Tuesday, February 3, 2009

中国龙与西方龙 The Chinese Dragon

为了西方观念上有对龙有坏的错误印象,有人提议该掉中国龙的英文名字,音译为‘Loong’ 或 ‘Long’。可是,‘Loong’ 不是一个正确的拼音,而拼音‘Long’ 可能又会与英语‘长’字相混乱。
The English word ‘dragon’ is known as ‘long’ (龙) in Chinese, but we all know the western dragon and Chinese ‘long’ (龙) are actually two different imagery creatures.
The dragon is a mythical creature of which some interpretation or depiction appears in almost every culture worldwide. The physical description and supposed abilities of the creature vary immensely according to the different cultures in which it appears. However, the unifying feature of almost all interpretations is it being a serpentine or otherwise reptilian monster (or at least possessing a serpentine/reptilian part or trait), and often possessing magical or spiritual qualities.
The dragon in western culture is a kind of evil animal that can spray fire from its mouth. It has a thin neck, a big dinosaurs-like body and a pair of featherless wings.
However, Chinese dragons are energetic, decisive, optimistic, intelligent and ambitious. They are loved and worshiped by the Chinese. There are temples, and shrines named for and honoring dragons. They are believed to control the rain, rivers, lakes, and seas.
There is actually no direct connection between the Chinese dragon and the western dragon.
In order to avoid the wrong impression of something bad in western people's point of view, some Chinese has proposed to change the English name for Chinese Dragon to ‘Loong’ or ‘Long’. However, ‘Loong’ is not a valid pinyin and ‘Long’ can be confusing as it is a valid English word.
Perhaps, just call it the Chinese Dragon……

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