From: Douglas Davidson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Mon Jan 29 2007 - 11:28:19 CST
On Jan 29, 2007, at 7:24 AM, email@example.com wrote:
> Most Chinese charcters have two parts one for the sound and one for
> the meaning, and the sound part is usually bigger. Therefore the
> person looks at the sound part and makes a guess. Someone who comes
> from the area will proablely get the pronunciation right ( ie they
> have heard of the place and put two and two together to make four).
> ANyone else wouls just be guessing and proablely get it wrong.
> Place names are very difficult to guess, take "Xiamen" for example,
> the first character "xia" is pronounced "sha" when used for
> anything other than the place name.
It might be noted that alphabetically written languages are not
immune to this sort of problem--compare, for example, the states of
Kansas and Arkansas, Arkansas City and the Arkansas River. See also
intuitive_pronunciations>. Toponyms are often survivals or otherwise
idiosyncratic, even more so than other names, whatever the writing
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