Calling folks from Virginia! You are being f—ed by (Mainland) Chinese! It’s only a metaphor! Sorry, please don’t get offended.
I’ve just finished reading an article, and it reminds me of something that I always want to tell people in Virginia state…
Translating names from western languages into Chinese languages is certainly very difficult. I dare say it’s an art! if you use one wrong character the meaning of the name is completely and instantly changed and can become a joke.
Do you know your state HAD a beautiful name in Cantonese? But do you know because of China’s invasion and expansionism, Virginia has become a cursed state? Let me tell you why…
Virginia is “translated” Cantonese as “維珍尼亞洲” – its Romanisation is “Wai4 Zan1 Nei4 Aa3 Zau1”, the meaning of each character:
維：maintain, preserve, safeguard
珍：precious, valuable, rare
尼：(originally) close, near; (derived meaning) Buddhist nun
The “Cantonese translation” is very pretty when you pronounce it, and it kind of make Virginia a precious state based on the meaning. In fact, people often associate the characters above to beautiful things.
When we look at Mandarin version of Virginia, you will see this: 弗吉利亞 – in Mandarin, it’s Fu2, Ji2, Ni2, Ya4, Zhou1, here’s the meaning of each character:
The rest is the same as Cantonese’s.
Here’s the catch:
If you read the name in Mandarin “Fu Ji Nei” goes together is the same as “unlucky”. Fu sounds kind of like the F word to non-English speakers (maybe to English speakers too). The character 吉 share the same pronunciation as 㓤, which means poke… Now Virginia has become a virgin who gets f—ed and poked in Mandarin, it’s a bit nasty isn’t it?
Do you really still want to learn Mandarin because it’s the mother tongue of 1.3 billion people (if you’ve been to some remote provinces in China, you’d realise that Mandarin actually comes in SOOOOOO many different forms)? Please you need to ask yourself… How many people can speak English, both first or second language?
Over and out!