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Re: OT: Translation (Was: Re: OT: Official language post)

From:Douglas Koller, Latin & French <latinfrench@...>
Date:Wednesday, April 9, 2003, 20:00
>Yes, except do you know how to write sui?
The guy who compiled the "Guo2Tai2Shuang1Yu3Ci2Dian3", available in Taiwan, has made some of these characters on his own; here, he uses the "female" radical plus the phonetic from "sui2bian3" de "sui2". Often it's a game of what the Japanese call "ateji", characters glommed onto a word just for their phonetic value instead for meaning. At karaoké clubs, I usually saw "sui" represented by the character for "water". My mainland Minnanhua dictionary does a much better job of finding characters with reasonably plausible etymological links to the concepts at hand. Off hand, I don't remember what "sui" would be.
>I do, but I don't believe it's among the standard character set. >What about goan?
Usually represented by the "yuan4" of "yi1yuan4" (hospital). Compiler proffers the same phonetic ("yuan", "origin") but uses the "person" radical instead.
> Or lan?
The Mandarin form, "zan2" (inclusive "we"). Compiler create a similar character: "zi4ji3" de "zi4" with the "person" radical.
>Or lin?
Either Mandarin "nin2" (polite "you") or "ren4wu4" de "ren4" with a heart underneath.
>Or in?
"I1" with a heart underneath. Compiler uses "yin1wei4" de "yin" with a "person" radical.
> There are characters for thes words, but Chinese typing programs >only know Mandarin. So all the most elegant parts of Taiwanese get >left out and you end up typing bastardized Mandarin instead of real >Taiwanese. I drive my Taiwanese teachers batty asking them "What's >the Taiwanese character for that word?" About 80% of the time they >know. The other 20% its, "Okay, I'll look it up and tell you next >week."
Still, I think at some point you're just going to have to reconcile yourself to the fact that some words in dialect just may not have characters. Like Cantonese, as other dialects gain some literary street cred, new characters will be created or old ones will be resurrected, and then they'll be codified into that dialect's system. But I doubt Taiwanese is fully there yet. The characters used in Taiwanese karaok