That China Girl

{May 28, 2011}   My Chinese name…and other things I just found out

Oops.  I just realized today that I missed the day where we’re supposed to post about our 5 favorite places to write.

That would have been Tuesday.  The thing is, I’ve mostly been writing this blog sitting up in my bedroom, which is kind of boring. Okay, I look out on a bridge, but it’s a fake one, like you see all over China.  So not real inspiring. I did write a couple of posts from a Starbucks near the school.   They call Starbucks,  xia be ke  (sheeah bock-uh) here.  Here’s one in the Forbidden City.  I haven’t made it here yet — the one I go to is more Western-looking.

That’s pretty common with foreign company names — that the name in Mandarin often sounds similar.  And for people’s name’s as well. The Chinese try to find characters that sound phonetically like the word does in English.    Like the name Mary would be Mali — since they don’t really have a word that sounds like “ry.”  Another boy in my class is named Jack, and his  name becomes Jie ke in Chinese, which does sort of sound like Jack (with an “uh” at the end).

For last names, they usually shorten it to one syllable, since the main Chinese names, like Wang, Li, etc. are all one syllable.   The last name my family uses is Hu,  kind of like the Premier Hu Jintao.   I gotta say it’s easier to spell than Hutchinson.

So my name is Hu Taiyu. It looks like this:  胡台俞

Yeah, I’m still learning to write it.

My Chinese teacher Chen Laoshi says that my name is similar to a character in the famous Chinese story Dream of the Red Chamber.  Since I haven’t read the story yet, I don’t know whether that’s good or bad.  Do any of you know of this Hu Taiyu?


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