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etymology Xiong Nu/ Hunnic

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    Posted: 30-Aug-2004 at 10:12

just my 2 cents:

"Xiong Nu" is the current pronounciation in modern (Mandarin) Chinese of 2 Chinese characters. But their ancient pronounciation is probably "Hoon no" since consonnant "Xi-" is a Northern Chinese deformation of "H-" (see how Pekinese call "Hong Kong": "Xiang Gang"). So "Hoon no" <-> "Hunnic"?

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  Quote ihsan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Aug-2004 at 13:16

I heard somewhere that Xiongnu's (Hsiung-nu) ancient pronounciation was Hongnu (Hung-nu) but I didn't have time to confirm this info. I have my humble doubts on that.

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  Quote babyblue Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Sep-2004 at 03:11
     in Cantonese the name Xiongnu or H'siung-nu is pronounced as Hung Nou. The meaning is the same, "fierce" or "aggressive" slaves.
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  Quote ihsan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Sep-2004 at 16:35
Again, there is still a question: is Hongnu/Xiongnu really intented to mean "Ferocious Slaves" or is it just a Chinese transcription of a name similar to "Hun"?
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  Quote Zhuang Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Oct-2004 at 12:50
More like a transcription.
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  Quote babyblue Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Oct-2004 at 14:55

Originally posted by Zhuang

More like a transcription.

          elaborate?

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  Quote ihsan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Oct-2004 at 15:11
He means it's just the way how a foreign word in Chinese looks like, and is not really meaning "Fierce Slaves".
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  Quote Zhuang Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09-Oct-2004 at 22:17

Does "Xiong" means "Ferocious" during Han? BTW, most nomadic peoples seemed to get their Chinese names by transcription. For example, what did "Xianbei", "Tujue(Turk)", "Qidan(Khitan)" or "Dangxiang" mean in Chinese?

"Xiong Nu" is most likely to be pronounced "Hung Nu" in ancient Chinese because Cantonese ("Hung No") and Hakka are closer to ancient Chinese pronunciations than Mandarin.



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