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#372134 - 11/30/07 08:15 AM Info on Chinese Kanji please
marmaduke Offline

Registered: 10/26/06
Posts: 177
Loc: Ohio
I need to translate GOLDEN PYRAMID MARTIAL ARTS CENTER into Chinese. My sons Sensei has it on his belt. I have tried several on-line translators and for some reason, what I am getting does not match what he has on his belt. He has 6 Kanji and I keep coming up with 4. I broke it down into the words for GOLDEN, PYRAMID, MARTIAL ARTS, and CENTER. According to him, there is no actual translation for CENTER. The closest would be HOME. And a Kanji I got for PYRAMID, looks like CHINA to him.
I have found several versions of Chinese...Traditional, Simple, Hong Kong, Cantonese,and several others. Are they really that different or are these translators not right.
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#372135 - 11/30/07 06:47 PM Re: Info on Chinese Kanji please [Re: marmaduke]
sneo Offline

Registered: 02/10/06
Posts: 2
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Try a dictionary such as

Translating names of shops or businesses can be tricky because the Chinese name and the one in English can vary quite widely in meaning, to the extent where sometimes one is nowhere near the other e.g. "The Lotus Blossom Restaurant" could have the Chinese characters for "The Wong Family Eatery"

Where the characters actually reflect the name in English, they can either translate directly(best case scenario) or just use a conventionally accepted short form(makes things difficult for the unwary.)

The characters come in Simplified and Traditional only. Mandarin, Cantonese etc all share the same general written form. However different dialects sometimes use different terms to describe the same thing.

Copying the characters off the sensei's belt would give the actual Chinese character name for the establishment and is probably preferable to translating the name from English to Chinese.

#372136 - 11/30/07 08:14 PM Re: Info on Chinese Kanji please [Re: sneo]
JAMJTX Offline

Registered: 12/01/02
Posts: 585
Loc: Fort Wayne, IN
On-line translators just don't work. Especially Chinese, Japanese and other Asian languages. They are just too difficult to translate.

Unless your son's Sensei had his translation done by either a native speaker or well educated person, his kanji are also very likely to be wrong.

You can find yourself being very embarrassed by poor translations. I have known people who had thier own names wrong on thier belts and other serious errors.

I recall being in line at a grocery store when a Japanese girl began laughing after reading some muscle-head's bicep tattoo. His tattoo artist told him it said "brave samurai" but it actually said "fruit wave".

Your best bet is to find a service and get a proper translation.

#372137 - 12/01/07 08:22 AM Re: Info on Chinese Kanji please [Re: marmaduke]
celest Offline

Registered: 11/05/06
Posts: 42
Loc: Singapore

I have found several versions of Chinese...Traditional, Simple, Hong Kong, Cantonese,and several others. Are they really that different or are these translators not right.

There are indeed several versions of Chinese - which encompass Mandarin, Cantonese, Hokkien, Teochew, etc - all of which are variations of Chinese, but not quite mutually intelligible. That said, I think the Chinese characters you are looking for are probably Mandarin in traditional form, since for decoration purposes (on belts, names of places, etc), people usually tend to use the traditional form rather than the simplified form, because the traditional form has more strokes and looks nicer (and more complicated). Both forms have the same meaning, btw.

As for getting 4 characters for the aforementioned term in your post, it's not uncommon at all -- a direct translation may get you 6 terms, but many Mandarin terms are usually shortened. For instance, 'golden hair' is 'jin1 se4 (gold colour) + de4 (-en) + tou2 fa2 (hair)' when you do a direct translation; however, speakers of Mandarin would normally say 'jin1 fa4', which is understood to be 'golden hair'. 5 characters shortened into 2. It's like how English speakers use shortform like 'b'day' for 'birthday' or 'b'fast' for 'breakfast'.


(Just a side-note, 'kanji' is Japanese; it's Mandarin 'characters' or 'zi4 mu2'.)

#372138 - 04/09/08 05:34 AM Re: Info on Chinese Kanji please [Re: celest]
Tashigae Offline
Mister Bendy

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 690
Loc: Samarobriva, Gallia
OK, let's address the characters one at a time:

- there can hardly be any ambiguity on the first one. It just has to be jin.

- The word "pyramid" is the difficult one. The closest word I can think of is ta, which refers to a pagoda or tower. Interestingly, the pyramids of egypt are called jinzita, which litterally mean "golden towers/pagodas". So it might be it...

- the most common locutions used to designate "martial arts" in Chinese are: wushu, wuyi (both direct equivalents, meaning "martial arts" litterally), and gongfu (not meaning "martial arts" originally, but over the years it has become the chief expression in China). However, I discard the last possibility since it most probably wouldn't have been translated as "martial arts" but simply left as is (just re-spelled "kungfu").

- from my experience, the usual Chinese translation of the English word "center", as in a martial arts center, is zhongxin, which could match the number of characters you say. However if your "golden pyramid" is indeed jinzita,which takes three characters, then your final character would indeed be the "home" you mentioned (jia).

So that leaves me with two main possibilities:
- jinta wushu zhongxin
- jinzita wushu jia
Note that I used wushu for "martial arts" as being the most likely (it's the exact equivalent of the Japanese word bujutsu), but it might be wuyi (equivalent of the Japanese bugei) instead.

Unfortunately this board cannot display Chinese characters, so I cannot show you what my hypotheses would look like for you to compare with the coveted belt. If you want me to, just PM me your e-mail and I'll send images of them in both traditional and simplified characters. Or send a picture of the belt, and I'll identify the characters.


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