Chinese, Portuguese or English names for the giant pandas?

Thursday, June 3, 2010
Issue 1028, Page 4
Word count: 453
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

The naming contest of the pair of giant pandas is to be launched on June 8. Most of the media representatives who met with Secretary for Administration and Justice Florinda Chan yesterday were concerned about whether the names should be in Chinese, Portuguese or English.

The Secretary invited representatives from local media organisations to the government headquarters to brainstorm ideas for the naming contest and the upcoming campaign to promote the two giant pandas which have been selected to move from Chengdu, Sichuan to Macau this year.

All Macau permanent and non-permanent residents will have the chance to name the pandas.

The contest will be held from June 8 to July 5 and the judging panel will select the five best entries to enter the second round. Residents will afterwards have to vote for their favourite pair of names and the ones winning the highest number of votes will be used.

Contestants will also need to submit a 100-word text to explain how they come up with the names.

President of the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau (IACM) Raymond Tam Vai Man said contestants can submit a pair of names either in Chinese, Portuguese or English, which have to be “meaningful, creative and can show the characteristics of the pandas”.

The contestant who’s got the best names will be awarded MOP15,000 cash as well as a souvenir.

Residents who participate in the voting part may also get cash awards of MOP8,000, MOP5,000 or MOP2,000.

Some of the media representatives asked about what the government would do if the winning entry is two Portuguese names – whether to translate them into Chinese or let the pandas without Chinese names?

Meanwhile, some others said that the pandas must have to be given both Chinese and Portuguese names, which is “unique around the world and also reflects the characteristic of Macau”.

Florinda Chan responded that the government is “very open” towards this matter. “The initial idea is that it’s not necessary to have the names in all the three languages. Certainly we have to have a pair of Chinese names, but besides them if we have some very creative English or Portuguese names we can use them together.”

In Chengdu, the male panda is still called Shu Xiang and the female one is Qi Miao.

On the other hand, Raymond Tam said the first phase of the panda pavilion in Seac Pai Van will include the compound to house the pandas, restaurants, a souvenir shop and a panda information centre.

The government also plans to build a multi-storey car park next to the pavilion.

In addition, the website dedicated to the giant pandas,, has already been launched and is available in Chinese, Portuguese and English.


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