著名基督徒的中文名字 Translating the names of famous Christians

This is probably a trivial issue. Just like to discuss the translation of English names into Chinese here. Some translations are merely transliterations such as John and 约翰(the Chinese is actually closer to the latin/greek original – sounds similar to Yohan). Other translations are better, as in not only are these translations close enough to the English pronunciation, the names themselves sound Chinese as well.

For example,

John Stott – 司徒德

Martyn Lloyd Jones – 钟马田

A.W.Tozer – 陶恕

R.A.Torrey – 陶瑞

Francis Shaeffer – 薛华

Ligon Duncan – 邓肯

Robert Morrison – 马礼逊

Hudson Taylor -戴德生

These could be names of any Chinese! But some other translations aren’t so Chinese sounding…

John Piper – 约翰·派博

Tim Keller – 凯勒

George Whitefield -怀特腓

Jonathan Edwards – 乔纳森·爱德华滋

John MacArthur – 麦克阿瑟

Friend, if you are reading this. Could you think of a better translations for the names? You can write the suggestions in the comments. 🙂 朋友,你能够想出一个比以上更好的翻译吗?呵呵

It is interesting to note that Chinese Christians usually adopt an English name for example 倪柝声 is Watchman Nee, 宋尚节 is John Sung, 苏颖智 is Patrick Soh etc. Thus, there’s little problem in putting their names in English. A notable exception (and I guess many others as well) would be 王明道, whose English books are published under the name Ming-Tao Wang, which is a transliteration of the Chinese. This is rather interesting and indicative of the direction of influence of Christianity.

In the end, these translations aren’t really important in themselves. What’s more important is what they teach, and whether what they teach coheres with what the Bible teach. May God continue to raise up his servants to build his kingdom, and we look forward to the day when multitudes shall praise his name, from many nations, and with many tongues. It is very much so today already but we look forward to the ultimate consummation.

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4 Responses to 著名基督徒的中文名字 Translating the names of famous Christians

  1. pilgrim说道:

    i always ended up translating John MacArthur to “yue1 han4 mai4 a1 te4” which sounds like something u can order off the menu of McDonalds. haha

  2. Sim Joon Edward说道:

    Actually, none of these translations are mine… I just picked them out by looking up on the web…

    heh heh.. you are right. 约翰麦阿德does sound funny.. 🙂

  3. yiqiang说道:

    Bro, thank God that He has equipped you and given you the burden to translate. There are so many chinese speaking Christians as well as Preachers and Bible teachers out there who will profit dearly from the translation of the glorious riches of the english christian heritage of writings. Press on faithfully with His work.

    Thank God for Open source missions too.

  4. G ZJ Wu说道:

    Hi there, thanks for this. I was looking for John Stott’s Chinese name and came across this blog article. I’m a Christian translator too. God bless.

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