Jump to content
Chinese-forums.com
Learn Chinese in China
  • Why you should look around

    Since 2003, Chinese-forums.com has been helping people learn Chinese faster and get to China sooner. Our members can recommend beginner textbooks, help you out with obscure classical vocabulary, and tell you where to get the best street food in Xi'an. And we're friendly about it too. 

    Have a look at what's going on, or search for something specific. We hope you'll join us. 
murrayjames

pronunciation of 胡燕

Recommended Posts

murrayjames

How should the character 燕 be pronounced in the name 胡燕? Is it yān or yàn?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

gwr71

燕 Yan (4th tone) is swallow (type of bird).

 

 while yan (1st) is:

燕Yan, a vassal state of Zhou in modern Hebei and Liaoning; north Hebei;
the four Yan kingdoms of the Sixteen Kingdoms, namely: Former Yan 前燕
(337-370), Later Yan 後燕|后燕 (384-409), Southern Yan 南燕 (398-410),
Northern Yan 北燕 (409-436); surname Yan.

 Source: Webster's Digital Chinese Dictionary-pinyin starter edition.

 

From there you may be able to figure it out yourself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
murrayjames

Unfortunately, no. The dictionary states that 燕 yan1 (first tone) is the standard pronunciation for surnames. But in the question I asked above, 燕 is not a surname.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Publius
52 minutes ago, murrayjames said:

The dictionary states that 燕 yan1 (first tone) is the standard pronunciation for surnames. But in the question I asked above, 燕 is not a surname.

Then it's not first tone. What's the problem?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
murrayjames

The problem is I do not know the pronunciation of 燕 in names like 胡燕, where the character is not a surname.

 

From your reply, I gather it is fourth tone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
roddy

I think that gwr and Publius are assuming is that it's obvious people would name a child 'Swallow' but not ' a vassal state of Zhou', and so it's clear what the pronunciation would be. 

 

It's perhaps one of those things that's only obvious when you know it. To be honest, given the number of folk who were once named 建國、解放、愛國 etc, historical states doesn't seem that much of a stretch.

  • Helpful 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lu

On the other hand, it's not uncommon to name your child Fatherssurname Motherssurname. But in this case, that would be the equivalent of naming your child Amy and insisting it's pronounced Eye-MAY.

 

A practical solution in cases like Hu Yan's is to just ask the name-haver how to pronounce their name. You'll look interested in both them and their language, and you'll come out being sure of the pronunciation. Triple win.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
889

Yān 燕 can also represent Beijing in a name. So I agree: you just have to ask.

 

Of course, having to ask (or to listen very closely on introduction) is common enough with names in English.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
murrayjames

Got it. Thanks everyone for your responses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×