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Should Japanese names be read with Japanese pronunciation?


bathrobe
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Let's give some linguistic information. Not only is Indian not a language... it's not even a linguistic group' date=' or a linguistic term of any sort.

Or have the Redmond rednecks now turned it into such a term?[/quote']

I do not intend to be more indian than the Indians... I suppose they master English language, as you can read here 8) :

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2001/20011020/windows/above.htm

Perhaps I should have written Hindi instead of Indian, because my intention is not to discuss about Hebrew or other languages, but to say that you can type many languages using Windows.

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Whenever I see the characters日本語, I usually catch myself saying "Nihongo", rather than "Ribenyu". If I knew how to use the Japanese pronounciation, I would try to use it, but if I was speaking in a Chinese environment or didn't know the Japanese pronounciation, I would use the Chinese.

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Whenever I see the characters日本語,[/size'] I usually catch myself saying "Nihongo", rather than "Ribenyu". If I knew how to use the Japanese pronounciation, I would try to use it, but if I was speaking in a Chinese environment or didn't know the Japanese pronounciation, I would use the Chinese.

When you see the numbers: 1,2,3... how do you pronounce them :wink: ?

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Most Japanese give Mandarin Chinese approximate pronounciations to proper name characters from China. 上海 = is read as シャンハイ (shanhai), and not じょうかい (joukai). 北京 = is read as ペキン (pekin) and not ほっきょう (hokkyou) or something. Of course when the pronounciations are similar, then no special pronounciation; example: 福建 = ふっけん (fukken).

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And Taiwan and Hong Kong, Ala, I understand?

Hong Kong is sometimes written using katakana ホンコン (honkon), and the on-yomi (Sino-Japanese reading) for Taiwan matches the pinyin: 台湾 (taiwan).

So is シャンハイ (shanhai) written as 上海? How peculiar! Like a new reading for those characters. Any way the new reading could become productive? Like in compounds or something?

Yes, Shanghai is written as 上海 but specially pronounced "shanhai" (which sounds like xianghai in pinyin, not like shane-hai). Though they are incorporated into word processors and dictionaries, the new Mandarinized (or Cantonese) readings are not productive, and only reserved for the Chinese proper name. The more obscure Chinese cities and places are read with on-yomi in Japanese.  And there are historic on-yomi pronounciations that remain (like Taihoku for Taipei or Seian for Xi'an), so are used interchangeably.

The following are some Chinese cities and provinces in Japanese:

北京 Pekin

上海 Shanhai (sometimes still rendered Joukai)

南京 Nankin

西安 Shiian or Seian, 長安 Chouan

台北 Taipei or Taihoku

浙江 Chouchan or Sekkou (Sekkou is unsurprisingly a lot closer to the Wu pronounciation)

大連 Taarien or Dairen

広州 Kowanchou or Koushuu

広東 Kanton 

潮州 Chaochou or Choushuu

汕頭 Suwatou

香港 Honkon, or as ホンコン

九竜(龍) Kaorun or Kyuuryuu (note the Cantonese reading)

澳門 Makao or Aomon, usually as マカオ

福州 Fuuchou or Fukushuu

福建 Fuuchen or Fukken

廈門 Amoi (non-Mandarin)

四川 Suuchowan or Shisen

河北 Hoopei or Kahoku

西蔵(藏) Chibetto (Tibetan), usually as チベット

拉薩 Rasa, written usually as ラサ

旅順 Ryuishu or Rojun

蒙古 Mongoru or Mouko, usually as モンゴル

青島 Chintao or Seitou, Tsingtao Beer is Chintao Biiru 青島ビール

吉林 Chiirin or Kitsurin

哈爾濱 Harubin, or as ハルビン 

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I may be wrong, but aren't the Japanese used to have more than one reading for certain Kanji characters? Whilst this is not true in Mandarin, where there are mostly 1-to-1 match between a Hanzi and a reading.

It is also impractical and confusing to have new hanzi characters for Japanese names, one for the pronounciation, and another for the original kanji/hanzi. (This is not a problem in Japanese, where they also have their alphabets and often multiple kanji readings.)

