Alphadictionary.com

Our Sponsors

Technical Translation
Website Translation Clip Art
 

Chinese names in Japanese

A discussion of the peculiarities of languages and the differences between them.

Chinese names in Japanese

Postby M. Henri Day » Thu Apr 14, 2005 1:01 pm

ネットに「関西で中国人襲われ死亡」 中国外務省否定
2005年04月14日23時19分

 中国の愛国団体のインターネット「愛国者同盟網」などが14日、「関西で中国人2人が襲われ、1人が死亡した」とする記事を流した。中国外務省の秦剛(チン・カン)副報道局長は同日、同省のホームページで「慎重に事実確認を行ったが、決してそのようなことはない」と否定するコメントを出した。記事は、関西地方で発行されている中国語新聞の記事を引用する形を取っているが、この新聞社は「全くの偽り」などとする抗議文をネット上に掲載した。


I found the above article, taken from today's 朝日新聞, of great socio-linguistic interest, not due to its content, but because the newspaper provided a guide (チン・カン) to the Chinese reading of the graphs (秦剛) used to write the Foreign Ministry deputy spokesman's name. I don't remember having seen this before, and wonder if it is (becoming) standard operating procedure in Japan. Perhaps Flam would care to comment ?...

Henri

PS : Flam, nothing much will happen with the early modern Chinese encyclopaedia project until Professor Doleželová and I receive word on the funding. We expect a decision sometime in the middle of next month. Thanks for your interest, I'll let you know as soon as I hear anything !...
曾记否,到中流击水,浪遏飞舟?
M. Henri Day
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1142
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:24 am
Location: Stockholm, SVERIGE

Postby anders » Sun Apr 17, 2005 7:02 am

Strange phonetics: qín gang explained as tin kan?

And please keep me as well posted on the project.
Irren ist männlich
anders
Lexiterian
 
Posts: 405
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2005 7:46 am
Location: Sweden

Postby Flaminius » Sun Apr 17, 2005 10:24 am

No, it's more like "chin kaN." (In my favourite simplified phonetic notation a capital N of course means a syllabic/moraic N, which is uvular nasal in coda positions.) Aggh, this doesn't make things look better. If I am to cite Asahi's "Chin Kan" transliteration (this is quite likely since this is the closest I could get usually), dignified Sinologists on the Agora would be spending futile hours to find out whom I am referring to.

As always Japanese will be continued to be plagued with scarecity of phonemes and syllables. We will be eternally confusing kan with kang and kang with kam. I saw several video clips from Chinese cities when the demonstrators showted, "愛国無罪! (when motivated by patriotic intent, misdemeanours should be taken light of; in itself a sinister contradiction)" It sounded to me exactly like it was uttered in Japanese (aikoku muzai) and, though awkward in its tersity, made perfect sense in Japanese language or a cultural background that provides a common ground for North East Asian countries.

I have been thinking of Henri's proposal in relation to Professor Shirakawa's (the kanji man, I've told you all) opinion that Kanji/Confucianism/North East Asian cultural commonwealth has been torn asunder since Imperial Japan, instead of moving to promote common prosperity, took advantage of less-Westernised neighbours. As a semi-deserter from linguistics camp, I would be most delighted if the region I live in would experience unification process assisted by kanji revival. If getting familiar with Chinese readings could correct my wrongdoings that led me to my 'desertation,' I can be quite handily redeemed. English will no doubt remain a key language there as with any other regions but Kanji or Chinese holding some local influence in the Global Village would be a nice thing to see.

