Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (Chinese)/Archive 2

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Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (Chinese)/monarchical titles

Native terms and Romanizations

Some pages, like Lianjiang, got this long -- but necessarily so -- native characters and Romanizations string. What I've done is to adopt the Korean method and make it like:

Lianjiang (連江; 连江; Liánjiāng; Lien?chiang¹) is a county...

As opposed to the old way:

Lianjiang (Traditional: 連江; Simplified: 连江; Pinyin: Liánjiāng; Wade-Giles: Lien?chiang? is a county...

I don't suggest this method used on all China-related articles, as they look fine now. So no need to change. But as Jiang pointed out, Korean Wikilink-pattern may look deceiving, since Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese articles are non-existent.

My suggestion is to simply make those two pages -- stub or not. That relieves Jiang's concerns (does it, Jiang?).

More (not much now!) Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Korean) from months ago -- Actually just two posts, that's it! (Very quiet, like here.)

--Menchi 00:10 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)

My main concern is that with this more concise system, you rely on people to know what character or romanization system you're using (or if they don't they'll have to click on the link or put their cursor over the link to find out). Either the reader knows (that one set of characters is in traditional and the other side is in simplified; one set or romanization is in Hanyu Pinyin and the other set is in Wade-Giles) beforehand or clicks on the link. Whereas with the current system, this information is discovered by simply reading it. There seems to be benefits and drawbacks for both--conciseness vs. clarity. And yes, those two articles are important and should be started.

--Jiang 00:58 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Jiang has said much I would like to say. I would take the old style since it is more self-explanatory to the non-Chinese readers. BTW two people, canadian or not, can't physically change the world but their ideas can change the world by very extensive preachings. Just my encouraging thought. :) kt2 07:09 8 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Literal translation vs. Romanization

--GSYH (BerryCharms@hotmail.com)July 2003

My mother said the problem with translating Chinese things to English is that there are so many different tongues within the Chinese culture, catonese, mandarin, and things get chaotic when each want the romanji to be based upon their pronounciation. What I suggest is, use a direct English translation like Hopping corpse if possible, and than list the various different romanji within it as notes complete with which tongue the romanjis are based on. There is also, the use of redirection. Such as searching for Chinese Phoenix will lead you to Fenghuang. Frankly I liked it better under Chinese Phoenix, as Feng can also mean "wind", but as searching under Chinese Phoenix will lead the searcher to article anyway, I think it can be left alone as it can still be accessed by people who don't know the still obscure term of Fenghuang. English if possible, to avoid conflict between people of different tongues, and redirections.

Our policy is to use the most common name. Yes, Fenghuang should be moved to Chinese Phoenix. I have no idea what a Fenghuang is, and Im pretty sure someone with no Chinese background (as opposed to some Chinese background) would know what it is. We should avoid using Chinese phrases if it is almost never used by westerners and cannot be recognized by people not fluent in Chinese. In the past two weeks, Jiu and Shi have already been taken care of. --Jiang 22:49 13 Jul 2003 (UTC)
See Talk:Fenghuang. --Menchi 23:02 13 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Within article: list of names

Some Chinese had many many names. See Dr. Sun and old Kangxi for examples. Some uses indent (:), other uses break (<br>). They are both pseudo-lists, why not just bullets (*) for all, make them easy-to-type real lists? --Menchi 21:14 12 Jul 2003 (UTC)

See examples @ Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Chinese)/Name list example. --Menchi 00:25, Aug 2, 2003 (UTC)

Chinese encoding

Brief question: Are the people who insert hanzi into English texts actually getting them to stick? Possibly it is just my browser (which normally does just fine with Unicode as well as GB and big5), but these characters are not coming through for me. I can see them fine on the Chinese version of Wikipedia, but not on the English version -- no matter what I do to try to "view charset". A few days ago I edited something that was originally written in Chinese and the whole thing got turned into sludge. The same thing will happen on my Mac if I try to paste from a text only GB or big5 file into any program working on OS X. There is contextual (invisible) information that gets copied along if you are pasting from a Unicode-aware program. For instance, copying from the Oasis browser to one of the OS X word processors works perfectly. But copying the same text from a vanilla word processor to a OS X, Unicode capable WP will fail. Patrick0Moran 02:02, 8 Aug 2003 (UTC)

That's weird. There is no WP on OS X which can copy and paste Unicode as plain text? wshun 03:12, 8 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Morphing Hanzi

That's got it backwards. If you use the vanilla OS X editor, it will do a "plain text" file, o.k. That is, it looks like text only. But the behavior of that text, when copied and pasted somewhere else, will be different from the behavior when text is copied from, e.g., TeachText, and then pasted into someplace like the Chinese Wikipedia. In that case you will not get Chinese text, whereas if you use two programs that are Unicode responsive you can paste back and forth. It rather blew my mind when I first saw it because I use Edit II all the time because it does not put hidden formatting stuff into supposedly text-only files.

