Hello I wanted to ask if someone knows the meaning of These characters:

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  • 2
    – user4072
    Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 9:46
  • @songyuanyao So this means Chinese Wikipedia ?
    – WasteD
    Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 9:48
  • 3
    You want to know the literal meaning? 维基 is wikipedia, 大典 means 重要的典籍 here, i.e. collection of great classics.
    – user4072
    Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 9:51
  • Translating 'Wikipedia' to Chinese, but in ancient Chinese style, just like 永樂大典, an encyclopedia compiled at 永乐 (an emperor of Qing dynasty) era. Commented Apr 26, 2017 at 3:10

2 Answers 2


维基大典, as the comments shown, means Wikipedia

There are two ways for translation in Chinese.

  1. By their pronunciation

  2. By their function

In the first part "Wiki" is translation by its pronunciation. Thus,

"Wi" sound could be written as 维
"Ki" sound could be written as 基

While in the second part, "大典" is translated by its function.

Suffix "-pedia" is from the greek root paideia, meaning education, culture. And in English "-pedia" is for something that have a knowledgeable collection for something.

"大典" in Chinese equals to Encyclopedia. 

"典" in Chinese means a collection of influential and important works

So if you have a Chinese dictionary, you will find it is called

eg.「字典」means word dictionary

ie. a collection of words with elaborations and meanings, and it is important for language learners.

It is also that's why "Wiki-pedia" could just get the name "Wiki" and "-pedia" is not directly translated by pronunciation as "大典" could already explain it.


维基大典 is a name of Wikipedia - Classical Chinese version.So it's The Encyclopedia writen in Classical Chinese.

Literal meaning, Great Collection in Wikipedia.

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