Oh before I proceed to my meaningless blather any longer, some hard observations.
1. Asahi has been indicating original readings of Chinese personal names printed in their newspaper at least since the latter half of 2004 (As an avid Mainichi reader, my observation may not be that accurate).
2. Asahi, which is the only likely major newspaper to have the audacity to do this, does not implement their "foreign kanji" policies uniformly. On the website Henri kindly undertook to provide for us, I spotted several cases of 秦剛副局長 referred to without furigana (reading help provided on top of Japanese texts). I never came across a place name of China with furigana.
3. In the entertainment world Chinese actors (automatically including actresses), singers and so forth have long been mentioned by their Chinese pronunciations only. Finding their kanji names is rather becoming difficult these days. Sports players get more various treatment. I notice they are referred by the Japanese pronunciations of their names in occasions when national pride is at stake (like Olmplic games).
4. In the early 90s, when I was a highschool student, the history textbook my school used listed two readings for important people in modern Chinese history (e.g., 毛沢東, Moo Takutoo, Mao Zedung). I don't know if this is still the case for textbook censorship conducted with another embellished name by the Ministry of State Education and Science has undergone several reforms since then.

Before our neighours expressed their animosity rather fervently to our country this month, I was a bit worried if introducing Chinese readings to Japanese publications would debilitate the position of Kanji as they are used in our language system to link Ancient Chinese culture to ours. Such a change looked like arrogance similar to forcing every Italian to call Cologne Koln, every Englishman to call Bombay Mumbai, every Greek to call Alexandreia Iskandariyya and every Spaniard to call Carlo Charles.

A sober causation inquiry into the recent spiral of nationalisms between China and Japan has made it clear to me that the whole thing is based on negative reciprocity. The leader of one state struts as a bold character by frequenting a religious institution for unconstitutional reasons for four straight years. The leadership of the other
government decides it's time to give a lesson, partly motivated by 60-year-old vengeance. The gullible part of the two (or three, or four if you count in South and North Koreas) countries start to think it is patriotic to spit out hatred at each other on the 'Net, on the streets, etc. As a result, all the sides end up thinking they will not back down until the other side takes the initiative.

This is buck-passing. This is being right in a wrong place. This is Cold War mentality. This is kiss of death. The only solution is that we make the first move to open up. I now feel the same strategy viable in the linguistic arena. Japanese language should retain Chinese character of things Chinese as well as incorporating their readings as much as practical. Chinese may or may not reciprocate this. Either way, Japanese will get a fresh boost so as to continue on its way of corruption, development or simply escape from extinction.

Flam
Flaminius
Lexiterian
 
Posts: 408
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 4:36 am

Postby Flaminius » Sun Apr 17, 2005 10:42 am

And please visit this thread as well. In my somber mements I sense this is not so much motivated by my personal interests in the persons bearing the names listed there as by morbid linguistic curiosity. My Japanese-tuned brain cannot think a local signifiee as whole symbol without a specific local brand of signifiant associated with it.
Flaminius
Lexiterian
 
Posts: 408
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 4:36 am

Postby M. Henri Day » Sun Apr 17, 2005 12:08 pm

Flaminius wrote:...

A sober causation inquiry into the recent spiral of nationalisms between China and Japan has made it clear to me that the whole thing is based on negative reciprocity. The leader of one state struts as a bold character by frequenting a religious institution for unconstitutional reasons for four straight years. The leadership of the other
government decides it's time to give a lesson, partly motivated by 60-year-old vengeance. The gullible part of the two (or three, or four if you count in South and North Koreas) countries start to think it is patriotic to spit out hatred at each other on the 'Net, on the streets, etc. As a result, all the sides end up thinking they will not back down until the other side takes the initiative.

This is buck-passing. This is being right in a wrong place. This is Cold War mentality. This is kiss of death. The only solution is that we make the first move to open up. I now feel the same strategy viable in the linguistic arena. Japanese language should retain Chinese character of things Chinese as well as incorporating their readings as much as practical. Chinese may or may not reciprocate this. Either way, Japanese will get a fresh boost so as to continue on its way of corruption, development or simply escape from extinction.

