Jump to content
Chinese-Forums
  • Sign Up

You are not Chinese therefore you can not use my Chinese name...


xianhua

Recommended Posts

Has anyone else come across this attitude? I can think of two recent occasions when I called a Chinese person by their Chinese name (since this is how my wife would address them) but the recipient clearly felt uncomfortable with this set-up. In both cases, the other party asked me to call them by their English name instead: "actually, my name is Alan/Paul etc". Has anyone else come across this scenario? Any ideas why?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I haven't come across that situation. Maybe it depends upon whether or not the individual person uses an English name at all. Not all Chinese people that I've met use English names. I recently found out that the Chinese people (in my local area anyway) know each other by their Chinese names, but not their English names. I found this out when I had asked a friend if she knew someone I knew.

It's always good practice to call them by the names they use when they introduce themselves to you. Sometimes people I meet ask me if it's ok to call me by a shorter version of my name, even though I introduce myself by the name I use most often.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are you using their Chinese full name or just the given name part?

It was my understanding that some Chinese pick a western name in order to avoid being called by their intimate name (given name) by people that are not intimate family or friends.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is the person Chinese-Chinese or British-Chinese? If the latter, then based on my own experience, I imagine what you've described would be the normal case as their entire life they've probably only used their Chinese name with their Chinese family or with Chinese-speaking family friends. Most people here (regardless of cultural background) probably have some sort of affectionate name/nickname that they are only called by their close family and relatives, which is normal when spoken by them but that feels awkward when spoken by others, and this is what could be happening here, with the Chinese name taking on the role of something that only their close family uses.

Assuming this is the case, your wife can probably get away with it (even though your friend might not like it), because I imagine from a cultural point of view it would feel more awkward for him to tell a Chinese person not to use his Chinese name. For any other English speaking person they would certainly prefer you to use the name they normally go by in everyday life.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting responses, thanks. The individuals I referred to were both Chinese nationals who came to the UK to work and live after university, and the situations I described both occurred in the UK. I used the full name - surname followed by given name exactly as my wife would use it. I'm quite particular at getting pronunciation and tones perfect for names and will even practise when I first hear a name to ensure I get it right.

That's an interesting point on given names being of a more intimate nature which I hadn't considered. Now I think about it, I remember a Chinese guy living in the UK who would only go by his English name - even to fellow Chinese (I don't think they knew his given name).

So here's the real test: if we take that situation to China, how would a Chinese person (without an English name) preferably want to be called by acquaintances/colleagues/people with whom they are not close? Mr or Mrs perhaps?

PS. Welcome back imron!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is an interesting phenomenon. It seems pretty common here in Taiwan for people to use an English name instead of their Chinese one. Quite a few times Taiwanese people have introduced themselves to me with their English name, even when we're talking in Chinese. I've also seen Taiwanese friends call each other by their English names, so I'm not so sure it's specifically because they're talking to a foreigner (although I'm sure that might be part of it sometimes). In many cases, I think it's used more like a sort of nickname.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's a group of Taiwanese students I have dinner with every now and then. And they always use English names, even among themselves. Sometimes I'll use the Chinese name of a Taiwanese mutual acquaintance when speaking Chinese with them, only to be asked what their English name is...it's fascinating.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Becuase USA、England、Canada、Australia are all rich and powerful country.

Simply,it is 崇洋媚外。

Not only in taiwan,hongkong,india,pakistan, this phenamenon also happen in French. Becuase French is not powerful as it used to be.

英语流行 法语纯洁性濒临危险境地

继今秋九月纪念戴高乐将军发表自由法国演说70周年,11月9日的戴高尔祭辰再次给媒体提供了回忆这位杰出历史伟人留给国人多少精神遗产的机会。然而,被各界经常忽略,鲜有人提及的是,戴高乐曾经是一位保卫法语纯洁性的不懈斗士。

全球化影响语言变化

现今的经济全球化,明显助长了世界语言的单一化,将英语,更确切地说是“美语”(l'américain)捧上了“霸主”地位,催生出“全球语”(leglobish),即一种变态的低俗英语,在国际交往中蔓延开来。一些法国人,尤其在青年人中,讲究时髦,大讲“法英混合语”(lefranglais)。加之电视和各类娱乐节目的主持人推波助澜,滥用英语,粗野地糟蹋具有严格语言规律的法语,令忠于法兰西文化特性的有识之士忧心。

