Vassar in Chinese

While designing my new business cards, I discovered an interesting tidbit:  there is no standard Chinese name for Vassar.  I went with 瓦薩 Wǎsà because it seems to be the most common one on the web.  However, I have also found 瓦瑟 Wǎsè, 瓦莎 Wǎshā, and 瓦薩爾 Wǎsàěr.  In addition, one of my colleagues in the Department of Chinese & Japanese said he personally preferred 凡薩 Fánsà, because although there is nothing wrong with the individual meaning of 瓦 wǎ (“pottery”), it is also the character used in the expression 瓦斯 wǎsī, “poison gas.”

I also note that the full name (“Vassar College”) is sometimes written 瓦薩大學 or variants thereof.  However, a 大學 is often taken to be a university, rather than a college, so it is more correct to write 瓦薩學院.

About The Doc

"The Doc" is a professor at Vassar College (USA). However, the views expressed in his blog and comments are not necessarily those of Vassar, its administration, or other employees, none of whom bears any responsibility for his opinions.
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