And there are also many variants of chinese, thus any hanzi names based on Mandarin transliteration will not have the desired Japanese-sounding "correctness" in other variants such as Shanghaiese (Wu) or Cantonese (Yue).

Pronunciations is something that will always drift with time. (Many Kanji readings are also derived from classical Chinese readings.) The only reason all the chinese-variants in China are considered one language is because of the Hanzi, something non-alphabetical. Hanzi will not change with time as with pronunciation, so in conclusion, I think the way it is right not to pronounce japanese names is just fine.

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A bit off-topic. Can anyone provide a link to online dictionaries for geographical names, please? I am interested both in Chinese and Japanese dictionaries. Well, with Japanese names it's clear - if you know the orginal spelling in Japanese then in Chinese it will be written the same way: 神戸、広島、札幌、北九州、長崎

simplified: 神戸、広岛、札幌、北九州、长崎

pronunciation in pinyin; Shénhù, Guǎngdǎo, Zháhuǎng, Běijiǔzhōu, Chángqí

By the way they are Japanese cities: Kōbe, Hiroshima, Sapporo, Kitakyūshū, Nagasaki

What will happen with Chinese names for smll rivers, villages - will Japanese try to imitate Chinese pronunciation or attempt to read them in Chinese way?

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Whenever I see the characters日本語, I usually catch myself saying "Nihongo", rather than "Ribenyu".

Sort of the opposite of me. Since I know much more Japanese that Chinese. If I know the Chinese pronunciation (which is rare...) I'll use it. I would read 我 as wo, or 中国 as zhong guo (unless it was 我々、Or 中国語).

As far as places, usually the Japanese know common ones 北京・上海・台湾(which would be read as taiwan anyway...)・香港, but for a more obscure place, I'm sure they would try to mach it up with the on-yomi. But oddly enough, 中国 is read as "Chuugoku..."

As for Chinese reading Japanese names Chinese style, I don't see much wrong with it. After all, Japanese often identify with the meaning of the Kanji with there name, more that the sound. Plus, "kanji" are, of course, Chinese in origin.

BTW, what is the Chinese reading (guoyu reading) of 流?

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Posted by nipponman:

Why is that odd?

Because it the other cases, they went out of their way to match the sound. So you would think that they would do so for 中国, considering it is a whole country, that's all. :lol:

But "chuugoku" is not a strange reading for 中国, obviously. :roll:

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In Cantonese 中国 (written in traditional characaters in Hong Kong: 中國 is pronounced "Junggwok" in one of the romanizations). Korean pronunciation is "Cwungkwuk". So Japanese "Chuugok(u)" is not far off those pronunciations.

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Because it the other cases, they went out of their way to match the sound. So you would think that they would do so for 中国, considering it is a whole country, that's all. :lol:

I don't think I get your point. Are you saying that just because the Japanese pronounce "Pittsburgh" as ピッツバグー that 米国 is weird? Or the same thing for 露国? Granted these all have 外来語 counterparts, but they also have common natural Japanese words.

nipponman

P.s. this is one of the reasons that I started learning chinese, because of all these stupid katakana-words. They annoy me to no end.:roll:

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Japan didn't always call China 中国

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shina_(word)

From the above site the word 支那 (Shina - in Japanese or Zhīnà in Chinese) is considered derogatory now. This word is the root for English words "China" and "Sino-". Can someone comment why it's considered derogatory?

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I don't think I get your point. Are you saying that just because the Japanese pronounce "Pittsburgh" as ピッツバグー that 米国 is weird? Or the same thing for 露国? Granted these all have 外来語 counterparts, but they also have common natural Japanese words.

nipponman

Maybe they are common, but even more common are アメリカ (or 合衆国) and ロシア. But both 露 and 米 are pretty ironic, don't you agree? The US being rice country, and Russia being small...

I don't think you get my point. You cannot really compare 中国 and 米国 (which is more like 美国, in the sence that it made the aMErica sound). Like you said, this had gairaigo origin, where 中国 has hanzi/Chinese (I guess that counts as "Gairaigo" too? :wall ) origin.

I hate gairaigo too... Soooo many useless ones... :wall

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