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在美国最好不要乱起英文名 因为有可能太俗!(双语)

2017-08-23 14:56

来源:爱语吧

作者:

  When Lindsay Jernigan, an American expat in China, noticed how often Chinese professionals had — for lack of a better term — "stripper" names like Candy and Cherry, she wanted to find a way to help them out. Jernigan said that often Chinese adults select an English name for American business or school purposes, but there wasn’t a service available to help in the selection process. So she started the website bestenglishname.com to help Chinese people choose, well, their best English name. But why the stripper names? She explains the fascinating reasons below.

  生活在中国的美籍人士林赛.杰尼根注意到一些中国的专业人士大多都缺少一个合适的英文名字—因为他们常常把自己的名字取成像Candy和Cherry这样的名字,实际上这些名字在美国是脱衣舞娘的名字,因此她想要找到一种方法来帮助他们起名字。杰尼根说,中国的成年人经常会出于为去美国从事商业活动或学习的目的选择一个英文名字,但在选择过程中没有服务能够为他们提供帮助。因此,她创办了网站bestenglishname.com,以帮助中国人选择他们最好的英文名字。但她为什么称那些名字是脱衣舞娘的名字呢?她解释了下面有趣的原因。

  Hello my name is, [insert very confusing Chinese name], but you can call me [insert equally puzzling English name. One that was usually popular in the 1970s]. This is a common way for Chinese people to introduce themselves when interacting with foreigners." This practice dates back to the beginning of China’s rapid ascension to economic superpower. As East got to know West, cross-cultural communication required that the given name be relevant and easy.

  “你好,我的名字是,[插入非常令人困惑的中文名字],但你可以叫我[插入同样令人费解的英文名字]”。这是中国人在与外国人打交道时自我介绍的一种常见方式,在20世纪70年代很流行。这种做法可以追溯到中国向经济超级大国快速提升之初。随着东方对西方的了解,跨文化的交流需要我们的名字足够简单并有一定的相关性。

  You may ask why are Chinese names so difficult for Westerners? If you ever take the leap to learn a little Chinese, your first month of lessons will most likely be just learning the alphabet (called Pinyin) that goes along with the characters. This alphabet was actually invented by the Russians in the 1920s. Herein lies the problem with Chinese names — trying to pronounce Qian or Xiu is not a simple phonetic exercise. And so the practice of the ’English Name’ was adopted.

  你可能会问为什么中国人的名字对西方人来说那么难?如果你想学一点汉语,你第一个月的课程很可能只是学习字母(称为拼音)。这个字母表实际上是俄国人在20世纪20年代发明的。杰尼根阐述了中文名字的问题在于:读“钱”或“修”不仅仅是简单的语音练习。因此他们采用了“英文名”的做法。

  Some of you can think back to your first day of Spanish class when you pick your Spanish name that you are referred to for the rest of the year, or maybe even your Spanish career, which probably ended in high school. Well, it is both similar and different to a Chinese person picking an English name.

  你们可以想象你第一天上西班牙语课时选择西班牙名字的时候,在接下来的一年,甚至是你整个西班牙语学习生涯中(当然你的西班牙语学习生涯可能在高中就结束了)你都会使用这个名字。实际上这和一个中国人取英文名字是类似的,但是也有所不同。

  Like our Spanish class experience, many of them pick these names when they first start to learn English. Those names become email addresses; they appear on business cards, name tags, even job applications, and, therefore, these names can stick with them for a long time.

  就像我们的西班牙课堂经验一样,他们中的许多人在刚开始学习英语的时候都选择了这些名字。这些名字后来也变成了电子邮件地址;它们出现在名片、标签、甚至是工作应用程序上,因此,这些名称可以在很长一段时间内保持不变。

  The English naming culture is wildly different to the Chinese naming culture, leading to a total misunderstanding as to how to pick an English name. We laugh when we hear Chinese with names like Furry, Eleven or Mars, but if you understand the Chinese naming culture, you will understand how they can adopt these names with a straight face. The main, overarching issue is that Chinese people are taking their own Chinese naming practices and using them to choose an English name. Here are some naming practices unique to Chinese and how they might affect English name choice.

  英语的命名文化与中国的命名文化大相径庭,因此导致了对如何选择英文名的完全误解。当我们听到一些中国人的名字叫“Furry”、“Eleven”或“Mars”时,我们会感觉可笑。但是如果你了解中国的命名文化,你就会明白他们为什么这么严肃的选择这些名字。主要的问题在于中国人使用他们自己的命名习惯来选择英文名字。以下是一些中国特有的命名习惯,以及它们是如何影响英文名称选择的。

  A Chinese given name can also be any word or character. There is not a strong distinction between a regular word and a name. This is why the Boat’s, Mars’s, and Genius’s exist.

