Chinese Domain Market Newsletter

My friend Miki had a terrifying moment one day when she was driving alone on a desert road. She suddenly realized that one of the tires could give in at any moment and she would be stranded for hours. She remembered the prayer she learned as a child, so she prayed earnestly to God. Then, like a miracle, a car suddenly appeared and the male driver kept driving at the same distance ahead of her. When the next gas station finally came into view few hours later, the car suddenly disappeared. Angelic protection? Here's the post.

June 23, 2016 (Thu)

How to spell love in Pinyin domain names

爱 (love) is a money word in China. This Chinese "love" character can be used to refer to both people and things. Just like its English counterpart, you can "love" someone as in romantic love, baby love, motherly love, etc. Or, you can also "love" something as in car, travel, house, food, entertainment, and many more. However, if you try to bank on this character in the form of Pinyin domain names, you need to be aware of its various spellings.

There are three spellings that can be used for the "love" character: ai, a, and i.

The formal spelling, the correct one, is "ai". It consists of the two letters "a" and "i". Some Chinese companies adopt this spelling in their domain names. For example, (爱羽客=audience who love badminton) is a website dedicated to badminton fans. The name is 3-pin, and love is spelled as "ai". Another example is (爱彩=love lottery), which is a website for sports betting.

The second possible spelling when used in domain names is just "a", the first letter of the formal Pinyin word. This letter sounds like the "a" in "father", so it actually rhymes with the "love" character. An example is (爱乐奇=love fun and wonder), which sells English teaching materials online.

The third possible spelling is "i", the second letter of the formal Pinyin word. Actually, "i" does not rhyme with the "love" character unless you say it in English. While this is strange, many companies like to use the English pronunciation of "i" to represent the "love" character. A benefit of "i" is that it implies the Internet, which means something new and fashionable. The most famous example may be (爱奇艺=love wonderful art), which is the largest online video site in China.

So, which spelling is most popular? I did a simple survey by entering the "love" character into Baidu search and checked the first 100 results. I saw many more "i" than "ai" and "a", so maybe "i" is the way to go when you want to express love in Chinese.