That, in turn, is another instance of when a "text-only" file is not really "text-only." I made some software that will count the number of times each Chinese character occurs in a text-only file, and give you a list. When I used my favorite (10 years old and still working fine in OS 9) word processing software called Taste, and I told it to save a file as "text-only" and then counted the characters, the list that I got back inevitably had certain very low-frequency Hanzi that had nothing to do with the text I had typed into Taste. The only thing that could have happened was that formatting stuff was being copied over as "unprintable" characters and then getting interpreted as Chinese and counted... So there is frequently more than meets the eye.

Anyway, my concern is with the Wikipedia handling of Hanzi. I think it may be necessary to put jpg images of characters on the English side. Otherwise at least some people like me who do not always use the newest browsers will be unable to see anything but "comic strip swear words". (My university standardized on Netscape 4.7 and I have to run it for certain things. Maybe other people have the same kind of problem.)

Patrick0Moran 05:54, 8 Aug 2003 (UTC)


Viewing pages with hanzi using Mac OS X works o.k., but users who do not have that system on their Macintosh computers probably will not be able to see hanzi on the English pages. I'm not sure how the HTML is set up for the entire Wikipedia, or even whether that is the coding system actually used, but one way or another there is probably a setting that tells the user's computer which character set to use, and it pre-empts the user of old operating systems and browsers from setting up so they can see things in UTF-8. (They can change things in their browser, but the Wikipedia settings take priority, so it is as though the user had not re-set anything at all.)

I just got a university-provided computer that is Unicode based, and will have a look using Mozilla on that computer. Probably the hanzi will show up there too. Translitional periods between major operating systems changes are bound to have problems like this.

Patrick0Moran 17:40, 9 Aug 2003 (UTC)


Use of traditional characters or simplified characters

I would like to suggest a few rules in using the two competing character sets:

  1. After a Chinese term is inserted in the article, latecomers could not rewrite the term using different character set. Except personal names.
  2. Chinese names for people and place in Taiwan, Macau and Hong Kong should be written in traditional characters.
  3. Chinese names for people and place in Singapore or mainland China should be written in simplifed characters.
  4. Chinese names for ancient Chinese should better be written in traditional characters. Personally I think it is more respectful, especially traditional characters are still in use. I would not ask the names of person in state of Han to be written in characters of Han, of course.
  5. Chinese names for overseas Chinese could be in any character sets. Rule #1 should apply, unless the person himself or his closed relatives or friends ask for a change.

-- wshun 23:33, 6 Aug 2003 (UTC)

The dichotomy of "Modern Mainland" / "traditional China, and Taiwan/HK/Macau" should extend from persons to non-persons, such as concepts (Tao) and objects (sheng), as well.
Addition to # 5, those oversea Chinese who left China before the character simplification, as most on the List of famous Chinese Americans did, should be written in Traditional Chinese.
--Menchi 01:14, Aug 7, 2003 (UTC)
I am not entirely agree at all to this proposal. Both Traditional and Simplified Chinese are in signifcant use. I would sugguest one simple rule without worrying about what kind of respects or timing for either parties of Chinese character users: Incorporates both form of Chinese characters at all time. kt2 04:37, 7 Aug 2003 (UTC)
I think we ought to provide both, if applicable. --Jiang 04:16, 8 Aug 2003 (UTC)
This is related to the List of Chinese proverbs article. The only reason why I changed the entirety of the Mandarin proverbs to the Simplified set is just that: Speakers of Mandarin will have a high enough chance of understanding the Simplified characters whereas their Traditional counterparts may not be as familiar. While the majority of schoolchildren educated in the Mainland will learn to read Traditional proficiently, they are nonetheless native to the Simplified set, so hence the change. But hey, if you want to reference the Traditional characters alongside the Simplified ones (or vice versa), then more power to you. -Taoster
Wait...do you mean the other way around? Didnt you changed simplified to traditional? --Jiang 01:37, 4 Sep 2003 (UTC)
Yes, a user was suggesting that because Traditional is older in usage than Simplified, changing Simplified to Traditional for the Mandarin subsection somehow "violated" the basic rules governing the Chinese language. I was merely trying to point out that a high percentage of people educated in China (regardless of whether or not they're from the Mainland or Taiwan, etc.) will understand both sets of characters. I do, and I immigrated to the US after finishing the fourth grade (not a generalization). -Taoster