I'm with you all the way on this one, Flam ! It is vital that politicians in Japan, China, and Korea all refrain from succumbing to the comfortable, but extremely dangerous temptation of playing the nationalism card before their respective populations, as if they wished to reenact the situation in Europe in the summer of 1914 . Memories of the last major military conflicts in which these countries were engaged are now 50 - 60 years old, and with fading memories of what war really is if it strikes one's homeland, populations are more ready to be seduced by the beguiling, but generally false notion that we are better than our neighbours, who in their iniquity are also preparing to attack us. Politicians who insist on playing with this kind of fire should be provided with room and board at the ICC....

At any rate, Flam, thanks also for your detailed exegesis regarding current Japanese (printed) media practice with regard to Chinese names ! Even if 片仮名 is hardly the perfect instrument with which to represent the phonetics of Standard Chinese (普通话), I think the Asahi Shimbun's practice of representing these names both by 漢字 and by 片仮名 deserves emulation. I'm not surprised that of the major Japanese dailies, it is the Asahi that has chosen to do so - but then my partisanship for this paper goes back forty years. But newspapers are one thing - the ether media another. How, for example, does NRK deal with a name like that of Deputy Spokesman 秦剛 ? In the good old days, the anchorman would simply have referred to him as «Shin Kô» ; what is current practice ?...

Henri
Last edited by M. Henri Day on Mon Apr 18, 2005 9:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
曾记否,到中流击水,浪遏飞舟?
M. Henri Day
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1142
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:24 am
Location: Stockholm, SVERIGE

Postby Apoclima » Sun Apr 17, 2005 7:31 pm

I am sure you are all following this:

China: Japan must act to repair ties
History textbooks in dispute; thousands march in southern region.

Apo
Last edited by Apoclima on Sun May 01, 2005 7:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
'Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination.' -Max Planck
User avatar
Apoclima
Senior Lexiterian
 
Posts: 556
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2005 5:00 pm

Postby M. Henri Day » Mon Apr 18, 2005 9:52 am

Below a review of newspaper leaders from the region, taken from today's Guardian. To my mind, and obviously that of the newspapers cited below, the manner in which the relations between the two countries and peoples develop will determine the future of East Asia. Let us hope they do a better job of resolving their conflict than they did in 1894 !...

Henri

PS : Here's a link to a perceptive article from a business point of view published in today's Asia Times online....

Press review
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
'Japan cannot deny it invited the trouble'

Relations have sunk to a dangerous level

Monday April 18, 2005

Guardian

Korea Times

Editorial, April 17
"The rapid and worrisome rise in tension between China and Japan is becoming a destabilising force in east Asia. Large demonstrations in major Chinese cities are being repaid in kind with Japanese damaging China's diplomatic missions and threatening their staff ...
"Japan cannot deny it invited the trouble by seemingly trying to revive its militaristic past. Tokyo approved textbooks that gloss over its wartime atrocities, and, more recently, gave the go-ahead for oil and gas exploration in disputed waters. The Japanese prime minister, Junichiro Koizumi, has also made regular visits to the Yasukuni Shrine, to pay homage to convicted war criminals ... The Japanese leaders should stop fanning militarism in their country and induce their people towards positive universal values. Likewise, the Chinese must realise nationalism is a double-edged sword that can hurt them if carried to extremes."

Asahi Shimbun
Editorial, Japan, April 15
"Even before the outbreak of violence last week, many Japanese corporate workers in China were increasingly concerned... Whenever the Chinese government plots its national strategy, politics and economics always go together as a package ...

"Both China and Japan must ... actively seek a mutually reliant and complementary relationship ... It is not right to let diplomacy be guided solely by economic interests, but it is also a fact that there can be no diplomacy and statehood without them."

People's Daily
Editorial, China, April 17
"Our endeavour to boost reform and construction is far from being plain sailing as we are faced with all sorts of difficulties. These contradictions and problems can only be settled in an orderly manner by abiding by the law and with a sober mind ...

"Progress in people's living standards and the rising prestige of China in the international arena in the past two decades [is thanks to] China's stable social order, which should be cherished with redoubled efforts ... We should cherish and maintain social stability ."

