Posted by Tom Tan on November 18, 1999 at 02:11:19:
In Reply to: Re: What is the meaning of the surname TAN? posted by Matt Wu on September 18, 1999 at 02:20:03:
: : What is the meaning, origin, and significance of the surname TAN?
: Mela Tan's reply that "Tan" in Hokkien (Fujian) is "Chen" in Mandarin is likely to be correct. I just want to add that in the Hainanese dialect (a derivative of the Fujian tongue) "Tan" is also "Chen" in Mandarin. The same character is pronounced Chen in Mandarain, Chan in Cantonese, and Dan in Hainanese. Note that Tan is actually an "incorrect" romanization of the original dialectal pronounciation. It should be more like Dan. Just as Zhou was incorrectly romanized as Chou,Zhang as Chang etc.
: One final comment: Chen or Tan is probably not the second most common surname.......It is common, but the Zhang's, Li's and Wang's would challenge that assertion...
Something to add..
From a book that I had read (Pai Chai Hsing by Mu) is that Chen(Mandarin), Chan(Cantonese), Tan/Dan(S. Fujian),Ding/Ting(N. Fujian) are the same as Ten(field in mandarin).
Also, back then "chen"(mandarin) is pronounced something closer to "ten" (field in Mandarin.
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