There are a couple of questions involved here: (1) Are native speakers of Chinese educated using traditional Chinese comfortable reading simplified characters, and vice-versa. (2) Is any information lost if a text is translated from traditional to simplified? I think the answeer to (1) is that there is a significant number of people from both groups who are not comfortable with the other writing system. And the answer to (2) is yes. There are a fairly large number of many-to-one mappings going from traditional to simplified. There is no good way to do the one-to-many mappings that happen in going from simplified to traditional. The free Macintosh software gives you a way to select alternatives, but only on a non-global basis (fixing them one by one). On the Windows side, one can buy NJStar and try its artificial intelligence feature to make the translation.

I think the ideal would be to compose in traditional, translate to simplified, and then make both versions available. One way would be to have a link to separate versions of the text in the article on, e.g., Chinese poems. That way both versions of the text will be correct.

The purpose of the encyclopedia is to make information readily available, and that means that it is best to avoid creating barriers when the costs are only a couple minutes extra effort.

Patrick0Moran 02:26, 4 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Thanks for your input. While I do agree that a certain gap exists between users of the two character sets, I have personally gone through the converted text to insure against ambiguities and erroneous character usage. And, as with most idioms, a bit of guesswork may be involved. -Taoster

We should accomodate everyone and use both character sets. Could you please add back the traditional? Even if traditional readers can somehow decipher simplified, some may find the communist font repulsive. --Jiang 04:50, 4 Sep 2003 (UTC)

To associate a language with mere politics is the greatest travesty of language-kind. I really have nothing against either of the systems; in fact, I do think that Traditional is much more refined though Simplified also has its positive points. It's just a matter of practicality. -Taoster
What should be is irrelevant here. We should look at what is. There's no use escaping the truth of things. --Jiang 17:28, 4 Sep 2003 (UTC)
Very well. What is relevant here is that principle dialect of the Mainland, Guoyu or Putonghua, corresponds to the Simplified set. That's it. Again, I have absolutely no objections and grievances if the articles were to contain Traditional and Simplified simultaneously, but to say that one system takes precendence when being read by a mixed audience is absurd. -Taoster
Yes, both systems should be included. That also means that simplified should not take precedence even though more people use it. --Jiang
Agreed. Glad to have come to a mutual understanding on this topic. -Taoster


I agree that we should accomodate everyone. Also, it should be noted that is can be extremely difficult for someone who is accustomed to simplified characters to realize that s/he is writing a simplified character, and that the character written written may have, as a traditional form, an entirely different meaning. (It's like using "4" as the equivalent of "for", writing "5 4 2 dollars" and having somebody who treats these symbols at their original meaning interpreting it not to mean "5 for 2 dollars" but as "542 dollars".) The character formed by xin1 (heart) and jing1 (capital) is a traditional Chinese character pronounced liang2 and meaning sorrowful. But in simplified Chinese it means "to be startled." It would be easy to fail to see the need to rewrite this character, but a planned substitution table like the one included in NJStar would take care of it automatically. Patrick0Moran 06:12, 4 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Sorry, but I am not familiar with the Traditional character from your description. Do you mean 哀 (ai2), sorrowful, or 椋 (liang2), a type of bird? There is also an obscure character which combines vehicle and capital, though its meaning is not sorrowful but rather some ancient cart. Just a query. -Taoster

No. It is the same character that is used in simplified Chinese for "chi1 jing1 de jing1". It combines the "standing heart radical" with "jing1" as in "Bei3 Jing1". Patrick0Moran 15:39, 4 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Could you provide an example as to the usage of the Traditional form? I have never used nor have seen usage of Jing1 outside of the context of being startled, as in 惊天动地, 惊人之举, or 惊涛骇浪, all having more or less the same meaning of fear and the instillment thereof. Actually, I suppose liang2, that is, water (or ice in Simplified) radical + jing1 could be used for sorrow... -Taoster