  中文名字可以是任何字或词语。普通单词和名字之间没有明显区别。这就是为什么会有Boat’s、Mars’s、Genius’s这些名字存在。

  Chinese is a much more complex language than English. They have a whole other level of language rooted in the characters. These characters, while very intimidating, are actually intricate and beautiful representations of words and meaning. There is actually even a level of Feng Shui in these characters called the Five Elements. It is important for these elements to be balanced. The elements are Fire, water, stone, metal, and wood. If you have a lot of Fire, you might want some water in your English name, so you pick Ocean!

  汉语是一种比英语复杂得多的语言。甚至在名字中存在植根于人物性格的另一个深层次文化。这些特征听起来虽然很吓人,但实际上是文字和意义间复杂而美丽的表现。在这些特征中,甚至有一种叫做“五行风水”。这种文化强调金、木、水、火、土五行之间的平衡。如果你五行中占火比较多,那么你就可能想要一些含有水的英文名字,所以你选择海洋!

  In China you can have a variant of a name that quite literally no one else has. It can be a very unique character with a meaning deeply rooted in your family’s values. So oftentimes Chinese people will try to find a name that no one else has and invent a name himself or herself, like Harevil. Yes, this is a real life example.

  在中国,你可以有一个与众不同的名字。由于它深深植根于你家庭的价值观,所以它拥有其独到的含义。中国人通常会试图找到一个别人没用过的名字,因此他们会为自己起名,比如Harevil。这是一个真实的例子。

  Chinese people put a lot of emphasis on the meaning of a name. This is a key difference that is often hard for Chinese people to understand. For example, Kendall — a really cool and strong name — actually means "Valley beside the River Kent." So instead people will often opt for the literal and choose a name like Beauty, Paradise, or Smile.

  中国人非常重视名字的含义。而这正是中国人很难理解外国名字的关键。例如,Kendall就是一个非常酷和强大的名字,但是它字面的意思是“在肯特河旁边的山谷”。所以,人们通常会选择字面意思,选择“Beauty”、“Paradise”或“Smile”这样的名字。

  In creating BestEnglishName.com I have spent a lot of time understanding these cultural differences as expressed through names. I completely understand how English names can be confusing. For example, Violet is a beautiful name, color, as well as flower, but neither Green nor Hydrangea are accepted as English names. The name Taylor can be for a girl or a boy, but Gary is strictly a name for a man. The name Mackenzie is a very popular and cute girl name, but it actually means "son of." It’s confusing.

  在创建BestEnglishName.com网站的过程中,我花了很多时间来理解这些不同的文化差异。我完全理解英文名字为什么会让人困惑。例如,Violet是一个美丽的名字,它代表颜色和花,但是Green和Hydrangea这种英文名字却不被人们所接受。Taylor这个名字既可以是女孩又可以是男孩的名字,但Gary却是一个男人的名字。Mackenzie这个名字非常流行,也很可爱,但它的意思却是“儿子”。这确实很令人困惑。

  On our website we try to create content that is targeted to Chinese people making this decision. We try to express the importance of an English name in an international setting. We do our best to explain English names, their history, and how we as ’foreigners’ choose a name. Our clients and users range from students in middle school starting to learn English for the first time, to a young professional at a multi-national company, to a mom in LA having her child in the US and needing name to put on his or her passport.

  在我们的网站上,我们试图针对中国人在选择名字的问题上做出一些内容。我们试图表达在国际环境中英文名字选择的重要性。我们尽我们最大的努力来解释英文名字,它们的历史,以及我们作为“外国人”选择名字的方式。我们的客户和用户包括第一次学习英语的中学学生,到跨国公司的年轻专业人员,再到洛杉矶的一个母亲,这位母亲的孩子在美国,需要把她的名字写在他/她们的护照上。

  While our website began with the task of assisting Chinese people to choose an English name, our mission has evolved into what we think our users ultimately want and need — to feel confident and comfortable when meeting foreigners. Our website will soon expand to provide a fun and engaging platform to not only give them the essentials like a good English name, but to allow them to have more understanding of how their culture and the culture of traditional English speakers can truly merge. After all, this generation of Chinese is creating a new world culture for us all!

  虽然我们网站最初的任务是帮助中国人选择一个英文名字,但我们的任务已经发展到使我们的用户能够得到他最想要和需要的东西—在遇到外国人时感到自信和舒适。我们的网站很快就会拓展成为一个有趣且吸引人的平台,这个平台不仅给客户选择一个好听的英语名字,而且让他们更加了解中国文化和传统英语使用者的文化是如何真正融合的。毕竟,这一代中国人正在为我们大家创造一个新的世界文化!

(编辑:何莹莹)

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