Xiān Gennaro
June 6, 2011 10:01 PM   Subscribe

How would you write either "Little Italy" (as in the NYC neighborhood) or "Welcome to Little Italy," or "I ♥ Little Italy" with Chinese characters?

No, I'm not going to get a tattoo. I am thinking of making myself a t-shirt, which I will probably never actually get around to.

Background: New York's Little Italy is really part of Chinatown, save for a two-block, Disney-like stretch of Mulberry Street, and something called "Nolita" (pfui). The intent of the shirt is to be kind of silly and cute. (That said, if you think it would actually be offensive or off-putting in any way, please let me know.)
posted by evidenceofabsence to Writing & Language (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I would write "I love Little Ch'italy!" (and boy how I wish I had coined that)

As a Long time resident of Mulberry Street, your idea doesn't seem at all offensive. Proceed!!
posted by jbenben at 10:22 PM on June 6, 2011

In traditional Chinese characters,
I: 我
love: 愛
little: 小
Italy: 意大利
Little Italy (literally): 小意大利
(Little) Italy town: 意大利(小)鎮
Welcome to: 歡迎來到

Welcome to Little Italy: 歡迎來到小意大利 or 歡迎來到意大利(小)鎮
I Love Little Italy: 我愛小意大利 or 我愛意大利(小)鎮
I ♥ Little Italy: 我♥小意大利 or 我♥意大利(小)鎮

I'm from Hong Kong, other regional Chinese speakers/Taiwanese may translate differently. Never been to NYC but there's also a Little Italy where I am. I haven't heard someone say "Little Italy" in Chinese so I put down two choices.
posted by lucia_engel at 10:23 PM on June 6, 2011

I haven't heard "Little Italy" in Chinese either, but googling 小意大利 brings up a lot of hits for NYC Little Italy, so I assume it's a name that at least some people use.

意大利镇 brings up hits for towns in Italy. Presumably not what you want.
posted by jweed at 10:48 PM on June 6, 2011

Thanks for the help, lucia_engel! Having a Hong Kong perspective helps a lot, since most people in Manhattan Chinatown speak Cantonese (or used to, at least).
posted by evidenceofabsence at 11:32 PM on June 6, 2011

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