6/24/2008

Flabbergasted

I was listening to the news in CNA when it came to the announcement of a Chinese player that won his first round at Wimbleton against a seated player. The name flashed across the screen, Zheng Jie. Then came the horror, the newsreader read Jie Zheng! And the newsreader was an overseas Chinese who obviously knew what Chinese name are and how it should be read. Zheng Jie became Jie Zheng! And this is in CNA, not BBC, CNN or some American news agency. Why are the Chinese confusing themselves and in the process confused the world? Chinese name should be written and read the Chinese way, especially in Channel News Asia. Otherwise everyone will be confused as to which is the right order. Kuan Yew Lee, Jin Tao Hu???? Who are they? When I read George Bush, I know Bush is the family name. When I read Lee Kuan Yew, I know Lee is the family name. I will be terribly confused if I have to guess if Lee is the family name, or is it Yew? And so will the rest of the world.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

The American addressed the director of "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon" as Ang Lee when his Chinese name is Lee Ang. Lee and Ang are both surnames. Confusing.

redbean said...

it is important to stick to an age old traditional convention in name writing. Lee Ang would have been Lee Ang if the Ah Bengs have not distorted this by calling themselves Ah Beng Tan instead of Tan Ah Beng.

official media has a vital role to play in keeping to a recognisable form instead of allowing the editors and newsreaders to do according to their whims and fancies.

Is Ah Huay Lim sound better than Lim Ah Huay?

Anonymous said...

I think it depends on how well known the person is. Why did no one in the Western media call Mao Tse Tung 'Tse Tung Mao' or Chairman Tung? Or Hu Jintao as 'Jintao Hu' or President Tao?

Anonymous said...

Some asians still suck up to the angmo, what. We also have a lot of xenophilia in singapore, they love to twang like they're birds or what.

redbean said...

it is ok to twang or to have christian or japanese name. but the proper convention of writing and reading them should be adhered to to avoid creating more confusion.

john tan or jenny lim are perfectly ok. everyone knows which is which. tan john or lim jenny will be odd. so is pee gee wong. should be wong pee gee.

Anonymous said...

There are a few CNA news readers (hi Chloe cho) who sound quite horrible....each time i watch CNA,i just feel like switching the TV off when they read the news.
The slang is so way unatural!!


Kevin

redbean said...

some of these newsreaders were educated in america or ABC. chloe sounded not too bad. some sounded quite artificial and not too pleasing to the ears. not a big issue.

but the proper convention for names is important. our former president wee kim wee would not be happy if some jokers going to address him as president kim wee wee. with all due respect, it sounded awful.

lets be more careful in this area.

redbean said...

so far no one has asked what does 'jie zheng' mean in chinese. anyone want to guess?