RMG (rmg) wrote in little_details,

Writing a name in Chinese Characters

Setting: Near-future science fantasy. Even though it's a constructed setting, though, I'm representing the various languages with real-world languages (kind of like how Westron is "translated" into English in Tolkien's works except I'm lazy re: conglangs so I just did it for like every language in my setting), so you can just assume we're working within the bounds of contemporary Mandarin.

There's a female character who's eventually going to appear in my comic named Song Xiping. Even though I'm writing my comic in English, though, I always like to have the characters names in their native language's scripts handy, since you never know when I might need to <a href="http://rincewindmog.deviantart.com/#/d5q49bz">stencil their names onto the side of a space suit</a> or the like.

I quickly found out by expedient of Wikipedia that her family name, Song would be written a 宋 in Chinese characters, but I'm having a harder time finding a transliteration of "Xiping". This is because of how Chinese given names work, I suppose-- there's a huge variety of possible of combinations, no standardized set of names, a given romanization of a name might be written in any number of ways. All of this makes it kind of hard to name fictional Chinese characters when you don't actually know Chinese.

The actual meaning of the name doesn't need to be anything in particular— I'm a strong believer in the idea that a character's parents wouldn't know what their future plot significance is going to be so they won't get some magic foreshadowing name-- so all I need to do is make sure that it's plausible as a woman's name.

Search Terms Searched google and Wikipedia for other people named "Xiping" in hopes of just stealing the Chinese rendering of some other Xiping out there in internet-land. Unfortunately, the only Xipings I could find who had their names written in Chinese characters alongside the romanized version were men (like this guy), so I have no idea if those names would b suitable or a woman or not. I found plenty of women named Xiping, so at least I know it's a possible female name, but I couldn't find a Chinese rendering of any of their names.

ETA Looks like this one has been sorted out! Thanks, everyone!
Tags: china (misc), ~languages: chinese, ~names

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