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  • "Huang" and "Wong," "Kwan" and "Guan," "Lee" and "Li," these Chinese American last names may have different spellings but they're actually the same.

    "Huang" 和 "Wong"; "Kwan" and "Guan"; "Lee" 和 "Li",這些華裔美國人的姓氏,可能有不同的拼法,但事實上他們都是一樣的

  • Take my family for example, my great aunts and uncles spell their last name "Lee," but my parents spell "Li."

    以我的家族為例,我的姨婆舅公他們把姓氏拼法為 "Lee",但我的父母卻拼做 "Li"

  • Let me explain.

    讓我解釋給你聽!

  • First, remember that Chinese has hundreds of dialects variations that all sound pretty different.

    首先,要記得中文有數以百計不同種的方言,而且聽起來都大不相同

  • For example, "let's eat" in Chinese can be

    比如說,「一起吃飯吧」的中文可說:

  • And that's just three dialects.

    而且這僅僅只是三種方言而已

  • So what happens in a country where everyone is speaking a variation of a language and not everyone understands each other.

    所以,在這種每個人都說著不同語言,但不是都懂彼此在說什麼的國家,究竟會如何呢?

  • Chaos. Well, sort of.

    就是大混亂,大概啦

  • Back in the day when Beijing was still known as Peking,

    回到北京還是被拼作 "Peking" 的時候

  • China hadn't yet fully adopted Mandarin as its official language.

    中國還沒有採用普通話成為官方語言

  • In the 1940s, most government officials used Mandarin but many other dialects were also alive and well.

    在 1940 年代,大部分的政府機構都用普通話,但是其他的方言仍然存在並且有被使用的

  • (各種方言)

  • Because there was no one dialect that everyone used,

    因為沒有大家統一使用的方言

  • there was also no agreement on how to translate Chinese characters into Roman alphabet for Westerners to pronounce.

    所以對於要怎麼把中文翻譯成羅馬拼音給西方人發音一直沒有共識。

  • Couple of British dudes did create a phonetic alphabet to understand Mandarin called the "Wade Giles system"

    一些英國人創造了一套可以用來發音中文的字母系統,稱作「Wade Giles 拼音系統」

  • but was never officially recognized in the country.

    但這套系統從來都沒有被官方承認過

  • As a result, the earliest Chinese immigrants to the United States wrote their last names based on the dialect they spoke,

    也因此,早期在美國的中國移民仍然依他們說的方言去拼出姓氏,

  • say "Kwan" if you spoke Cantonese or "Guan" if you spoke Mandarin.

    如果說的是廣東話,則「關」拼做 "Kwan" ,若是說普通話,則拼做 "Guan"

  • But then Mao came to power, and he strengthened Mandarin as the national dialect, making it the standard language of education for all of China.

    但毛澤東掌權後,他鞏固普通話的地位將之列為官方語言,使普通話成為全中國的教育的標準語言。

  • (from now on, the official language is Mandarin.)

    「從今天開始,我們統一說普通話。」

  • He then got one of his own guys to create a phonetic alphabet and that became known as "hanyu pinyin".

    然後他找了一個人創造了一套拼音系統,就是為人熟知的「漢語拼音」

  • Once China had an official alphabet for spelling,

    一旦北京有了官方的拼音語言

  • "Peking" became "Beijing", "Nanking" became "Nanjing", "Canton" became "Guangzhou".

    北京就被拼做 "Beijing",南京被拼做 "Nanjing",廣州被拼做 "Guangzhou"

  • The city's actual names in Chinese do not change, just the Western spelling.

    這些城市真正的中文名字並沒有改變,改變的只是英文的拼音方式。

  • By the way, China aside, Taiwan still uses a mix of "Wade Giles" and "pinyin" spelling

    順帶一提,先把中國擺一邊,台灣仍然使用 Wade Giles 和拼音系統

  • while Hong Kong still speaks Cantonese and uses Cantonese spelling.

    而香港仍然使用廣東話和廣東拼音

  • All this brings us back to Chinese names in the U.S..

    以上讓我們回到美國華裔的姓氏

  • Based on the spelling of those names, it gives you a clue about the origin of the family.

    根據這些名字的拼法,可以給你一些家族起源的線索

  • Like the Lees who emigrated from China before 1958, they spell their last name "Lee",

    像是在1958年移民至美國的李氏家族,他們將「李」拼為 "Lee"

  • but my parents who emigrated from China after the pingyin alphabet,

    但我的父母們是在漢語拼音系統後才來美國的

  • they spell their last name "Li" same goes for many others such as "Lam", "Lin", "Chou", "Zhou", "Ng", "Wu"

    就拼做 "Li",同樣的道理也適用於「林」、「周」和「吳」

  • Same family, different spelling and now you know.

    同個家族,不同拼音,現在你知道為什麼了吧!

"Huang" and "Wong," "Kwan" and "Guan," "Lee" and "Li," these Chinese American last names may have different spellings but they're actually the same.

"Huang" 和 "Wong"; "Kwan" and "Guan"; "Lee" 和 "Li",這些華裔美國人的姓氏,可能有不同的拼法,但事實上他們都是一樣的

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李是「Lee」還是「Li」?到底差在哪裡? (What's The Difference Between Lee and Li?)

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    張玉聖 發佈於 2017 年 04 月 07 日
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