By Jonathan Guthrie The allure of the Chinese market is prompting western companies and business locations to have their names translated into Chinese. It is a ticklish task, since Mandarin characters can have both phonetic and descriptive meanings. Guernsey has lately taken the plunge, registering a Chinese name whose characters imply that it is a â€œfinance islandâ€. According to Kevin Lin, translator for the promotional body Guernsey Finance, the trademark will make it harder for similar tax havens to describe themselves as â€œfinance islandsâ€ too. The response of government officials on nearby Jersey can best be summarised as â€œharrumphâ€. Guernsey is one of a second wave of western organisations seeking meaningful identities in China. Big consumer brands went in years ago. Pizza Hut, according to Mr Lin, adopted a transliteration of its name with the dual meaning â€œalways triumphant guestâ€. That had connotations of customer service, but was a little elliptical. So the stuffed-crust titan added characters that stood for â€œhappy canteenâ€. Coca Cola did better with a transliteration that portrayed its product as â€œpalatable and joyfulâ€ and had no connotations whatsoever of tooth decay. But Google, back in the days before its spat with the Chinese government, chose a name (Guge, meaning â€œharvest songâ€) that many Chinese thought plain weird. That was appropriate, since Google sounds plain weird in English too, reflecting its geeky co-founders' inability to spell the term â€œgoogolâ€. According to the China Daily newspaper, Bing, Microsoft's search engine, has meanwhile chosen a Chinese name that inspires queasiness because its sounds like the word for â€œsicknessâ€ in Mandarin. Eager to dodge such pitfalls, Notebook commissioned an evocative Chinese translation of its own name from Mr Lin. He came up with: Apparently that means â€œtube of ten thousand patternsâ€ or, more simply, â€œkaleidoscopeâ€. That nicely captures the eclecticism of a column comprised of northern grit, business trivia and emotional cruelty to cabinet ministers. Unless Mr Lin is pulling our leg. In which case the characters may mean â€œChongqing Municipal Garbage Coâ€. Or worse.