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The only difference between a replica of a van Gogh painting, and a fake van Gogh painting, is that the replica claims to be a replica while the fake claims to be real.

This is a subtle distinction, and because people could feel insulted if I confuse the two, I want to be sure to get it right, and not just trust a dictionary.

So, if I want to buy high quality replicas of say, Ming dynasty furniture, how should i describe that in Chinese? I do not want genuine historic antiques, and I certainly do not want to bother with people offering fakes as if they were genuine. I want high quality replicas.

My concern is not talking with dealers. My concern is when I ask a hotel clerk, or a shopkeeper who does not have what I want, where I might find what I want. They should not think I am asking if they know any frauds or counterfeiters!

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    replica = 仿制品. high quality replica = 高仿 – hello_harry Mar 1 '16 at 16:16
  • I find 仿制品 is often translated as counterfeit or fake, and is often taken to mean some kind of fraud. I want a way to convey clearly the difference between a replica and a fake -- between a beautiful reproduction and a fraud. – Colin McLarty Mar 1 '16 at 17:09
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    仿(制)品 is literally the most suitable word for replica. 仿品/仿货/跟单 is for replicas, and 高仿/A货 is for high quality replicas. I would say "仿明式家具" for "replica of Ming dynasty furniture". I think the situation "仿制品 is often translated as counterfeit or fake" you've observed may be context related. In China, replicas are rampant (e.g. Nike shoes) and sold as genuine ones, and when we don't want to use the harsh word 假货 (e.g. when we argue with the shopkeeper), we may say 仿货 instead. The key is consensus: when we all know it's a replica, calling it 仿货 is totally OK. – Stan Mar 1 '16 at 17:49
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    jukuu does not have 仿制品 but has 复制品 as most frequent translation – user6065 Mar 1 '16 at 19:48
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Chinese people use a character to distinguish replica and fake indirectly: “仿".

If a product claims it's "仿xxx", which means it's a replica. It's definitely not genuine one; "赝” is more like claiming it's fake/bad. Not suggested to put it on "replica".

Some replica is also expensive - Imagine someone who lived in Song dynasty made a Hans vase replica - It's a genuine historic antique anyway.


Since replica means "Exact copy of that object", I guess it loses its true meaning here.

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replica = 仿制品. fake = 赝品

赝品 used to refer to replica that is very hard to identify whether it is authentic or not. As the language evolved, it refers to those with low qualities.

So in Chinese, there is no direct mapping. Usually, you can add other adjectives to express the subtle meaning, like hello_harry suggested, 高仿, which is equal to 高级仿制品.

赝品 also limited to those replica that trying to make the same as original and sell for profit. While 仿制品 don't have good or bad in the purpose, for example, 仿制品 can be made for museum, it can also be a different size.

In your case, it seems you want to buy a 高级赝品 of furniture.

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