Take the 2-minute tour ×
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. It's 100% free, no registration required.


我想请问有没有谁知道这幅由利玛窦原创的地图曾经被学者翻译过么? 在哪里可以找到全部文字的翻译呢?


I am very interested in these old Chinese maps, such as the 坤輿萬國全圖. They are so advanced, and highly accurate for their time. I hope someone out there can read the traditional Chinese. I can recognise only a few characters, and what I really want is to get a feel for what the cartographer thought about Australia, and the Pacific. Unfortunately with my limited Chinese literacy, I cannot get the full picture. If someone would please translate for me the big blocks of text in the Pacific Ocean, and Australia, I would be so thankful.

I hope this doesn't get flagged. I'm only posting here because this site is the best, and I feel like perhaps this could be of historical or educational significance to those studying Traditional Chinese, and who want to know more about the history of the Chinese people.

share|improve this question
Please clip the area you're interested in out of the whole map, and then upload it. It is too large for readers to download the whole map. –  Stan Dec 30 '13 at 6:16
sorry, they are all 題跋 written in very literal languages commenting on how passionate the Italians and French are towards travelling, and how important this map is....=,= The only easy part about the map found in what should be in Australia indicates its name as New Guinea and that the author was not quite sure if it is linked to another bigger land. –  Joseph S WU Dec 31 '13 at 0:31
"请可以你翻译这个传统的中国地图" Is this written by Google Translate? –  Kovács Imre Jan 1 at 2:19
This is interesting, however it takes a long time to translate the whole map. Would be better if you crop a part and start with it first. –  David Ng Aug 27 at 14:42

3 Answers 3

Many of the names have Japanese katakana so if you (learn to) read katakana, that will help you. E.g., in Europe, Italy 意大利亞 has イタリア (i-ta-ri-a), and in the Pacific, Solomon Islands 沙蠟門島 has サラモん (sa-ra-mon).

Some katakana and Chinese don't match though, like Madagascar, which katana is マダカスカ (ma-da-ka-su-ka) but the Chinese is 仙勞冷祖島 (with a Chinese approximation of Madagascar as an also-known-as, "一名XXXXX").

Australia looks totally wrong.

share|improve this answer
Madagascar was also named after San Lorenzo, which was translated into 仙勞冷祖. –  user58955 Jan 4 at 12:12

Doesn't look like they reached Australia at all. They have reached Indonesia and not further South from there. From the map, it looks like the area between Indonesia an Antarctic was off limits due to heavy storm in the area. enter image description here

From the look of above picture (from bottom middle of the original map), the following are translations to the left:

  1. First paragraph to the top left:

    Recent years, there are small ships to this area do to the wind direction. They parked and only said that the area is vast but there is nothing to export.

  2. Second paragraph to the bottom left:

    Southern part of this place is rarely reached by humans, as a result, I have not surveyed and studied the place and people.

My understanding of the positioning is that this might be northern tip of the Australia. Due to the geographic locations, not much information is available of the area during Ming Dynasty.

share|improve this answer
If we've surveyed Australia back then, I seriously doubt Dutch will be able to take it from Maoris and colonize the rock. –  Xephon Feb 12 at 17:46

enter image description here

I can translate it to modern Chinese,can't do that in English ,my English is not good- -||

Is this Australia? The text on it is: 此地名为新入匿,因其势貌利味亚入匿相同,欧罗巴人近方至此,故未审其或为一片相连地方,或为一岛。

try to translate it:

This place is called 新入匿,because the environment looks like 利味亚入匿,European have just got there,so have not explored whether it is a big land or island.

share|improve this answer
利味亚 is Africa. And I found this blog. According to the blog, 入匿 is Guinea, 新入匿 is New Guinea –  nacho Aug 27 at 6:54
@nacho very interesting,I wonder what is that? I never thought 利味亚is Libya,入匿 is Guinea。 –  Jacob Aug 28 at 14:01

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.