkien? Just want to double-check so we don't assign the OP to the wrong family :)

Xie xie.

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Hey Stefani,

My dictionary tells me that in the whole Mandarin language there is only one character pronounced Zhan2. '薝' ....It gives no meaning for the character.

The only use i could find for the character was in the name of a plant, and then it was not pronounced Zhan2.

Hope it helps

Chaxiu

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My dictionary tells me that in the whole Mandarin language there is only one character pronounced Zhan2. '薝' ....It gives no meaning for the character.

I am so sorry Chaxiu, I was wrong, it should have been Zhan4, not Zhan2, although the dictionary I use doesn't show that there is a surname with that. I'll research it more and post later.

I did get another reply that said Tjiam is Zhan1 with that Hanzi you gave 詹, so I am convinced that that is the correct one.

There you go bubdub, Tjiam is 詹, Zhan1.

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As far as I know the pinyin "JIAN"( 简 ) which is also a chinese last name,

Xie xie Kaimei, although bubdub is not really looking for a last name as he does have a proper Chinese last name, it is just he did not know what the Hanzi as well as the Mandarin pronunciation (he knew the romanized Hokkien only).

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OP, maybe this is a stupid remark but do you have any family on your father's side that might shed some light on this? Your father, or an uncle or grandfather or cousin, might be able to tell you which character it should be, and then you're sure got the right one. Or even a picture of a wedding (Chinese weddings often have the last names of bride and groom put up at the back of the stage) or a grave of someone in your family.

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As far as I know (and that being very little) '詹' is a common Chinese surname. It is pronounced Zhān in Mandarin and Chiam(1st tone) in Hokkien/Taiwanese (POJ romanization).

So my suggestion of 詹 was based on the possibility of Tjiam being pronounced Chiam1.

Chaxiu

I am nearly in the position to say Chaxiu is right.

in addition to the clue (TJIAM SUET CHING, 詹雪晴, Hong Kong )Kaimei provided,

I also searched my Korean dictionary for the pronunciation. 詹 in Korean pronounces as /t∫әm/ (international phonetic symbols), almost the same as chiam. There are many Chinese characters sound the same or very similar both in Hokkien and in Korean ( I know from Korean that even the word "Hokkien" now meaning Minnanhua actually stands for "福建" (fu2jian4 in Pinyin) originally, though Minnanhua is totally Greek to me) because, both as languages derived from ancient Chinese, Hokkien underwent less phonetic changes than the current Chinese, and Chinese characters and their pronunciation were introduced into Korea at early date. Particularly those sounds that end with /m/ completely dispeared in current Chinese, but still there in both Hokkien and Korean.

So we have now other criterion for candidate character for the right answer beside "surname":

Any candidate character should be proved to have pronuciation ending with /m/ in Hokkien or Korean.

Hope it might be useful.

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  • 1 year later...
  • 2 years later...
  • New Members

Hi All,

Reading this post reminds me about my problem. I'm also Chinese Indonesian. My Chinese name in romanized / Hokkien is just like my username : Tio Tjuan Houw.

I have looked at google translate and I can find that Tio is Zhang ( 张 - Chinese Simplified). But I still have no idea about the rest of my name. Can you help me too?

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  • 7 years later...
On 2/2/2012 at 7:38 AM, tio_tjuan_houw said:

Tio Tjuan Houw

 

Unfortunately, without the tones this is relatively difficult. Perhaps you know what the meaning should be?

Tjuan (= Choan in Taiwanese Hokkien POJ) would usually be Quan or Zhuan in Mandarin.

Houw (= Ho[r]) would be Hu in Mandarin; I've found a quote that one Chinese-Indonesian politician with Houw in his given name = 虎

 

On 1/22/2020 at 12:51 PM, Beast mode said:

my hokkien name is "go tuan hok"

 

Again, lack of tones and meaning make this harder. The surname is almost definitely 吴 Wú.

 

"Tuan" could be 传 Chuán, or it could be 团 Tuán, or many others.

"Hok" could be 福 Fú, or it could be 复 Fù, or again many others.

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