Via Xinhua

New Sunday Times
Editorial, Malaysia, April 17
"Drilling rights are being contested in the East China Sea, which neither oil-hungry behemoth is set to give up easily. China's military spending has frightened Japan into loosening the constitutional handcuffs on its armed forces and driven it into closer alliance with the US. Both ... have riled China. To rub salt into Beijing's carefully nursed wound, Tokyo is eyeing a seat on the UN security council, which would displace the world's most populous country as Asia's lone voice on matters of global war and peace ... Like Europe, the future of Asia will depend on how soon the hatchets are buried along with their nasty nationalisms."

China Post
Editorial, Taiwan, April 17
"The drilling-rights dispute is the beginning of a storm in the East China Sea ... The two countries have fought two wars in recent history. Today, they are competing for dominance in Asia. The rivalry may lead to war if the leaders of both sides fail to see the danger looming ...

"To cool off the situation, Beijing should rein in the anti-Japanese protests, even if they were 'spontaneous' ... On the other hand, Tokyo should be sensitive to the feelings of those victimised by imperialistic Japan and stop doing things that will rub salt into the wounds ... Both sides should start building mutual trust, however difficult it may be."

Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2005
曾记否,到中流击水,浪遏飞舟?
M. Henri Day
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1142
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:24 am
Location: Stockholm, SVERIGE

Postby anders » Mon Apr 18, 2005 3:08 pm

The whole thing is just too effing complicated for a non-East Asian. There's Japan's wish to get into the security council, and China's promise (IIRC) to back India on a seat, there's the sea petroleum expectations and Japanese claims regarding islets far away from the "main" Japanese islands but within sight from the Chinese Mainland and/or Taiwan, there's the schoolbook thing.

One subtle (?) way to further discredit Japan is the repeated Chinese praise of German leaders, when they apologize for WWII crimes and place wreaths on selected monuments, implying that the Japs not only dont repent sufficiently, but on the contrary honour monuments featuring war criminals.

This of course gives rise to other interesting comparisons. It is a common phenomenon that Japanese senior officials in different capacities voice contradicting messages, but when did you ever hear of more than one view from the PRC?

The demonstrations in China against Japan are a strange mixture of what may be spontaneous events and rigidly directed ones. A few days ago, there were quasi-riots in (Shanghai?), but on that same day, perfectly nothing at all occurred in Beijing. Do they take turns? Who decides?

I suppose, though, that the problems will be solved in not too many years, when China and India have joined forces and have bought Japan and the US.
Irren ist männlich
anders
Lexiterian
 
Posts: 405
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2005 7:46 am
Location: Sweden

Postby Flaminius » Sat Apr 30, 2005 4:52 am

Henri, I am back to your second question as to how Chinese names are treated in television.

The basic rules most Japan and China media have agreed upon are the following two:
a. To respect kanji practises of each other as much as possible. Both parties are allowed to use their own scripts when they differ. Chinese media can improvise on Japanese names that are spelt in hiragana or katakana.
b. To prefer their own pronunciations and prejudices to the original pronunciations that the other party use for themselves.

Rule A is observed with Japanese brand names that are now written in hiragana or katakana but were originally writtten in kanji. Thus Kanebo is written 鐘紡 (originally short for 鐘淵紡績 [kanegafuchi booseki])and Isuzu 五十鈴 by Chinese media.

Rule B is more rigorously applied to place names than to personal names by Japanese media. I surmise Chinese ones do the same. Even NHK (Nihon Hoosoo Kyookai) pronounce 上海 as shaNhai, 北京 pekiN, and 香港 hoNkoN. When subtitles are provided for those place names, the kanjis often get reading helps on top of the spelling (furigana) in order not to mislead the viewers that those places are jookai, hokukee and kookoo.
(Peking and Nanking are never referred to as beijing and nanjing by any Japanese media. Perhaps this has to do more with history than with politics.)

Rule B does not apply to personal names when the person being referred to is primarily known by native pronunciation. This is almost always the case with entertainment figures. Cinema director Zhang Yimou (張芸謀) is usually referred to as ChaN Iimoo. Very often his kanjis are not provided even when subtitles are shown. But I remember seeing his kanji spelling in a NHK programme.

