[FoRK] What's in a name?

Stephen Williams sdw at lig.net
Tue Mar 29 11:47:23 PDT 2011

On 3/29/11 10:55 AM, HK Pang wrote:
> Language translation can be very funny. Take 'America', for example,
> is formally written as 'beautiful country' in Chinese. Sometimes,
> people write it as 'rice country' because in Chinese slang, rice means
> wealthy. After 9-11/Iraq/2008, people like to write it as 'bad-luck
> country'. In Chinese, 'beautiful', 'rice' and 'bad-luck' are all
> single-sound words that pronounced more or less the same.

Funny.  I've taken (very meager, and mostly already faded) steps to learn a bit of Japanese and Chinese.  (At this point, I can 
recognize "pull" on doors in Japan...  (Hint: it is the Kanji that includes the radical for 'bow', i.e. 'pull'.))  I decided right 
up front that I'm only interested very much in reading and writing.  Mega-homonyms doesn't seem like fun.  Just a few months ago I 
was reading an Italian dissertation to get some techniques (the dregs of Latin, French, and German from 30 years ago plus the fairly 
unambiguously recognizable technical terms made it much easier than it sounds).


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