Sunday, September 13, 2009

Instead of writing President “Ma Ying-jeou” (馬英九) in the English-language newspapers here, let’s start writing his name as "Ying-jeou Ma"

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/editorials/archives/2009/09/14/2003453524

LETTER TO EDITOR
THE TAIPEI TIMES

re: "The name game"

Dear EDITOR:

English-language newspapers in Japan have for many years been writing the names of Japanese people following the Western style: given name, surname. In addition, many Japanese businessmen and politicians have English name cards that follow the same Western style. I feel that it is time for Taiwan for start following this trend.

Instead of writing President “Ma Ying-jeou” (馬英九) in the English-language newspapers here in and in New York and London, let’s start writing his name as “Ying-jeou Ma.” As for former presidents, let’s refer to them as “Teng-hui Lee” (李登輝) and “Shui-bian Chen” (陳水扁). After all, the English-language newspapers in Taiwan call Japanese politicians by their first and then last names —“Junichiro Koizumi” and “Yukio Hatoyama” — for example, and those names are well-known in the West.

There’s another reason I suggest writing Taiwanese names in English news stories in the Western style: This style will help differentiate Taiwan from China, and readers in the West will come to understand that “Ying-jeou Ma” must be from Taiwan, since he uses the new system of naming, while Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) must be from China, since he uses the old system.

There is already a small difference between the way names are written in English in China and Taiwan: Notice that it’s “Ma Ying-jeou” with a hyphen between “Ying” and “jeou,” while Chinese do not usually include hyphens when Romanizing their names.

This way, foreigners understand that Hu Jintao is from China, while Ma Ying-jeou (or in the new system “Ying-jeou Ma”) is from Taiwan.

1 comment:

dan said...

他山之石 – 英文名在前姓在後


By Biko Lang & Terry Huang


很多年前,日本的英文媒體就開始採用西方的習慣,譯寫日本人的英文姓名,也就是名字在前,姓氏在後。典型的政治人物譯寫實例有:Junichiro Koizumi(小泉)、Yukio Hatoyama(鳩山)等等。在媒體帶動之下,更多日本政商界以及演藝圈的人士也相繼依樣印製他們的名片,名字在前,姓氏在後。


我們覺得台灣的國人可以借鏡日本人的姓名譯寫風格,以便與西方社會更緊密地接軌。因此,我們呼籲台灣以及國外的英文媒體,以Ying-jeou Ma, Shui-bian Chen, Teng-hui Lee 等等譯寫方式稱呼台灣的現任及卸任總統。何況,它還有一個好處:就是借此與中國做某種程度的區別。眼尖的讀者,或許早已經注意到台灣和中國的姓名譯寫風格已經存在的差異。這個微妙的差異就在小小的連字號(–)。在中華人民共和國,人家是這樣譯寫胡錦濤:Hu Jintao,而不是寫成 Hu Jin-tao。看來,中國人似乎已經貫徹沒有連字號的譯寫方式。台灣的國人只要能夠貫徹帶有連字號的譯寫風格,相信可以幫助多數的西方人士,更容易從英文姓名的譯寫風格區別中國人與台灣人的差異了。


(英文版作者本名Dan Bloom,為美籍資深新聞從業人員;

中文版撰寫人Terry Huang本名黃大河,為資深翻譯官

英文版全文見 Taipei Times-Letters 2009/9/14

中文版全文見www.goodweber.com/?terry )