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Apparently "巴利佳能" is the translation of "Pali Canon."

When referring to the foundational documents of other theological or philosophical schools, will I be understood if I use the term "佳能"?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

No. 佳能 is only used for the translation for Canon the brand/company name.

There are more than one translation for canon in religious sense based on its different meanings. The standard translation for Pali Canon is 巴利文大藏经 (Wikipedia).

If you are interested in the translations for other meanings, you can find them in a dictionary. Another way to find out is on the Wikipedia disambiguate page for 'canon', choose the term you're interested in, and click on 中文 on the left to see the Chinese version.

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Just want to add: normal words are translated by meaning, names by sound, but company names are special in that they are translated by sound but also with positive meanings, which are often very clever. For example, Nike the company is 耐克 (durable, overcome) but Nike the goddess is 尼刻 (a straightforward rendering of the Greek pronunciation). – congusbongus Apr 7 '14 at 6:59

Maybe not what you are looking for but 正典 seems to fit your meaning of canon here.

1 正宗典籍。如儒家六经之类。

Wikipedia talks of it in a Biblical sense, but as you can see from the entry in HDC it can also refer to other things:


正典 is also listed in ABC E-C Dictionary & 21 Century E-C Dictionary as canon [among many others].

What you should keep in mind though is that as NS.X. said above specific writings also have their own specific translations so you might want to check exactly what you want to say before you say it.

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