Mon, Aug 27, 2007 - Page 15 News List

Meet baby @ 「@」 小孩在此

AP

A child not named after a computer symbol who's still "one of a kind," Beijing, China, Aug. 5, 2007.
就算不取名為電腦符號,孩子仍是獨一無二的。中國北京,八月五日。

Photo: AP

A Chinese couple seeking a modern, one of a kind name for their child chose the commonly used Internet symbol "@" or "at," much to the consternation of Chinese officials.

The unidentified couple and the attempted naming were cited on Aug. 16 by a Chinese government official as an example of bizarre names creeping into the Chinese language.

According to Li Yuming, the vice director of the State Language Commission, the father said, "the whole world uses it to write e-mails and translated into Chinese it means 'love him."

The symbol "@" pronounced in English as "at" sounds like the Chinese phrase "love him." Written Chinese does not use an alphabet but is comprised of characters, sometimes making it difficult to develop new words for new or foreign things and ideas.

In their quest for a different name, Li said that the parents of baby "@" were not alone. As of last year, only 129 surnames accounted for 87 percent of all surnames in China, Li said, suggesting that the uniformity drove people to find more individual given names.

"There was even a 'Zhao-A,' a 'King Osrina' and other extremely individualistic names," Li said, according to a transcript of the news conference posted on the government's main web site, www.gov.cn

Li did not say whether police, who are the arbiters of names because they issue identity cards, rejected baby "@" and the others.

But nationwide last year "unfamiliar characters" were used in the names of 60 million people, Li said.(AP)

一對中國夫婦想幫小孩取個摩登且獨特的名字,他們選了網際網路上常用的符號「@」(或叫「at」),令當地的官員大感驚訝。

一位中國官員於八月十六日,以這對夫婦和他們想取的名字為例,表示怪名字正逐漸侵入中國的語言。

中國國家語言文字工作委員會副主任李宇明表示,這位父親說:「全世界寫電子郵件都會用這個符號,而翻譯成中文就是『愛他』。」

「@」這個符號的英文發音是「at」,聽起來就像中文的「愛他」。書寫中文時並不用字母系統,而是以文字呈現,有時要幫新的或外國的事物或思想創造新字時較困難。

OUT LOUD 對話練習

Mike: Did you hear that a Chinese couple wants to name their baby "@"?

Danny: I did. It reminds me of when Prince changed his name to a symbol.

Mike: I would have to say that's the strangest of all the strange things Prince has done over the years. doing weird stuff

Danny: Yeah, he sure gets a kick out of doing weird stuff.

Mike: Well, it's one of the main reasons he's stayed famous for so long.

麥克:你有聽說一對中國夫婦竟想幫小孩取名叫「@」嗎?

丹尼:有啊,這讓我想到歌手「王子」也曾改名為某個符號。

麥克:我想這是他這些年來,做過的怪事中最怪的一件。

丹尼:對啊,他就是很愛搞怪耶。

麥克:唔…這也是他能紅這麼久的主因之一吧。

get a kick out of 從當中得到快感

To get a kick out of something means to really enjoy doing that thing. For example, "I really got a kick out of playing football. We should do that every weekend."

在從事某件事時「get a kick」(興奮、刺激、快感),表示真的很愛做這件事。例如:「打美式足球真的讓我很興奮,我們應該每週都來打球」。


李副主任說,「@」寶寶的父母不是唯一想取怪名字的人。到去年為止,一百二十九個主要姓氏佔了中國所有姓氏的百分之八十七,姓氏的相同性驅使人們開始追尋個人化的名字。

根據他在中國政府主要網站「www.gov.cn」的演講稿指出:「甚至有人叫『趙─A』、『奧斯銳娜王』這類極端個性化的名字。」

他並未說明核發身分證的警方是否拒絕了「@」和其他怪名字。

但他說,去年全國有六千萬人的名字有「冷僻字」。(美聯社/翻譯︰張愛弟)

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