"法英混合语"的生成

被称为“lefranglais”的混合物系由法语(lefran?觭ais)和英语(l'anglais)两词缩合而成。上世纪五十年代,一些英语新词和句型被大量引进法语里,法国人按老习惯让它们“入乡随俗”,用法文读音规则念诵,最后变成了一组组难懂的怪语汇。根据这种现象,法国语言法学家马克斯·哈于1959年创造出了新词“lefranglais”,首次在他发表于《法兰西晚报》的一篇文章里使用。1964年,著名学者兼比较文学专家艾田蒲出版了他就此写的《您说法英混合语吗?》檄文。由此,“lefranglais”一词被正式采纳,用来表达法文演变阶段中的一种语言现象。

时髦风殃及语言

到1999年,法语辞典里收录进法英混合语类的新词,数量已经达到近8000个,反映出它们已迅速进入法国普通人日常生活和工作。例如,“采访”一词(l'interview)从来都是按法语读音的,词典注的也是法语式音标,然而自上世纪八十年代初起,法国几大电视台主持人标新立异,纷纷操起了英语读音,以示自己“前卫”。歌坛明星,如受年轻人欢迎的艾尔莎和瓦奈莎·巴拉迪等,大量推出用英文演唱的歌曲,尽显“洋气”,让众多青年追随其后,成了时尚。最可笑的是,贬法语顶英语之风吹到了小学生堆里,娃娃们说“因为”时,不用法语的“parceque”,噘着小嘴说英语“because”,跟着学大人赶时髦。

这一风气今天尤其充斥电视屏幕,以娱乐节目主持人最甚。例如电视一台“SecretStory”主持本杰曼·卡斯塔尔迪,他是已故女影星西蒙娜·希尼奥埃的孙子,用“法英混合语”念这个题目,闻者啼笑皆非,不知所云;如果不看屏幕上写的字,谁都听不明白。此类生吞活剥的表达方式在其他几个电视台节目里也屡屡发生,污染语言环境,让整个节目的气氛十分荒唐可笑。根本谈不上电视节目本应有传播文化、教育国民职能这一点了。

世界性语言的来历

《圣经》的《创世纪》篇里记载,地上的凡人有一天突发奇想,产生了登天的想法。众人努力盖起“巴比伦天塔”(laTourdeBabel),却惹怒了上帝。耶和华于是采用"分而治之"的谋略,在人间散布多种语言。原先使用一种语言的人顿时不能互相理解,不同部落间出现了矛盾,团结被破坏,造塔计划受挫,成为空中楼阁而落败。这段故事说明语言在人类生活中占的重要地位,它曾被作为禁止“越位”冒上的训诫,也被解释成人类的共同理想是追求到相互理解境界,才能成就大业。

1887年,波兰语言学家柴门霍夫(Zamenhof)创造出“世界语”(l'esperento),意为“希望之语”,在各国推广,颇有成效,一度发展成国际交流的通用语言工具。但是,文人天真的努力遭遇到金钱王国美国的阻截。美国凭借其经济和政治实力,它的科技强势及大众文化,使美国英语,或曰“美语”终于在国际交往中逐渐建立霸权,取得主导地位,柴门霍夫推广希望语言的努力在严酷的现实中梦破,“世界语”几乎彻底退出了历史舞台。君不见,当今世界竟是英语一家独霸的天下,无论是外交、商贸、科技、文化领域,还是西欧、亚洲、南美、北极,全都成了英语的"殖民地"。

“全球语”的流行

不过,当前在全球流行的这个“民众英语”,并非出自莎士比亚,它的源头是美国英语,有人谑称它“像蛤蟆叫”。这就是二十一世纪初开始流行的“全球语”,一种以美国英语为基本,被各国人塞进本地民族语言因素及习惯而成的“混合英美语”。据说,这是欧盟里非常通行的“嗟来之语”。欧盟共有27个成员国,讲23种语言。欧盟总部设在布鲁塞尔和斯特拉斯堡,全都在法语区。成员国之间存在着现实的语言障碍,“全球语”于是应运而生。来自欧盟各国的欧盟议会议员在茶歇时,一般就靠这种杂牌“洋泾浜”"语言进行交流。它虽有“英语”老根,但英伦三岛的居民根本听不懂,弄不清欧洲“上流政坛”的雅士和淑媛见面时,操的究竟是何方天音,致其谈兴如此之浓。这些欧盟的决策人在隆重的会场一般还得使用官方的“木头语言”,以示本民族精神。会外的“全球语”则给了他们自由,据说掌握1000个词汇,再加上手势,便可交流无碍。

