Hsiao Bi-khim / Xiao Meiqin

What’s a “Xiao Meiqin”?

This is not a place name that can be translated differently in Tongyong vs Hanyu or whatever.

Hsiao Bi-khim is her official name, in her passport, on her business card, known and used by everyone that deals with the DPP.

What’s a “Xiao Meiqin”?

This is not a place name that can be translated differently in Tongyong vs Hanyu or whatever.

Hsiao Bi-khim is her official name, in her passport, on her business card, known and used by everyone that deals with the DPP.[/quote]
Have you seen her passport and got her namecard? Anyway, yes, it is the name she uses in an English context. Bi-khim is the Hokkien pronunciation of her name. Hsiao is the Wade-Giles spelling of the Mandarin pronunciation of her surname. I put the Hanyu pinyin spelling of her name so that when people are listening to the news in Chinese, they will know they are talking about the same person.



www.bikhim.com

Yes, I have her name card. I gather she spells it the same way in her passport.

Why would people people who listen to the news in Chinese need the Hanyu footnote when they can just read the Chinese words 蕭美琴?

[quote=“SCL”]Yes, I have her name card. I gather she spells it the same way in her passport.

Why would people people who listen to the news in Chinese need the Hanyu footnote when they can just read the Chinese words 蕭美琴?[/quote]

Here’s an interesting little blast from the past about her:
taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/ … /03/200641

What are you getting at SCL? Juba’s adding of the Mandarin pinyin was useful. I’d wondered what it was. If I am going to discuss some politicians in Mandarin, I want to know their Mandarin names. Xiao Bi-Khim may the way she likes to call herself, but it isn’t much use to me, if I want to mention her name in Mandarinconversation.

Brian

What’s a “Xiao Meiqin”? This is not a place name that can be translated differently in Tongyong vs Hanyu or whatever. Hsiao Bi-khim is her official name, in her passport, on her business card, known and used by everyone that deals with the DPP.[/quote]
I highly doubt that her name apears thusly on her passport. One’s romanized name on a R.O.C. passport is romanized according to either the (corrupted) Wade-Giles version of yesteryear, or according to the latest version of Tongyong Pinyin. “Hsiao Bi-Khim” is neither.

The rule to spell one’s name in Tongyong in one’s passport has been introduced only a year or so ago and it’s not effective retroactively. It means that the new rule only applies to people who are applying for a passport for the first time and have no existing name spelling in any legal documents (including school diplomas.)

Before the rule was introduced, almost any way of spelling was accepted when one applied for a passport for the first time; once used, the spelling cannot be changed (unless there’ a legal reason) and gets carried over to new passports.

Hsiao’s father spelt her name in Romaji (a Holo Taiwanese writing system which has been used by the Church in Taiwan for over 150 years) when applying for her passport for the first time (she was young). Her passport definitely has her name spelt as “Hsiao Bi-khim”. BTW, her mother is American (white,) she basically got educated in the U.S.

Source?

And just out of curiosity, what was her English name? I understand she uses her current name exclusively now, but didn’t her American passport (before she gave up her American citizenship) use her English name?

my aunt’s name is bi-khim-a. i never knew what the characters for her name were until now. :slight_smile:

Einsicht, I am sure that what you have written about Hsiao Bi-khim’s name is entirely correct.

You give me the impression that you are someone close to the DPP camp, perhaps working in the party’s international department or election headquarters. I’d be interested to hear your reply to Maoman’s question about Hsiao’s English name (just out of idle curiosity), and also to learn more about this remarkable young woman.

I say she’s remarkable because I have been strongly impressed by her personality, ideals and abilities, and I believe she will have a very bright future as a high-flyer in her party and the government. That is something we foreign residents of Taiwan, especially those of us with Chinese spouses and mixed-blood children, should find highly encouraging, as she’s the first of what will hopefully be many with her kind of background, and should be better able than others to understand and represent our interests.

I seriously doubt there are people here who can read 蕭美琴 but who don’t know how to pronounce it in Mandarin. And for people who can’t read Chinese, they would have only seen or heard “Hsiao Bi-Kim” in the English media.

Anyway, I’m a beating a very old if not quite dead hoese.

And thanks Flicka, interesting article. Everyone is the sum of their actions, warts and all.

To Omniloquacious and Maoman:

Hsiao Bi-Khim doesn’t have a Christian name. Her father, a church clerk, went to study in the U.S., where he fell in love with her mother, an American musician. They got married and later moved to Japan where her father worked at a church. She was born in Japan. Later, her family moved back to Tawnan (Tainan), where she went to school until she entered her early teens. Then, she left for the U.S. and finished high school and college education there (Columbia University.)

She has a mixture of Japanese, Taiwanese and American personality; no nonsensical, straight forward, strong headed and rational.

Her father, a Ph.D. in Theology of Princeton University, has been fighting for Taiwan’s democracy almost all his adult life. Spelling his daughter’s name in Romaji (Holo Taiwanese) was a statement for him. The KMT confiscated and burnt all bibles published in Romaji in early 1970’s, a time when she was born; then, speaking Holo Taiwanese, Hakka Taiwanese or Austronesian Taiwanese at school had been strictly punishable for quite some time.

PS: There is a version of Romaji for Hakka Taiwanese.
PPS: Under pressure from international community, the KMT gave in and stopped harrassing the Church about using Romaji.

Thank you for that interesting background information, Einsicht.

wow, einsicht really has deep insight…

ax

I heard that the wife of American Chamber of Commerce’s Executive Director Richard R. Vuylsteke works in Hsiao Bi-Kim’s office . . . . . . does anyone know anything about that?

[quote]I seriously doubt there are people here who can read 蕭美琴 but who don’t know how to pronounce it in Mandarin. And for people who can’t read Chinese, they would have only seen or heard “Hsiao Bi-Kim” in the English media.
[/quote]

I saw the Chinese, but didn’t know hwo to pronounce it. It seemed to me that you were objecting to someone providing the Mandarin pronunciation of her name on the ideological grounds that she only uses the Taiwanese. If so, that’s just silly.

Brian

Quest …

Vuylsteke’s wife was working at the Ah-bian campaign headquarters on election day, so what you say could be true.
She used to work for Radio Free Asia. Don’t know what happened there.

I seriously doubt there are people here who can read 蕭美琴 but who don’t know how to pronounce it in Mandarin. And for people who can’t read Chinese, they would have only seen or heard “Hsiao Bi-Kim” in the English media.[/quote]
Right - and if someone who only reads news in English wants to ask for her, then the chances of nobody understanding him are quite high. When I want to have some fun, I give my students a sentence with “Providence University” or the like in it and ask them to translate. Or I take some weird company name and ask them how to pronounce it or how to write it in Chinese.

I don’t have a tv, so I didn’t see the news reporting about Chu Mei Feng’s “home video” a few years back. I first read about it in the China Post. From the spelling (usually bastardized Wade/Giles) I guessed her name must be written Zhu Mei Feng in Hanyu Pinyin. I got a few strange looks when I mentioned that name… Or more recently: One student (Department of Applied Languages, what a shame…) this week wrote “Kaohunish” for Gaoxiong…

Whatever special reasons 蕭美琴 might have for spelling her name “Hsiao Bi-Khim”, there are very valid reasons to give the correct transcription in Hanyu Pinyin. And by the way: names can’t be translated, they can only be transcribed.

~snort~ Tell that to our fearless mayor, Horse Hero-Nine. :stuck_out_tongue: