又中又英︱The Year of the Loong

2023/02/24 03:15:31 網誌分類: 生活
24 Feb

Did dragons really exist in ancient times? According to a BBC science report, stories about dragons go back thousands of years, appearing in the legends (old stories) of Ancient Mesopotamia. Later stories about dragons came from countries such as China, India, Greece, and Britain. But the BBC report said the dragons in ancient stories are imaginary although many creatures today have the word “dragon” in their names. The most powerful is the meat-eating Komodo dragon, a lizard which can grow to 10 feet.

This is the Year of the Dragon, but Mainland media have now replaced dragon with “loong”. This is Mandarin for dragon because Mainland media said dragons in Western culture are vicious but dragons in Chinese culture are gentle. Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu has started saying Year of the Loong. But the English pronunciation of loong doesn’t sound exactly like the Mandarin word for dragon. It sounds even less like a dragon in Cantonese. Loong needs a diacritic (accent symbol) to sound more like dragon in Mandarin or Cantonese. Does calling it the Year of the Loong have staying power?

To have staying power means to remain popular or successful for a long time. The Year of the Loong must catch on for a long time to have real staying power. To catch on means to become fashionable or popular. It has a year to catch on before the Snake replaces the Dragon in 2025. Will people still call it the Year of the Loong when the Dragon returns in 12 years? I don’t know but I am sure the West will not rename it as the Year of the Loong.


今年是龍年,但內地媒體現在都用“loong”取代之前的繙譯dragon 。那是龍的普通話讀法,因為內地媒體說,西方文化中的龍是凶狠殘暴的,但中國文化中的龍是溫和的。特首李家超也開始說 Year of the Loong。然而,loong的英語發音並非真的像普通話「龍」的發音,跟廣東話的「龍」就更不似。Loong 需要一個變音符號( diacritic)去讓它更似普通話或廣東話之中的「龍」。不知叫它做the Year of the Loong 可有 staying power?

To have staying power是指有持久力,能長時間受歡迎或保持成功。The Year of the Loong需要流行(catch on)很長的時間,才叫作有真正的持久力(staying power)。To catch on是指去變得時髦或流行起來。它在二零二五蛇年取代龍年之前,有一年的時間去流行起來( catch on)。再過十二年,又到龍年的時候,人們還會叫它作 the Year of the Loong嗎?我不知道,但我肯定西方不會將它重新命名為 the Year of the Loong。

Michael Chugani褚簡寧

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