Date: 2005-01-30 22:47:00
Tags: chinese
my name in chinese
I came across this Chinese Names site and looked up my name. According to this page, my first name translates as:


I can't read Chinese (yet), so apparently those characters together are pronounced something similar to "Greg". When constructing a Chinese name like this, the meaning of the characters is disregarded and only the pronunciation is considered. So, the meaning of the translation might end up being something like "blooming purple flower" or "majestic river" or "annoying rock in my shoe". The Chinese Names page only shows a gif image of the characters, so you can't paste them directly into a translation tool such as Google Translate. After spending several minutes with Windows "charmap", I finally found the Unicode characters for each of the listed characters.

Anticipating some kind of interesting translation, I pasted the characters into Google Translate and it came back with simply ... "Greig". Hmm. When I try the same thing in Babelfish, not all the characters can be translated. I think what Google might have done is, lacking a full translation of the meaning, translated just the sounds into English characters.

If you want to try this for your name, first look up your name on the Chinese Names page. Then start the Character Map application (Start/Run/charmap), and look for each character of your name. Hopefully you have the "Batang" font installed, which contains all the Chinese characters. Paste the result into Google Translate and post your results. (This is the kind of meme you actually have to work for!)
It looks like... it's untranslatable. Being a bit free it comes out as "standard thunder shelf".
Here is mine. I was amazed they had Elise. :)
Several minutes?
I could spend hours looking and I'd never find mine in charmap.
There is a lot lost in translation since Chinese names are given to a child with specific ideas in mind. And perhaps references to phrases or other words.

It's funny that some Chinese people will choose English names based in similar sounds. I think the translation works better in that direction.

For biblical names, one can find an acknowledged (I guess widely understood) corresponding name in Chinese. My friend Matt has a Chinese name that consists of the word for horse plus the word that is part of the phrase for wife. Heh.
Greg Hewgill <>