Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Hong Kong

...Part I

We are back from our week of vacation that took us first to Hong Kong. So here are some of the pictures we took of the numerous buildings architecture.
But first a little anecdote about the name: when I told our Ayi we were going to Hong Kong she had no idea what I was talking about so I blamed it on those famous tones I have a hard time distinguishing and tried to say Hong Kong with every single combination of tone I could think of: 1 and 2, 3 and 1, 2 and 3, 1 and 4 etc…. you get the idea. After 5 minutes of frustration on both part I realized that without a map we wouldn’t get anywhere… That’s when I realized that Hong Kong in Chinese is Xiang1 Gang3!! (“Fragrant Harbor” same signs, different pronunciation)
So I tried to google/wikipedia to see where the name Hong Kong came from since it doesn’t sound English either (because it was an English colony for the one that don’t follow current affairs and HK got “returned” to China on July 1st 1997!!!!). So here’s one of the explanation for the name:

“The lack of a standard Cantonese romanization standard has created different ways to romanize 香港 based upon the pronunciation in Cantonese. Some linguists believe that the English name of the territory, Hong Kong, is an approximate transliteration of the Chinese name based upon its Cantonese pronunciation. However, "Hong Kong" sounds only somewhat similar to the Cantonese, and some believe that the term is derived for the Hakka name for the area, which is romanized as Hiong1 Gong3. This pronunciation is closer to the standard English version, and is spoken as the first language by the natives of many villages in the New Territories.”

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