Linguist Charles Berlitz, author of more than 200 language books, says the names of American politicians take on new meaning in Chinese newspapers. The Chinese translate them into their alphabet by using the characters whose sounds most resemble the syllables they hear. Since each character also has its own meaning, the end result can be amusing or downright baffling. George Bush, for example, is known as "bu-shih," or "it isn't so." Michael Dukakis is "du-ka-ke-se," which translates to "present calling card overcomes secrets." Lloyd Bentsen is "ben-sen," or "forest origin," and Dan Quayle is "kuei-er," or "you star." President Reagan is "lay-gun," or "voice of thunder," but Berlitz's own favorite is Richard Nixon. The Chinese know him as "niko-sen," or "mud covers the forest." Jesse Jackson is "jai-ke-sun" or "hero overcomes modesty." Explains Berlitz, "They don't try to do tricks with it, they just pick the one that sounds most like the English syllable. The Chinese themselves have only about 100 family names. Most of them mean nice things."