If you have only seen it in those contexts it must mean that you have only seen it being borrowed to use as a simplified character (it served as a traditional simplified character before it was made official by the PRC). Pronounced liang2 or liang4 it is entry 10980 in the Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Chiense Language, Zhong1 Wen2 Da4 Ci2 Dian3. A more ordinary example would be writing "good elephant" for "seems to be" not realizing that the first xiang4 is not the same as the second one in traditional Chinese.

Patrick0Moran 16:01, 6 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Actually, Xiang4 as in Haoxiang, Xiangpian, and etc. is written in Simplified with 像 (danren pang + xiang). Furthermore, 象 can also be used in both Simplified and Traditional to mean a likeness or a symbol (as you would imagine, the striking image of a large mammal is used to exemplify something that is concretely visible). About the liang2 variant character, I have inquired as to such a character with my cousin who attends Beijing Daxue in the Mainland, and he has, in turn, contacted a member of the faculty as to this dilemma. As of now, I am awaiting his response. In the mean time, I have also consulted the《词海》and the《新华词典》at the library and neither has given mention to this character in the context which you have described. I would be very grateful if you could provide me with the usage of the character in a sentence, though a phrase containing the character would suffice just as well. Actually, is this character province or ROC-specific? Both the ROC and several nonautonomous regions of the PRC use variant characters not normally found in Mandarin. -Taoster

The word as I have explained it above is also given in the Kang Xi Zi Dian -- which was written a long time before there was ever a ROC/PRC split.

Mainland dictionaries such as the Xiandai Han Ying Cidian give the "elephant" form, not the other one in "hao3 xiang4." Is the old version of this character creeping back in? Or have lexicographers been writing the "wrong" one in their dictionaries?

The example of liang2 --> jing1 that I used is not a particularly good one, just the first one that came to mind. Like the zhe4 in zhe4 bian1, you probably will not find it used in its original meaning during recent centuries.

On the other hand, the yuan4 written in simplified yuan4 yi4 (willing to) is still in use as a traditional character. The traditional character written with yuan2 (origin) over xin1 (heart) means "honest", "sincere", not "willing to."

I don't think there is anything wrong with simplifying characters. Almost everybody does it. Who writes the old ("correct") form of cai2 meaning "only then" instead of substituting the cai2 that means "talent" any more?

The real problem for ensuring meaningful communications comes when there are many-to-one mappings when going from traditional to simplified and then a messy one-to-many mapping when going back from simplified to traditional.

Patrick0Moran 02:46, 7 Sep 2003 (UTC)


As a Chinese educated, I don't have any problem with any of the two versions. As far as wikipedian articles are concerned, both forms have to be entered at all times, especially if the original meaning is lost in the mappings.

I quite agree.

If I were running a political campaign and I wanted to appeal to Hispanic and Anglo voters, I would not restrict myself to writing in Spanish, in English, and certainly not in Esperanto either. I would want to communicate my ideas in such a way that all the people whose thinking I wanted to influence could understand me. If I wanted to be language-nationalistic I would write in Gaelic -- but in the U.S. who would bother to decipher what I had written? (Besides I'd have to hire a translator as I can't speak it either.) So why would anybody writing in Chinese want to freeze out one or another language community? There would actually be a point in writing versions in HK extra hanzi, Taiwanese in traditional characters sprinkled with roman letters to represent sounds for Taiwanese words that don't have characters... But when we are writing a page intended for people whose mother tongue is English, then I think the intention should be to provide them with help. I doubt that many Anglo types would benefit much from character texts tailored for speakers of min2 bei3 hua4.

Here are some more cases where currently valid traditional characters are used as simplified characters standing for entirely different words/meanings:
  • Àëëx?0„2 li2: Bright, elegant; to oppose. becomes li2: to separate from
  • ?? chong1 tender, delicate becomes zhong3: sort, kind, variety
  • ?? yao1: small, tender becomes me0: ending for she2me, etc.
  • ?? pi1 or pei1: unfired bricks becomes huai4: bad.
  • ?? zhu4: space between the throne and the "green room" behind it becomes ning2: peaceful

(Are there instructions somewhere on how to convert big5 to the &xxxx format? I tried to just upload the Chinese text, but nothing I've tried works.)

