A bit of Chinese

I apologize for this is being off-topic, but I would like to ask if anyone here is able to translate this small piece of Chinese text. Background: the material is inherited from a German marine who served in China around 1912/13.
Any help is appreciated, thanks a lot in advance.


  • Sérgio MartinsSérgio Martins Posts: 16
    edited January 2021
    I'm not fluent, so I'd still try to confirm it with someone who is but the character sequence doesn't make an intelligible word for me, so I think it's that man's name – likely a phonetic approximation.

    The individual character sounds are ke'er baitai; 克 (ke4) 而 (er2) 拜 (bai4) 太 (tai4). If you input those characters in google translate, or another character recognition software, it should give you approximate phonetics.
  • Ah – there’s another find from him: the man’s name was Kilbert, so that reading could go in the right direction.

  • That certainly tracks.
  • @Andreas Stötzner I won't flag it (because it's ungracious, plus TypeDrawers would hide it was me) but this is definitely off-topic. There are correct –if less convenient– places to ask.
  • @Andreas Stötzner I would say @Sergey Malkin is correct - it is a transliteration, a vaguely meaningful phrase approximating the sound of the name. But perhaps a reasonably clever one : the phrase could be thought of as one of those clever-soundimg cryptic fortune cookie messages/advices: "get some self-restraint in order to reach the top".
  • Sérgio and Hin-Tak, thank you.
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