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Re: Help w/ surname

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Posted by Matthew Chang ( on February 18, 2010 at 21:07:22:

In Reply to: Help w/ surname posted by Rebecca Jew on May 29, 2001 at 20:40:53:

: I'm trying to find some info on my last name, spelled and pronounced "JEW" but it was Americanized when my grandfather came to the US in the 1930s. I believe it may have been "ZHOU" originally. I think he speaks the Cantonese dialect. Does anyone know anything about researching this name? Any help would be greatly appreciated

Jew is a Cantonese translation of the chinese surname 趙(traditional) or 赵 (simplified). This surname is actually pronounced zhao4 in Hanyu Pinyin and is Trieu when translated into Vietnamese "Triệu." Jew was an older translation of this surname. Many people with this surname immigrating from China or Vietnam in the early 1900's translated their 趙 into Jew. Now, however, the translation is more unconventional as the mainland Chinese government standardized the translation into "Zhao" and as the Hong Kong Government decided to use "Chiu" instead of "Jew." This is my interpretation of your question, but the fact that you say that your surname was originally "Chau" leads me to believe that perhaps you actually bear the Chinese surname 周(hanyu pinyin: Zhou). However, former San Francisco Board of Supervisors Member Edmund Jew and my friend whose last name is also Jew say that they actually bear the surname 趙.

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