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Say It Right Series

A boy named @

Posted by daizi August 16, 2007 in the Group General Discussion.

I suppose this story is old news in China, but I found it curious. Dai

What's in @ name? Chinese watchdog queries parents' choice

Fred Attewill and agencies
Thursday August 16, 2007
Guardian Unlimited

A Chinese couple who wanted a distinctive name for their baby boy and came up with the symbol @ have earned a rebuke from the government's language watchdog.
The parents claimed the commonly used email symbol, pronounced in English as "at", sounded like the Mandarin for "love him" when spoken by Chinese.

But the government's state language commission has taken a dim view of the attempt to break the mould in a country where almost 90% of the country's 1.3 billion people share just 129 surnames.

The father "said the whole world uses it to write e-mails and translated into Chinese it means 'love him'", Li Yuming, the vice director of the commission, said today.
Many Chinese use the English word "at" in pronouncing the symbol @, and when said with a drawn out "t" it sounds like "ai ta", or "love him" in Mandarin. Article Continues >>


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