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PlumBlossomPrincess

Seeking Help For A Name and Translation

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PlumBlossomPrincess

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PlumBlossomPrincess

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If_IwasaLinguist

Hi, welcome to this forum and you will find lots of friends who share similar interests with you. 

 

I notice that your given name is Jade, which is the corresponding translation of 玉. As for the name of 梅, I suppose you also know it is the translation of Plum, which is used as your nickname for this forum. For these two names of 小梅 and 小玉, they are both fine to be a girl's given name independently, such as 陆小玉 and 李小梅. And also if you like, I may suggest to change the first character 小 into 晓, which literally means 通晓 know well and usually is combined with other characters to be a girl's given name. 

 

As for your family name, Poh is the Hokkien surname for 傅 fu while Lo is similar to 罗 luo in Mandarin. But you also mentioned your family might come from a Cantonese region, thus I am not sure whether these two family names also exist in Cantonese with the same pronunciation. Hope these are helpful. 

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Demonic_Duck
11 hours ago, PlumBlossomPrincess said:

I don't wan to disrespect my family's reasoning for  coming here, but I wish to change my name in hopes of finding comfort for myself.

Not to discourage you from changing your name if that's what you want to do, but lots of English/Chinese bilingual folks have both Chinese and English names, so you don't necessarily have to give up one or the other.

 

Surname Lo is probably 羅. Not so sure about Po (my Cantonese isn't great anyway).

 

For names related to Jade, the character 玉 on its own is fine but perhaps a little plain. You can also consider characters like those in this list for something a bit more interesting:

 

https://zhidao.baidu.com/question/744108872632718052.html

 

You can copy/paste them into a dictionary or translator app for meanings and pronunciations.

 

Note that the "jade" component in these examples looks like 王 but is actually 玉 from an etymological point of view.

 

小 is more commonly seen in nicknames than in formal names, but as @If_IwasaLinguist mentions, lots of Mandarin speakers use 曉 as a sort of stand-in, because the sound is identical in Mandarin. Unfortunately it looks like the characters are pronounced differently in Cantonese, not that that's necessarily a problem.

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PlumBlossomPrincess

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PlumBlossomPrincess

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Flickserve
On 7/31/2020 at 5:57 AM, PlumBlossomPrincess said:

 

I am sorry if I get some things wrong, I have kept away from learning Cantonese or anything about our culture because my family does not like to talk about the past.

 

It's a personal choice to learn Cantonese. Many people learn Cantonese and heritage is definitely a common and natural reason. Although your family doesn't like to talk about it, you have your own personal journey. Any reason as for why your family doesn't talk about it? 

 

In Cantonese, loh po is 老婆 which means "wife" or “darling”. Is there any chance of finding out her original written surname in Chinese characters?

 

Good luck for your journey. One of my friends in HK is a fourth generation Hawaiian Chinese. He still has his Chinese surname.

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PlumBlossomPrincess

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PlumBlossomPrincess

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Flickserve
15 hours ago, PlumBlossomPrincess said:

As for finding the surname, I am not sure, since we were not given a lot of information about how the names were written in Chinese characters. I will ask my mother about that as well! 


perhaps a family heirloom. A letter with some names. These are occasionally passed down the family, perhaps to others Like your mother’s aunts or uncles might have the information. 
 

That is a pretty interesting family history and myself also being an overseas Chinese also would be interested in knowing story. I think around 15 years ago, there was a series on HK Television about overseas Chinese who in earlier generations had settled across different countries and made their own small communities in places such as India. 
 

龍 is more usually a boys name. Probably the most famous one is 小龍 - the martial artist Bruce Lee. 

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PlumBlossomPrincess

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Flickserve

Great!

 

6 hours ago, PlumBlossomPrincess said:

It turns out that grandma Po and grandma Loh are the same woman! When I had talked to my mother about it and asked her, she said that they called her 'Grandma Po'  rather than 'Grandma Loh'.

 

In Cantonese, we call the maternal grandmother 婆婆。(different to Mandarin). 

 

Sounds likely that the 'Po' in Grandma 'Po' is 婆.

 

'Loh' could refer to the surname 盧 (Cantonese sounds like 'lo'), 羅 (sounds like 'law'), (劉 is a bit less likely as it sounds like 'lau') or simply 老婆 (as referred to earlier). 

 

 

Although the heritage is from guangdong in China, just be a little wary assuming all the language heritage is Cantonese. Guangdong has a lot of native Hakka speakers who also emigrated for work settling in places like Malaysia, Indonesia, Mauritius - not sure if many went to Hawaii.

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PlumBlossomPrincess

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feihong
2 hours ago, PlumBlossomPrincess said:

My mother told me that it was Cantonese that our family spoke, but I will ask her about this. I am excited to talk with my mother more and share this with her!  

Thank you so much for this. It has been very, very helpful!  ☺️

There are many Chinese Americans who claim Cantonese as their family language, but often it’s actually Taishanese (台山话), a closely related topolect.

 

婆婆 can also mean maternal grandmother in Mandarin, mostly in the south of China, e.g. Shanghai and surrounding areas.

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Demonic_Duck
10 hours ago, Flickserve said:

盧 (Cantonese sounds like 'lo'), 羅 (sounds like 'law')

Probably easier to go by actual pronunciations rather than English approximations (which will be read differently by different English speakers):

https://forvo.com/word/羅/#yue

https://forvo.com/word/盧/#yue

 

9 hours ago, PlumBlossomPrincess said:

I asked my mother about the Cantonese version of 盧 and if that is why she speaks with a lower tone when talking about that grandmother, and she said that is why

Bear in mind both 盧 and 羅 are 4th (lowest) tone in Cantonese.

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PlumBlossomPrincess

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PlumBlossomPrincess

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