Thursday, May 13, 2010

What's in a name? 田 安 娜

If your computer is set up to let you see Chinese characters, you could read this e-mail I typed up today to send to my Chinese teacher. (If you can't see characters, you probably see nothing but little squares or weird type - sorry).

你好Zhang 老师
谢谢你的 Email. 明天我 也可以 上课 2:30。 这 时间 很好。 明天四 点 钟 我 去 东 明。 我们回家。
现在 我 睡觉。
田 安 娜

A short e-mail to thank her for her email and confirm our class time for tomorrow (2:30pm). If it looks impressive (maybe?), I can quickly dispell that myth because I simply reused some of my teacher's language in my response, and also used a neat feature in Word that helps you convert pinyin (the Chinese characters written out in words) to Chinese Characters. It's still fun though, to put those few basic sentences.

And did you see the signature line? That's my name in Chinese: Tian An Na.

田 安 娜
Tian An Na

Tian means "field", which is my last name, and is in meaning related to Van der Heijden, which-- if it were spelled differently-- also refers to a kind of field. "An" means peace, and is the same "An" as in Tian-An-Men-Square, the infamous Tiananmen Square (Plein van de Hemelse Vrede). And "Na" doesn't mean anything really, but this character has the right sound to complete my name. An-Na.

Tian An Na - I am not sure when I'll need to use it, but it will sure come in handy to have a name that people can remember and write down.

I'll soon tell you more about all our new names, because also Paul, Simon and Thomas are the happy recipients of fabulous new names. For now, I have to go 睡觉 (sleep).
再见 (Goodbye)
田 安 娜 (Tian An Na)

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