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  1. #1
    wutan31 is offline Newbie
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    Correct spelling of Chinese name in English

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skanda_(Buddhism)

    In Buddhism, a deity is called Skanda (in Sankrit, I think). In Chinese, his name is Wei Tuo.

    See for example the Wikipedia link about Skanda.

    However, I wonder what's the correct spelling of this deity's Chinese name in English? Is it Wei Tuo or Weituo?
    This is because I believe Chinese names in English are usually written together, for example Beijing or Tu Youyou (the Youyou part) instead of Bei Jing or Tu You You. What is the grammatical rule covering this?

  2. #2
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: Correct spelling of Chinese name in English

    There is no grammatical rule about transcribing words and names from non-Latin writing systems. Chinese names used to be transcribed in the Wade-Giles system. Nowadays pinyin is much more common. In Wade-Giles, syllables are written separately ("Mao Tse Tung"). In Pinyin, surnames are joined together and different letters are often used ("Mao Zedong").
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  3. #3
    Matthew Wai's Avatar
    Matthew Wai is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Correct spelling of Chinese name in English

    My Chinese name consists of three characters, but my official English name consists of four separate words.
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  4. #4
    Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    Re: Correct spelling of Chinese name in English

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    My official Chinese name was Ying Da Hua
    'Ying' stands for , which means 'English'.
    'Da' stands for , which means 'reach'.
    'Hua' stands for , which means 'China'.
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  5. #5
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    teechar is offline Moderator
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    Re: Correct spelling of Chinese name in English

    Hello wutan31, and welcome to the forum.

  6. #6
    Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    Re: Correct spelling of Chinese name in English

    Quote Originally Posted by wutan31 View Post
    Chinese names in English are usually written together, for example Beijing or Tu Youyou (the Youyou part) instead of Bei Jing or Tu You You.
    There is a Chinese city named Hong Kong rather than Hongkong.

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    In Pinyin, surnames are joined together and different letters are often used ("Mao Zedong").
    In Chinese, the surname comes first, so 'Mao' and 'Zedong' are the surname and the given name respectively.
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  7. #7
    teechar's Avatar
    teechar is offline Moderator
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    Re: Correct spelling of Chinese name in English

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    In Pinyin, surnames are joined together ("Mao Zedong").
    No, it's the two parts of the first/given names that may get joined. In the above, Mao is the surname, and Zedong is the first name.

    -------------------------------------------------------

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    There are also other meanings attached to each character.
    Yes, indeed. I studied a little bit of Chinese some time back, and one of the first words I learnt was the word for cat, which is Mao. However, I soon understood that the Mao in Mao Zedong, has entirely different meaning—body hair!

  8. #8
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Correct spelling of Chinese name in English

    Quote Originally Posted by teechar View Post
    one of the first words I learnt was the word for cat, which is Mao.
    You can use that in Lao too.

  9. #9
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: Correct spelling of Chinese name in English

    Quote Originally Posted by teechar View Post
    No, it's the two parts of the first/given names that may get joined. In the above, Mao is the surname, and Zedong is the first name.
    I knew that!
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