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North American Cities

 
Mandarin Chinese has a relatively limited stock of phonetics compared with other languages.

Mandarin Chinese has a relatively limited stock of phonetics compared with other languages. When it comes to translating Western geographical names into Chinese characters, a close phonetic match is attempted. Consideration must also be given to the meaning of the chosen Chinese characters.

Most geographical names are chosen as phonetic approximations of the Western names, but a few place names are descriptive.


San Francisco, for example, is Jiù Jīn Shān, which translates as “Old Gold Mountain,” reminding us of the California gold rush.

Most Mandarin Chinese geographical names sound strange to Western ears. This is because there is usually not an exact phonetic equivalent to the sounds of the English names.

North American Cities

Click on the links to hear the audio.

English Name Chinese Characters Pinyin
New York 紐約 niǔ yuē
Boston 波士頓 bō shì dùn
Montreal 蒙特婁 méng tè lóu
Vancouver 溫哥華 wēn gē huá
Toronto 多倫多 duō lún duō
Los Angeles 洛杉磯 luò shān jī
San Francisco 舊金山 jiù jīn shān
Chicago 芝加哥 zhī jiā gē
Seattle 西雅圖 xī yǎ tú
Miami 邁阿密 mài ā mì
Houston 休斯頓 xiū sī dùn
Portland 波特蘭 bō tè lán
Washington 華盛頓 huá shèng dùn
New Orleans 紐奧良 niǔ ào liáng
Philadelphia 費城 fèi chéng
Detroit 底特律 dǐ tè lǜ
Dallas 達拉斯 dá lā sī
Atlanta 亞特蘭大 yà tè lán dà
San Diego 聖地牙哥 shèng dié yá gē
Las Vegas 拉斯維加斯 lā sī wéi jiā sī

  [Editor:一尾鱼   2017/04/11/]
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