I don't know if NHK is more strict about Rule B than other media are but one of their programmes was very illustrative of the two rules. In a Chinese learning programme, the Chinese instructors were invariably called by their Japanese pronunciations whenever they engaged in conversation with students in Japanese. In Chinese skits, supposed to be taking place in Shanghai, all the participants (including several Japanese) were referred to according to their Chinese pronunciations.

Flam
Flaminius
Lexiterian
 
Posts: 408
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 4:36 am

Postby M. Henri Day » Sat Apr 30, 2005 1:23 pm

Flam, thanks for your detailed account of how the two countries are dealing with each other's proper nouns ! This indicates to me that despite the present crisis in Sino-Japanese relations, a lot of progress has been made during the last four decades. Perhaps there is room for hope regarding future relations between these two great cultures....

Henri
曾记否,到中流击水,浪遏飞舟?
M. Henri Day
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1142
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:24 am
Location: Stockholm, SVERIGE

Postby Flaminius » Sun May 01, 2005 10:59 am

M. Henri Day wrote:Perhaps there is room for hope regarding future relations between these two great cultures....


My thoughts exactly, if similar emotional spitting-outs (hot potatoes?) are dealt with with more sagacity by the two sides next time.

While I am aware that WWI metaphor applies omenously to Today's North East Asia, my optimistic part is lured to a more prosperous future, such as the one Larry Taub, a close friend, betrays in this articleof Asia Times.
Flaminius
Lexiterian
 
Posts: 408
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 4:36 am

Postby M. Henri Day » Sun May 01, 2005 1:27 pm

Interesting that you should provide a link to Jan Krikke's article, Flam ! I forwarded a copy to a Chinese literature list when it appeared a couple of weeks ago. Mr Taub's ideas are intriguing, although the use of the term «worker» for the members of the «caste» whom he believes are in the process of taking over from the «merchants» is, to my mind, not a little misleading - «managers», or «coordinators» would be more precise as to what these people actually do. In any event, please give Mr Taub my best when you next meet !...

Henri
曾记否,到中流击水,浪遏飞舟?
M. Henri Day
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1142
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:24 am
Location: Stockholm, SVERIGE

Postby anders » Sun May 01, 2005 3:03 pm

Others may be interested in cooperating as well.

Times of India
India, China to celebrate Panchsheel

PTI[ MONDAY, JUNE 23, 2003 03:59:10 PM ]

BEIJING: India and China, joint initiators of the famous Panchsheel treaty, on Monday decided to celebrate the 50th anniversary in befitting manner, said External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha.
An agreement to this effect was reached during the official talks held here between Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and his Chinese counterpart, Wen Jiabao, Sinha told reporters soon after the over two-hours of talks between the two leaders here at the Great Hall of the People.
The details of the celebrations would be worked out by officials of the two foreign ministries in due course, he said.
India and China signed the famous Panchsheel treaty on April 29, 1954.
The agreement was signed between former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and his Chinese counterpart Chou-En-lai.
Panchsheel literally means five norms of good conduct, these are: mutual respect for each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty, mutual non-aggression, mutual non-interference in each other's internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit and peaceful co-existence.
---
I find the origin of the treaty name interesting: पंच-शील, the five rules (Buddhist) of moral conduct; a set of five political principles (promoted by the Bandung Conference, 1954), in Chinese 五 尸羅 wu shiluo.
Irren ist männlich
anders
Lexiterian
 
Posts: 405
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2005 7:46 am
Location: Sweden

Postby M. Henri Day » Sun May 01, 2005 3:24 pm

That would be a multi-polar world, indeed !...

Henri
曾记否,到中流击水,浪遏飞舟?
M. Henri Day
Grand Panjandrum
 
Posts: 1142
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:24 am
Location: Stockholm, SVERIGE


Return to Languages of the World

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Exabot [Bot] and 2 guests