25 Jun 2006
I regularly ride the subway to get to ChinesePod headquarters, and on each ride I am subjected to the advertising played on those flat LCD monitors. One of the ads I see a lot is for Jacob’s Creek, an Australian wine. I noted that the Chinese name is 杰卡斯.
杰卡斯 is obviously a partial transliteration. 杰 is chosen for its sound and favorable meaning of “outstanding,” and 卡 and 斯, both chosen for their sounds, are commonly used in transliterations of foreign words.
After seeing this Chinese name enough times, the thought occurred to me: the English name which most closely matches the Chinese transliteration 杰卡斯 is not Jacob’s Creek, but Jackass.