Hmm, I am also so tired of writing Duke Xian of Jin since it does not sound quite right to me! I really think that saying Jin Xian Gong is merely the most accurate translation. Do you guys mind if I write the names like that from now on?
Personally, I don't, because I can figure out what it means (ie I know the characters behind it). But I don't think it is a good way of translating, because a lot of information is lost in the process.
First, Jin is not a family name, but a fiefdom Jin Xian Gong is not the same as Mao Zedong, say. Second Xian, as a posthumous name does mean something, which is lost here (granted, few people translate this). And finally gong is a title, ie a common word, which ought to be translated: why not then speak of the Huangdis of China, and used Wang instead of king, and Tianzi, and... well, let everything in chinese, because no word has an exact equivalent in english. My problem with Jin Xian Gong is that it sort of defeats the purpose of having a discussion *in english* about chinese history, because it requires that the reader to both understand chinese and work the characters back from pinyin in order to get the meaning.
Edited by fcharton, 17 November 2006 - 10:06 AM.