Loong or Dragon
2012 is the Year of Loong. Loong is the symbol of China, and we call ourselves the descendants of Loong. As a Chinese, if you do not know what Loong is, or you do not love Loong, you are not a real Chinese! While dragon, in the West, is the symbol of evil. In Revelation, The great was hurled down — that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole astray.
Differences of Ethnic history, faith and religion, manners and customs, ways of thinking, life styles and religion styles between Eastern Civilization and western culture, lead to huge diversity of the meaning and implication between Loong and dragon.
As a result, the derived meaning of Loong runs counter to that of dragon. In Chinese, words and phrases containing Loong are almost approving words. Such as 龙马精神 means Energetic as a Loong and a horse, full of vigor.
While in the western culture, words and phrases with dragon are always derogatory word. In Bible, Demon Satan is regarded as the great dragon. Sow dragon’s teeth means stir up trouble or mischief
As for so many differences, many scholar say: we should not translate 龙 into Dragon!
Some people suggest translating it into “long”, as they have the similar pronunciation. But, in English, long has already 19 meanings. It is quite easy to raise misunderstanding. And it pronounce more likely with another Chinese character 狼 (wolf). Some people suggest translating it into “lung”. But lung means an organ and also can cause confusion.
In the half of 19th century, a nameless Chinese created the word “loong”. This is a new English word, will not cause different meaning. Also, its pronunciation is quite same with that of the Chinese character. Actually, before that, there are already some examples of “loong”. Such as the name of Lee Siu-loong. And the cigarette label of Loong Voong Cigarettes in 1940s.
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