Quick Character Test for the Native Speaker
A Chinese speaking friend of mine just had a baby. She told me she gave her the name Isabella, as she would have her called by the general public here is the United States. I then asked her what her Chinese name would be... She said it is a very little known character with which even native speaker usually find unfamiliar and unable to pronounce, which I confirmed by asking another friend, who was born and raised in Hong Kong, if she knew. Nope! So... Being the curious type, I thought I'd post the character to see how many educated native speakers could recognize and pronounce it upon first glance. No cheating by looking up the character in a dictionary or looking at subsequent posts. Just look at the character and then post whether you knew or didn't know how to pronounce the character. Ok... The name of the baby is 睿. You too ChinesePod staff and crew!!!
tingyunApril 26, 2011, 02:50 AM
It would be very difficult to find a well-educated speaker who doesn't recognize 睿. The compound 睿智 is fairly common, and people are going to know 曹睿 both from 3 kingdoms and from reading his poetry.
Now, many people might have forgoten how to handwrite it, but that's true of alot of slightly uncommon charecters.
No clue why your friend would think it that rare - I really don't think you could get through junior high without learning this one.
chrisApril 26, 2011, 04:09 AM
This is my Chinese name! My full name is 艾睿杰. Let's just say that I have wished, on a number of occasions, that I had chosen a slightly simpler-to-write middle character :-)
Not to date, Calkins. My wife's hometown is in Fujian not far from the coast so a lot of similarity between the in-laws' home dialect (闽南话) and Taiwanese. I will ask them whether the 睿 is more feminine or masculine!
My wife is from Zhangzhou, Fujian and also speaks Min Nan hua. I asked her about "rui" as being male / female in a name. She said it does not think of it as refering to gender but she seldomly hears it used in a name.
rui - inteligent when used as a single char.
Not sure I understand the connection between Chris and rui but I guess the fundamental meaning of the name Chris must also mean inteligent?
I was also given a Chinese name by my wife - Chen Hong Jie, although the family in Zhangzhou all call me 'uncle david'.
dpinskeyApril 29, 2011, 02:24 PM
It does appear that it is my Chinese friends that had come to attend University and subsequently work and reside here in the United States that are unfamiliar with this character, while those that have come at a more mature age recognize it immediately. I have a few more friends I wish to quiz on this one. Maybe ChinesePod should devote a few lessons on lesser known characters so that we Poddies might be able to impress some of the more learned folk we meet from 中国。