法语应用的颓势

法语来自古罗曼语,是拉丁语系的一支,现通行于法国、加拿大魁北克省、卢森堡、比利时、瑞士和一些非洲国家,总应用人数超过一亿五千万,是世界上重要的国际交流工具之一。高卢子孙们素以本族语言结构严谨为荣,它被列为国际法律语言正是因为它的这个特点。可是,进入二十世纪,法语受到结构相对松散的英语侵犯,出现了“法英混合语”。尽管法兰西学院院士们通过编著词典抵御被他们斥为“丑八怪”的来犯者,法语的纯洁化迄今收效甚微。法国时髦青年受美国文化影响,视其语言为“魅力语言”,向往美洲者甚众,当然把会说美式英语作为敲门砖。在日常生活中,英语词替代法国本土语汇的情况越来越多,法语的“周末”(findesemaine)已基本被“week-end”淹没;工休间喝点东西,不说“prendreuneboisson”,一定要来一个“drink”;“聊天”一词更随着因特网语汇,一律使用“chat”,这类例子举不胜举,已成不可阻挡的潮流。

在全球化的趋势席卷一切,尤其是科技领域中英美两国雄踞首领地位,法语显然已败在了英语手下。更为严重的是,法国本土一些大公司企业里,英语成了正式工作语言,干部开会竟一律使用英语,专业词汇全都英语化。随之而来的当然是应聘者必须通晓这一语言,要保住饭碗尤其要提高表达能力。问题在于法国人学习外语天分不高,强扭的瓜有时会结出苦籽。不久前厄比纳尔市让-莫奈医院爆出严重医疗丑闻,5500名接受放射线治疗的病人,数月内被置于超出标准的射线之下,身体健康受到损害。究其原因,该医院购置放射线器械后,对执行操作人员进行培训时,全部用英语授课,听课人员的水平有限,一知半解以为懂了。英文使用说明书又没有法语译文,结果导致量度掌握错误,病人非但没有获得治疗,反而暴露在有害物质辐射之下。

维护法语纯洁性

历史上,诗人约安山·杜贝莱(JohchimduBelley)是第一个提出警惕外语侵犯本国语的人;那时的“外来强敌”是意大利语。从政府一级采取措施维护本国语言的努力,在戴高乐将军主政时也有记载。

1966年,致力发扬法语文化的高级官员菲·罗西永提请蓬皮杜总理关注,在总统府支持下,“维护和发扬法兰西语言高级总署”(leHautComitépourladéfenseetl'expansiondelalanguefran?觭aise)成立了。事实上,1964年,蓬皮杜在国立高等师范大学的同学,著名学者艾田蒲(RenéEtiemble)写的抨击作品《您说法英混合语吗?》(Parlez-vousfranglais?)第一次提出法语受到严重污染,已引起蓬皮杜总理的注意。戴高乐将军的支持也是毫无保留的。这一点在他于1965年3月给法兰西学院科学家们的一封信里可以看出。他在信中表示:诸位最近一致表达希望在国际会议中使用法语的愿望,我完全赞同。令人十分遗憾的是,法语这一具有完美地表达科学思想的明晰和精确的语言,往往被有责任维护它的同一些人背叛。学者们和科技人员使用我们自己的语言来表达对科学的尊重,这确实关系到国家利益。戴高乐的意思十分明确:法兰西语言应当保留其作为国际大语种的地位。而这一点是取决于法国人,他们应该尊重并在使用自己母语的过程中表现出严谨精神。

