Transliteration Into Chinese Characters

Transliteration Into Chinese Characters

In Chinese, transcription is known as yīnyì (simplified Chinese: 音译; traditional Chinese: 音譯) or yìmíng (simplified Chinese: 译名; traditional Chinese: 譯名). While it is common to see foreign names left in their original forms (for example, in the Latin alphabet) in a Chinese text, it is also common to transcribe foreign proper nouns into Chinese characters.

Homophones abound in Mandarin Chinese, so most English words have multiple possible transcriptions. Since there are many characters to choose from when transcribing a word, a translator can manipulate the transcription to add additional meaning. The official reference guide for transcription is Names of the World's Peoples (世界人名翻译大辞典), published by the Xinhua News Agency.

Chinese is written with monosyllabic logograms which may not correspond to the syllables in the foreign words. For example, a word of three syllables will be transcribed into at least three Chinese characters, in most cases three meaningful verbal units. Transcriptions into other Chinese dialects such as Cantonese will differ from Mandarin transcriptions, since transcription based on one dialect may not sound close to the original when pronounced with another dialect.

Read more about Transliteration Into Chinese Characters:  Official Standards, History, Sound, Meaning and Graph, Connotations, Difference in The Phonetic Translation Between Different Regions, Transcription Table, See Also, Notes

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    No one of the characters in my novels has originated, so far as I know, in real life. If anything, the contrary was the case: persons playing a part in my life—the first twenty years of it—had about them something semi-fictitious.
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