Chinese Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Chinese language. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

My dictionary, along with many websites I've checked translates 制作 as

  • to make
  • to manufacture

What sorts of things may I 制作?

The second definition of "manufacture" leads me to believe that, for example, "I made new flash cards."/「我制作了新的词卡。」, is too small-scale a thing to be 制作'ed. I haven't found any examples at or or in my dictionary.

share|improve this question
我制作了新的词卡 is OK. 制作 doesn't specially mean "large-scale manufacture" in Chinese. But, 制造 does. – Stan Jul 2 '13 at 9:15
Anything that involves labor, requires a series of steps or procedures and an attention to details. Example, a movie, a cake, a greeting card, toys. – 杨以轩 Jul 3 '13 at 3:16
The object of 制作 is not necessarily large-scale thing. "制作了一张单词卡" is perfectly OK. – YM Jiang Jul 3 '13 at 5:40
@QuestionOverflow: "requires ... an attention to details" is really important. For example, some large-scale thing cannot be 制作-ed, it will sound very weird -- native speakers don't say 制作轮船/客机/楼房. – Stan Jul 3 '13 at 6:33
@Stan, yes, I know that. Have added an answer below :) – 杨以轩 Jul 4 '13 at 4:00
up vote 4 down vote accepted

After going through a few online examples, I think this is what 制作 actually means:

To make something physically that requires a level of skill or artistry, such as, a movie, a cake, a greeting card or a toy. Example:

韩国制作巨型巧克力高跟鞋迎接情人节 (South Korea has made a gigantic pair of chocolate stilettos to welcome Valentine's Day)

Since 制造 is also mentioned, to provide disambiguation, 制造 means to manufacture or mass-produce something (both physical and non-physical). Example:

这AK-47是前苏联制造的 (This AK-47 was made in the former USSR)
制造垃圾 (churning out rubbish)
制造欢乐气氛 (creating a joyous atmosphere)

To build or construct something, usually big, we can use the word 建造. For example:

建造楼房 (construct a building)
建造卫星导航系统 (build a satellite navigation system)

share|improve this answer
Thanks for expanding upon the other answer. The additional commentary on similar words has helpfully widened my vocabulary! – Daniel King Jul 4 '13 at 9:00
You are welcome, glad to know that :) – 杨以轩 Jul 5 '13 at 2:30

Look here for a very full list of examples:

制作 is comparable to the English word to make, as you can 制作 anything from cake to advertisements.

share|improve this answer
This sentence on that webpage fails in dividing phrases: 内阁 制作 为一种政治体制,有它一定的合理性。 内阁制(度) should be one phrase, "cabinet system". – Stan Jul 2 '13 at 15:35
Since the website just searches through all the example sentences for any matches to the given characters, this can happen a lot, but with so many examples, it's still useful. – Question Marks Jul 2 '13 at 15:57
That's right :) I just put a warning for the possible misleading. It's still a wonderful site. – Stan Jul 2 '13 at 16:46

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.