Patrick0Moran 03:52, 7 Sep 2003 (UTC) Just tried the "Jeeves" method, but that doesn't give what is needed for this page, it seems. Patrick0Moran 05:56, 7 Sep 2003 (UTC) I tried pasting big5 into a piece of software like Jeeves that automatically creates the &# junk, but it isn't showing up correctly. I also tried Unicode, but that didn't work either. What is one supposed to start with, GB???

Are you using NJStar? -Taoster

No. ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Just tried direct keyboard entry. That too does not work. I had been using Mozilla and/or Netscape on Mac system 9.2, and now I'm using Safari on Mac System X.

I may have to use the IBM... But there I don't have an input method set up.

Use NJStar or RichWin for the PC. NJStar, in particular, will provide you with many of the more popular input methods (Pinyin, Wade-Giles, Cangjie, etc.) -Taoster

離驚願種麼壞寧 All these characters mean

离惊愿种么坏宁 different things in traditional Chinese.

Different meaning, yes, but knowledge in Chinese is measured by ones ability to understand compound characters. Even in Wenyan, the likelihood of mistaking one meaning for another in any given 词 by a learned reader is improbable. Consider 禪修定樂 -- if you understand the context, then you cannot possibly confuse the last character for its homophonic alternative. -Taoster

The purpose of educational efforts can be to support and protect the positions of power of the self-anointed "Lords of the Universe," or it can be to bring learning, and therefore power, to all people who would like to make a better life for themselves.

I am only one human being, and I do not represent the opinion of any preassembled group, but I suspect that the majority of people who contribute to Wikipedia are in favor of doing everything within reason to facilitate the acquisition of knowledge. It costs almost nothing to have both a simplified and a traditional version. Having both costs virtually nothing. Not having both means that a significant number of people will be hindered or even misled.

Patrick0Moran 13:56, 12 Sep 2003 (UTC)

...而是否隱藏的陰謀。 -Taoster

from User talk:Taoster

Your recent change in Chinese Proverbs is uncalled for. Changing Traditional Chinese into Simplified Chinese is disrespectful to those who only know Traditional Chinese. Adding S. Chinese to T. Chinese is okay. Replacing the text is rude.

67.117.82.5 23:52, 3 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Disrespectful? Hardly. I could very easily make the same argument as you have and back it up with trivial figures and whatnot, but what purpose would it ultimately serve? As for the Tradtional/Simplified agurment that you have proposed, there are substantially more people in this world who would have it vice versa. Not to mention that I only converted the Mandarin portion of the proverbs to Simplified being that the majority of Mandarin speakers would probably understand Simplified (hence Mainland). Please don't bring petty nationalism into Wikipedia. -Taoster

Hi Toaster, I have proposed a guideline in Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (Chinese)#Use of traditional characters or simplified characters. -wshun 00:12, 4 Sep 2003 (UTC)

