Oh, Snap! (kutsuwamushi) wrote in little_details,
Oh, Snap!

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Cantonese street names

I'm writing a story set on a fictional island city-state where the official language is English, but where historically Cantonese was the main language, and where there are still a lot of Cantonese speakers. Sometimes I want to hit myself for ever thinking this was a good idea.

Today's problem:

I need some street names, but I have no idea how to come up with them. I've named some of the newer streets in English, which I think makes sense, but now I need names for streets that were around before the English came and weren't important enough to be renamed.

At the moment, I need a name for a street that has mostly businesses and minor government buildings on it, and a couple of names for residential streets.

So, how do I go about this? My Chinese is theoretical rather than practical, so even if there is a system you can describe to me I'm not sure I can use it competently.

I assume that because the island's official language is English now, Cantonese street names will be written in English transcription. I'd still like any name suggestions in characters if possible, so I can convert to the transcription I think is historically appropriate.

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And as always, I'm on the lookout for resources that will help me name background characters. Online phone books, lists of graduating students, or anything that has a lot of Cantonese names (in characters) on it. If you know of anything, please give me a link.
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