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jungkang

Pronunciations of words in different cultures

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Hi, I have a question on pronunciations of words in different cultures. For example, an English name, whose meaning is good, but has its pronunciation sounding like a bad word in Chinese. Or a Korean word sounds bad when its pronunciation associates with a bad English word, and so on... Except you understand all the languages existed in the world, you would never know that the name you choose for your child may sound bad for a person who comes from a certain country. My questions are:
1. If you do not know that there are bad meanings associated with the sounds of words in other languages, then you are free from being affected on?
2. If you incorporate some auspicious Chinese characters into your home decoration without understanding their meanings, it is useless?
Thank you.

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Dear Judy,
Please see below:-

Quote
On 9/14/00 7:42:00 AM, Anonymous wrote:
Hi, I have a question on
pronunciations of words in
different cultures. For
example, an English name,
whose meaning is good, but has
its pronunciation sounding
like a bad word in Chinese.
Or a Korean word sounds bad
when its pronunciation
associates with a bad English
word, and so on... Except you
understand all the languages
existed in the world, you
would never know that the name
you choose for your child may
sound bad for a person who
comes from a certain country.
My questions are:
1. If you do not know that
there are bad meanings
associated with the sounds of
words in other languages, then
you are free from being
affected on?


1. Yes, you have brought up a very interesting question.
2. First of all, Chinese do place importance in phonetic sounds. For example, several years back when China opened up its economy, I believe, there was this Coca Cola advertisement where the interpretation of the words `Coca Cola' was interepreted to mean an inauspicious name.
3. Subsequently, Coca Cola, revised this ad.
4. Chinese language is quite `complex' and a pronunciation can provide as much as say 4 different meanings to a character alone.
5. For the Chinese, usually, there is no issue once an auspicious sounding name has been chosen.
6. In the past where there was no standarised Chinese words such as the Romanized Chinese ", many overseas Chinese.
For example, those staying especially in Commonwealth countries had to register `English' names.
Thus depending on the dialect of a Chinese, Sir names in English may differ but ultimately, the phonetic sound or the meaning in Chinese is still the same.
Thus it is common to find a person with the Surname e.g. Chen or Tan. Both are identical in Chinese.
Alternatively, the proper romanised form of Water is " Shui " as in Feng "Shui". But for a Hokkien (dialect) Chinese, the name could be " Chwee " or even " Chooi ".
7. It is equally amusing for overseas Chinese when they wrongly register names even surnames at their respective birth registries.
However, as mentioned above, the `True' name is always represented by their Mandarin name.
8. The above is to highlight the importance of choosing a Mandarin name and how Chinese place importance in the meaning or significance of a name.
9. In the above situation, it does not matter if a Chinese name can have other different meanings in all languages over the world.
In my opinion, it does not matter unless, one is in a country where a predominant language exists.
For example, if Spanish is the main language of the country and we pitty a child if his/her name "sounds" inauspicious or culturally bad in that language.

Quote
2. If you incorporate some
auspicious Chinese characters
into your home decoration
without understanding their
meanings, it is useless?
Thank you.
In my opinion, this is not necessary so. For example, if it is a calligraphy or a painting or poetry written on the scroll, one can hang it on a wall without necessarily knowing the meaning of the words.


However, if one is passionate enough could ask someone or a friend to interpret the wordings. Unless, one without much understanding try to `create' words or without knowing the word or words, "joined" them up. It is better in such situations to find out the meaning first from a reliable source.
Warmest Regards,
Cecil


Master Cecil Lee, Geomancy.Net

Master Cecil Lee, Geomancy.Net

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