What you did is analogous to replacing a Shakespeare with an abridged version from the Cliff's notes. It is unrelated to which version sells more, nor which one is understandable by more people. When you don't know T. Chinese, no one will blame you for using S. Chinese. But overwritting T. Chinese with S. Chinese is a disrespect to the Chinese Language. I totally agree with the Wiki guideline. Use both because either one can please two group of audience. 67.117.82.5 01:26, 4 Sep 2003 (UTC)
So you're saying that people uninterested in Shakespeare (and who have not been "forced" in reading his plays) will voluntarily go out and purchase Cliff's Notes and thusly increase the sales of such texts to greater amounts than that of Shakespeare's works? -Taoster
Don't bring unrelated topics into this argument. You know as well as I do that the characters (be it Traditional or Simplified) inherantly possess the same, unaltered meaning regardless of the number of strokes. Unless of course you're talking about calligraphy, in which case I'll agree with you that replacing complex Traditional characters with obscene markings is a crime to the language and its people. Using an updated system in lieu of an older -- albeit identical in usage and in meaning -- system does not have the equivalent of paraphrasing or watering down the ultimate point which it is trying to convey. -Taoster
Hey, I have an idea. I'll present you with several archaic markings from the Jiaguwen period and you tell me whether or not the usage of Traditional today is the ultimate affront to "real" Chinese writing. -Taoster
Modern English and Shakespearean English conveys the same meaning too, but the Cliff's Notes can never be a substitute for the real thing. 67.117.82.5 01:46, 4 Sep 2003 (UTC)
No kidding. But I'll present you now with the following two sets of characters, one in Traditional and one in Simplified, and, if you can find even an ounce of difference between the actual meanings of the two, then kindly point it out and I'll digress:
  • 想要掩盖事实,反而更加暴露。
  • 想要掩蓋事實,反而更加暴露。
Why don't you quote some other text where several Traditional Chinese characters are folding into the same character. E.g. Fa (as in hair, emit), Gan (as in dry, work, tree truck, intervene), Mian (as in noodle, face), Hou (as in after and queen), Li (as in lane and inside), Zhou (as in the surname and edge) or Jing (as in trait, quest). Each of these examples must be resolved in context for S. Chinese, while the T. Chinese are clear.
I've already explained this in Simplified characters. It is the process by which needlessly redundant characters are conflated to alleviate the hardships of learning rarely used variant characters. Are you aware that in the Chinese lexicon, long before the Traditional system was conceived, there existed hundreds of thousands of characters and variations thereof? The relationship of 字 versus 词 is greatly emphasized in the language, with modern "words" being formed out of characters that are thousands of years old. Notwithstanding, there are only a handful of characters which have been conflated in Simplified, and even then the likelihood of confusing one 词 for another (given the context) is rare. -Taoster

Please do not confuse the two matters. We are talking about if it is a proper behaviour to change character sets in a well-written article, not about which character set is supreme. My point of view is, the choice of the character set comes to the first one who added a Chinese term. Since most Chinese are able to real BOTH character sets, it is not necessary to convert one character set to the other or we will face needless argument-like what we have here!

(Oh, Toaster, this paragraph is by me, not the guy above :P -wshun 17:14, 4 Sep 2003 (UTC))
Toaster?! :P -Taoster
Oh sorry! Too hungry! :P wshun 19:57, 4 Sep 2003 (UTC)
It would appear that you are the one propagating character supremacy here; is that not the thesis in your original article in which that you seem to think that the use of anything other than Traditional is "a disrespect to the Chinese language"? Those are your words, not mine. Furthermore, unless you are completely misreading my responses, my only reason for altering the Mandarin portion was for clarification and not some sort of a clandestine initiative to establish a "super race" among Chinese characters! -Taoster

Putting names in two character sets side by side is better. But for long phrases, it is too cumbersome to me. Wshun

Tell that to the guy above, whose responses are becoming more and more overloaded with hypocrisy. -Taoster
"The guy above" is back, but not for long. It is amazing that so much has gone on in my absence. In my opinion, Taoster is subconsciously struggling with the "superior" Chinese characters himself and as a result he is slamming his judgement and interpretation on my comments. I never said Traditional Chinese is superior to Simplied Chinese. Say, if you paint the White House pink because you believe pink is a more popular color, then when I complain about your action, it DOES NOT mean I think White is a superior color. I am getting tired of this debate, it is getting nowhere. Since this a public forum, I voiced my opinion for all other to hear. Hypocrisy or not is upto individuals to interprete. If Taoster didn't hear the message because he is too obsessed with his S. Chinese, so be it. What do I get if I win the debate? Why should I care? But Wikipedia loses when a more precise information (in this case the text) is reduced to a lesser representation.
The argument about S.Chinese and T.Chinese carried the same meaning and hence it is okay to substitute one with the other is lame and ridiculous. I have seen many books published in China that are in romanized pinyin. Each romanized pinyin character and phrase carries the same meaning as the S.Chinese counterpart. Per Taoster's argument, we can abandon all Chinese writings because romanized pinyin can do the same job. That will be my last words on this topic. Signing off... 67.117.82.5 22:23, 4 Sep 2003 (UTC)
Your comments really seem to be both self-serving and self-defeating at the same time. While you ended your last message with the all-too-common "This is my last stab at the topic and I won't be returning because my ego has been depleted" clincher, what are the odds that you are reading this right now? Furthermore, I would to make it clear for the record of what you stated (quite angrily and determined, I might add) a couple of messages prior this one: But overwritting T. Chinese with S. Chinese is a disrespect to the Chinese Language -- How can you justify further your disclaim of having said something when it is clearly right before your very eyes?. Do you understand that disrespect is synonymous with insultation?
And now you're bringing in Pinyin to salvage what little bits and pieces of an argument you may still have. As it stands, you still have not responded to my query as to whether or not any information was lost in the given example when trasitioned between the two character sets. Here's some advice: take a position and stick to it, and stop hiding behind your cowardly mask of anonymity.-Taoster