维护民族特性的斗争

鉴于法国公众的强烈呼吁,时任文化部长的雅克·杜蓬于1999年8月4日颁布法令,明文规定法语为全国的工作语言,称为"杜蓬法令"。依据该法律,劳动合同、企业内部章程、集体公约以及卫生与安全规章,尤其是有关雇员劳务的事项,一律要采用法语书写。然而,杜蓬法受到企业主的嘲笑,他们把这位部长的姓氏“Toubon”翻译成英文“Allgood”,把他颁布的法令讥讽为“绝妙法”(loiAllgood),公然藐视,拒不执行。再者,该文并无系统的监督措施规定,使人有机可乘。2003年7月,继任文化部长卡特琳娜·托斯卡虽然再度向政府递呈报告,要求落实在企业里必须使用法语,终因未能有严格的诉讼规定,再度变成一纸空文。因为,违犯规定的企业主,最多只需付出760欧元罚款,在他们眼里这显然是可以完全忽略的了。

法语是否能保持其生命力,保持其严谨、精确的优点,对于热爱法兰西文化的人而言,不是一般的问题。众所周知,一个国家的语言乃是一种传统文化的载体。语言的衰落,必然导致一个民族文化特征的丧失。事关重大,维护法语已成为文化界乃至全社会有良知者的一致目标。

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can think of two recent occasions when I called a Chinese person by their Chinese name ... but the recipient clearly felt uncomfortable with this set-up. In both cases, the other party asked me to call them by their English name instead: "actually, my name is Alan/Paul etc". Has anyone else come across this scenario? Any ideas why?

Not surprising, assuming this took place in the UK. When I am in China I use my Chinese name and only my Chinese name. Every now and then an expat or foreign student asks my "English name" and I tell him I don't have one, he needs to use my Chinese name. They don't always like it, but I don't care.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice job, abcdefg. That's kind of what I do here in the US. My Chinese name is Meng Lelan and I use that in China. In the US I have everyone call me Lelan. Not really my legal name. It is actually my nickname here in the US. The non Chinese actually like it better than my English first name which can be difficult to pronounce, especially for my hearing impaired students. But the Chinese here go crazy when they ask me "What *is* your English name?!?" and I just tell them everyone calls me Lelan. It's really funny to see how they proceed to sink into mental insanity from the thought of someone using a Chinese name not an English name.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi,

in Germany and Austria I have called all Chinese I have met by their Chinese names, Ji, Yü, Zhao and so on. None of

them had a western name. I also did not (EDIT: until recently) know what the Chinese names meant. These were/are students, researchers and colleagues at work. I spoke/speak German with most of them. Wonder how it is in other not English speaking western countries.

In fact I called the majority of Chinese students I met in the US by their Chinese names, because they did not have an English name or at least they did not tell me that they want to be addressed by an English name.

Cheers

hackinger

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Simply,it is 崇洋媚外。
It’s not uncommon to see young Chinese, especially well educated Chinese, insert English words into Chinese to show off their trendiness. I find this very disgusting.

While I respect your views, I find these comments too strong. In fact, I find them offensive.

There are people from different background on this forum. And there are different customs / practices in different places.

Almost everyone I know, except my family, call me by my English/western name. That name is part of my legal name, and my preferred name, and I don't see why it should not be used. If I meet a non-local person like the OP I will ask him to use my western name because that is the name I prefer. There is nothing wrong as far as I am concerned. I don't think calling people like me 崇洋媚外 or disgusting is appropriate.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It’s not uncommon to see young Chinese, especially well educated Chinese, insert English words into Chinese to show off their trendiness. I find this very disgusting.

Strongly disagree. Someone saying "sexy" instead of "性感", for example, isn't 崇洋媚外 but a simple reflection of the fact that in Chinese, the word "性感" feels invented and artificial (which, you know, it is) while "sexy" feels, well, sexy. It simply expresses the rebellious foreign concept of "sexy" better. (I doubt 古人 went around calling 杨贵妃 性感.) Most of the time, when a Chinese person uses an English word instead of a Chinese word, it's for this reason, just as how many foreigners in China, even those who speak only poor Chinese, will start saying 麻烦 a lot -- what, you really expect us to go around saying "oh, that's so troublesome"?

Of course, sometimes it is indeed 崇洋媚外. I remember watching some insipid Taiwan/HK TV host whose introduction of this guitarist went something like this: "我在America的时候,进入大学之前我没发现我喜欢music,但是我听了一些albums,后来。。。"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...