Gansu Uprising 1927-1930

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YC Chen
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Re: Gansu Uprising 1927-1930

Post by YC Chen » 03 Feb 2018 15:15

oldaxis wrote:
YC Chen wrote:
Stephen_Rynerson wrote:I wanted to avoid posting another question until we'd had some discussion, but as it has been ten days since my original post, I'll go ahead with my second question. According to various Chinese Wikipedia pages, Ma Zhongying's force during the Gansu Uprising was originally named 黑虎吸冯军, (transliterated as hēi hǔ xī féngjūn according to GoogleTranslate). GoogleTranslate insists on translating this name as "Black Tiger Suck Feng Army," no matter what context the name appears in. Other on-line translators give similarly unhelpful results (e.g., "black tiger drug Mr Frederick Feng army"). What would be the most accurate way of translating the name 黑虎吸冯军 into English?
Yes the literal translation of "黑虎吸冯军" IS "Black Tiger Suck Feng Army" :lol: ... I am also confused by this name as it does not make much sense either in modern mandarin Chinese. Perhaps we need to read more contemprary accounts to decode this name, or perhaps it had some connections with the local dialect? :?
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This strange name of the army interested me and I had tried to conduct some research on it. A conclusion we could draw is that Ma Zhongying chose this name because he was fighting against another warload Feng Yuxiang and he tried to make his force sound powerful and daunting.

Either "Black Tiger Suck Feng Army" or "black tiger drug Mr Frederick Feng army" doesn't really make any good sense. A more accurate translation would be "The Black Tiger Army Who Destroys Feng's Power".

Not a natural and neat name for an army - neither in English or in Mandarin. Awkward usage of the character "吸". Apparently this Ma Zhongying wasn't very fluent / well-educated with Mandarin language at that time. :-)
I understood that this name was suggesting that Ma Zhongying would like to destroy Feng's power and I was also confused by the awkward usage of the character "吸" which makes little sense to me. But you have raised a good point - Ma Zhongying was a Muslim general so perhaps he was not very well educated with Mandarin language. Or, as I mentioned earlier, this might have something to do with the local dialect.

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