In my opinions, overwriting one character set with another is a bad idea, it could be a disrepect to the first writer. That's all I want to say. -wshun 23:33, 4 Sep 2003 (UTC)

As I have been reminded time and again by Menchi, "If you don't want your writing to be edited mercilessly and redistributed at will, then don't submit it here." Does writing apply solely to the written word and not characters? -Taoster

Don't you think that it would be silly if I prefer "color" to "colour" and so I change every "colour" in Wikipedia to "color"? If you really modify my writing then I will not complain, but if you simply replace my writing with "identical one" then it is not a real edit in my mind and I certainly object. I will not start an edit war because of that but I surely feel bad about it. --wshun 01:00, 5 Sep 2003 (UTC)

What good is an article if no one can understand it? The purpose of Wikipedia is to convey knowledge; a contributor's main duty is to provide approachable and understandable texts for whomever may wish to benefit from them. And the last time I checked, most Mainlanders were quite capable of reading Simplified, and most institutions of higher learning here in the US teach the Simplified set. Why do you think I edited only the Mandarin subsection? -Taoster
Not only mandarin speakers will be interested in the mandarin proverbs. That assumption should not be made. --Jiang

Then how about the Taiwanese, Hongkongers and many old oversea Chinese? Well, that means we have to made two character sets side by side then. wshun 04:55, 5 Sep 2003 (UTC)


I think we should anglicize Oriental names and list them accordingly. If the family name is Woo and the first name Shino; then we should write Shino Woo; not Woo Shino. This is the English wikipedia and we need to treat all names similarily; regardless of origin. Pizza Puzzle

Pinyin on Taiwan articles

Moved from Talk:Central Bank of China

On the pages related to PRC, we use pinyin to show the pronunciation, but is using pinyin on the pages related to ROC appropriate? So far as I know, pinyin is not recognized in ROC. --ILovEJPPitoC 10:13, 8 Oct 2003 (UTC)

We should use popular systems regardless of the subject's political affiliation. It's helpful to include the pinyin. WG is also included in Hu Jintao, Deng Xiaoping and other mainland subjects. --Jiang 21:12, 8 Oct 2003 (UTC)
No, no. Nothing to do about politics at all. I am just thinking that maybe pinyin is not familiar to Taiwanese, so using a romanized system that's familiar to Tanwanese will be more appropriate, so I asked which one is offically orcognized in ROC(for example, Taipei is Taibei in pinyin, a little bit confused for some people.) --ILovEJPPitoC 05:27, 9 Oct 2003 (UTC)
And in the page Wikipedia:WikiProject_Countries, it says "The official full name of the country in the local language is to go on top as the caption. If there are several official names (languages), list all." I don't know if that also means the romanized system listed below? --ILovEJPPitoC 05:36, 9 Oct 2003 (UTC)

We're not just catering to Taiwanese for Taiwan-related articles. Actually, I think it should just be the opposite. The information contained within these articles would probably be more useful for non-Taiwanese.

The convention is to list the transliteration if the name is not in the roman alphabet (see Algeria). I don't think this is worth changing. As for which system the Taiwanese are familiar with, I think it is WG. That's why that was used atop the ROC table instead of Tongyong. Our convention is to "use common names". Some names like Quemoy are neither in pinyin nor WG. --Jiang 05:50, 9 Oct 2003 (UTC)

I c! --ILovEJPPitoC 05:57, 9 Oct 2003 (UTC)


