Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search


Jianqiao doesn't sound like Cambridge, so could it be explained in the entry how this Mandarin term came to be? 17:15, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

The first character is phonetic, and is a reference to 劍江 (River Cam). Words that are phonetically borrowed from English can find their way into Mandarin either directly (more common in recent history), or indirectly through other dialects (more common in the 19th century and prior). The Mandarin pronunciation of jiàn ([ tɕiɛn˥˩ ]) is not that close, so we then examine the pronunciation in other dialects. Other than Mandarin, Cantonese and Min Nan are the most common pathway into Chinese. The Cantonese pronunciation is gim3[1], and the Min Nan is kiàm ([ kiam˨˩ ]).[2] Of the two, I would place my money on Min Nan as the likely phonetic origin. The second character means bridge. -- A-cai 13:57, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

This is excellent. So many words have come into English from Xiamen and other Fujian dialects. If you have sources, you should add this information to the "Etymology" section--or add whatever elements of the etymology that are able to be sourced (keeping in mind that many print definitions do include etymologies that begin with "Perhaps..." 00:37, 9 December 2007 (UTC)