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When inserting English word and arabic numbers into Chinese sentences

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Dawei3

@Publius  Thanks!  I did not know where the Japanese pronunciation of Beijing came from (Or why Tokyo was the Eastern capital).  Your note made me think about a Chinesepod lesson about Seoul that always puzzled me. 

 

In the lesson, they discussed the new and old Chinese pronunciation of Seoul.  They noted Seoul's "new name" in Chinese was 首尔 ("Shǒu'ěr) versus the previous 漢城 (Hànchéng ) .  However, the reason for the change puzzled me:  they said China was changing the name it used for Seoul so it was closer to Seoul's pronunciation in English.  Huh???  Why not pick a name closer to the Korean pronunciation? 

 

(That "p" was unstable in Japanese made me think of Germanic/Latin-Greek relationship of "P" and "f".  That Latin & Greek "p"s are generally "f"s in the Germanic languages.  i.e., pisces & fish, foot & pedal/podiatrist, etc.) 

 

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Lu
11 hours ago, Dave1 said:

they said China was changing the name it used for Seoul so it was closer to Seoul's pronunciation in English.  Huh???  Why not pick a name closer to the Korean pronunciation?

The English pronunciation is pretty close to the Korean pronunciation. But if they explained it as 'closer to the English pronunciation', that is perhaps because English is the first and formost of all 外语 and thus for some people/in some cases, the benchmark for everything.

 

@Publius, thanks for that post, that was really interesting!

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DavyJonesLocker
13 hours ago, Dave1 said:

However, the reason for the change puzzled me:  they said China was changing the name it used for Seoul so it was closer to Seoul's pronunciation in English.  Huh???  Why not pick a name closer to the Korean pronunciation? 

 

If you did it by that logic though, you would then be doing it for all the world's native languages. It wouldn't help Chinese or anyone really for that matter to dicepher what country or city one is referring to in Chinese (if it's just transliteration)

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Michaelyus
On 8/16/2018 at 5:58 PM, Dave1 said:

 They noted Seoul's "new name" in Chinese was 首尔 ("Shǒu'ěr) versus the previous 漢城 (Hànchéng ) .  However, the reason for the change puzzled me:  they said China was changing the name it used for Seoul so it was closer to Seoul's pronunciation in English.  Huh???  Why not pick a name closer to the Korean pronunciation? 

 

 

The request was actually made by the then-mayor of Seoul rather than by the Chinese side. It follows transcription of Mandarin into Korean, not English, asㅅ becomes Pinyin  sh (not s, which is mapped to ㅆ). I agree though the name in Korean is fairly close to the pronunciation in English (both American and British accents).

 

Also, the reason(s) were almost certainly different - making it more accessible for English speakers (in China going to Korea??) is unlikely to be one of them. The link of 漢 to China as opposed to Korea, plus the fact that there is both a Seoul University and a Hansung University (and a Hangyong University) which was always mixed up in Chinese website translation: these are more likely to have played a part.

 

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