Document translation in Asian characters (Kanji possibly?)
March 13, 2014 7:06 AM   Subscribe

I have a document with 9 Asian characters that I found in a WWII-era world atlas that belonged to my wife's grandmother (Note: it may not be Kanji; I just gave my best guess at comparing the style to things I've found on Google). I have no context around the meaning of the message, how it got there, where it was written, why, etc. I was just curious if anyone could translate it for me. Thanks.
posted by brian4rd to Society & Culture (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
They're Chinese characters which phonetically spell out the English names Fitzgerald (left column) and Angliss (right column) .

It's not Japanese- the pronunciation of each character in Chinese goes with the pronunciation of the English names.

Would be good to get others who know Chinese to chime in as well, but those are the names that came up on the Chinese internet after I spelled them out and did a search. (since they are phoenetic spellings, there could be some variation).
posted by bearette at 7:31 AM on March 13, 2014

I believe it's Chinese and it looks like a transliteration of English names. Right side column comes out to an equivalent of Agnes.

Left side column: I'm not sure what the 2nd character is, but the last 3 come out to Gerald. The 1st character's sound is "fei" (kinda like fay)

Anyone in the family with those names?
posted by astapasta24 at 7:31 AM on March 13, 2014

That's fantastic. You guys are awesome. Her name was Agnes Fitzgerald. Thanks so much for the help!
posted by brian4rd at 7:34 AM on March 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

yeah, could be Agnes as well! Since they are phoenetic spellings of English sounds, I think there's a possibility of different names being represented (in English). (i.e. whoever wrote it was writing in Chinese, an approximation of an English name's pronunciation).

I had trouble with the second character, too, but I think it's supposed to be 兹 , even though it was not written out completely.
posted by bearette at 7:35 AM on March 13, 2014

oops, just saw your comment, OP- glad you figured it out!
posted by bearette at 7:36 AM on March 13, 2014

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