Chinese translation question

I was eating at a Chinese/Vietnamese soup place yesterday and trying to puzzle out the meaning of its name. In Vietnamese, it’s Tim Ký Mì Gia. The Mì Gia part just means noodle house, so that’s not a problem, but the combination of Tim Ký is strange, and I noticed the Chinese character didn’t match “heart”, the normal translation of “tim”. (Heart is one of the six or so Chinese characters I can actually recognize.)

OK, so I put the characters 添記 in Google Translate, and the English translation came out Tim Kee. What does that mean? Those aren’t English words, and aren’t even a great approximation of how the Chinese is pronounced, at least according to Google. What’s going on here?


Actually the Mandarin pronunciation is pretty close. Instead of “Tim”, Mandarin would be “Tian”. (The meaning is “to add to or increase”.)And instead of “Kee”, Mandarin would be “Gee”. (The meaning is “to record or remember”)

As far as the meaning goes when they are put together, I have no clue. Doesn’t make any sense to me. When my “Tai Tai” gets home, I’ll ask her.

The pronunciation of the character 心 (heart) in Mandarin is actually closer to “Shin”.

I’d venture that you’d be better off going with Cantonese pronunciation for the characters since you’re dealing with loan words to Vietnamese. I just ran the first two characters through my cellphone’s character dictionary. For Cantonese, the transliteration is: Tim1 Gei3 (Increase, Remember); so, basically, it’s Great Memories Noodle House. Cool name. Eat there, remember the food fondly, eat there again.

Oh, I forgot something. 心 doesn’t just mean “heart”; it also means “mind”.