Also keep in mind that the use of tongyong pinyin on Taiwan itself controversial. Despite a central government directive favoring tongyong, local municipalities can and do override it. Several municipalities use Hanyu pinyin. Part of the problem is that on Taiwan itself, the whole issue is very politicized.
Taiwan has been trying to move to pinyin for over a decade and a half, and they aren't getting anywhere because no one agrees what pinyin to use.
I do think that all articles which include hanyu pinyin because that is the closest thing to a standard Chinese transliteration. The article title should be the form more commonly used which may be hanyu or something else. Taipei for example, is taibei in both hanyu and tongyong pinyin.
Curiously, I've never seen anyone from Taiwan actually render their own name or the name of a location in tongyong. The system that people use is WG minus the apostrophes. One problem with tongyong (or another other romanization) is that people from Taiwan aren't familar with any of them.
Roadrunner
Yes, several municipalities have overriden the Legislative Yuan mandate, including Taipei. Methinks stuff with popular non-hanyu pinyin names should use that, with transliteration into hanyu pinyin (and any other romanizations popular for it), and articles on more recent things which are largely known by their hanyu pinyin forms in the west (c.f. Hu Jintao, Hanzi) should use hanyu pinyin in the title, with no need for any other transliterations.
Obviously there's still some ambiguities -- for instance, Nanjing is popularly known in its pinyin form as well as post-office (Nanking Massacre) or even Beijing/Peking. I personally think the article title should be in hanyu pinyin with transliterations into other common romanizations within the article, but I recognize that this is basically arbitrary.
--Xiaopo 01:13, Oct. 26 2003 (UTC)


People from Taiwan used to look their names up in a dictionary prepared by the Ministry of Education. That dictionary used a tonal spelling. So people got some rather odd-looking names in roman letters.

I agree that we should standardize on the pinyin system used in mainland China. Since Nixon went to China it has become the emerging standard in the US. Most libraries changed over from Wade-Giles long ago.

Let WG die a natural death. Provide traditional Chinese characters for people from Taiwan and Malaysia, Singapore, etc. and simplified for people from mainland China. Provide pinyin. Provide a transliteration table linked to articles that use pinyin. (There are some atrocious mispronunciations out there. For instance, Nixon and company came back with "Bay ZHHHHHing" instead of "Bay jing", and everybody started using that totally wrong pronunciation. People, esp. radio/tv announcers could use some help.

Patrick0Moran 06:48, 9 Oct 2003 (UTC)

People may see things in different context (e.g. Ch'ing vs. Qing) and wonder if the transliterations are the same thing. Maybe inserting "Chiang Tse-min" into the Jiang Zemin article is a bit unnecessary, but for topics that are old enough to have been commonly referred to with a non Hanyu Pinyin spelling, providing the old transliteration is a must. We already list most mainland geographical place names/historical subjects/etc. under the pinyin title. I take it that you don't want the WG transliteration in the main body of the article.

I agree. There are lots of worthwhile history books and other such resources floating around that were written when Wade-Giles was the U.S. standard. There are other sources that use the French romanization. Many names are given according to the system somebody (the French, I think it was) made for geographical names when the Chinese national postal system was being adapted to the fact that more and more letters were coming to Chinese people and business concerns from Europe and America.

Why should simplified and traditional characters be limited to certain subjects? It's useful info and it doesn't hurt to put them in. Jiang Zemin is in traditional characters in a traditional character newspaper. It is not like that just because he's in the mainland, the traditional version of his name never shows up. --Jiang 06:57, 9 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Singapore uses simplified Chinese too! And I agree with Jiang, a common use is more appropriate, since Wikipedia is not a standardized organization. --ILovEJPPitoC 08:55, 9 Oct 2003 (UTC)~~

I agree. A reference to Long2 Jing3 in simplified charcters may completely throw a reader from Taiwan (or anybody else who is accustomed only to traditional characters) even though the information would be relevant to them.

Another thing, I think it would be helpful to have an article on standard Mandarin pronunciation so that well educated people (and especially newscasters) could avoid mispronouncing things like the name of the new spacecraft and dog lovers could avoid referring to their pets by a mispronounciation that sounds like a reference to an olfactory tour of an ill kept zoo. I already have a pronunciation guide, which I could easily provide. I don't, however, have access to a person with an exemplary pronunciation and a good radio voice.

Patrick0Moran 21:54, 26 Oct 2003 (UTC)

dialect naming conventions

See Talk:Hakka (linguistics) for proposed naming convention. (That is, Hakka (linguistics) as opposed to Hakka dialect or Hakka Chinese. --Jiang 08:54, 10 Oct 2003 (UTC)