When I look up 立体 at http://www.zdic.net/c/b/110/297322.htm I get:

(1) [solid]∶具有长、宽、厚的形体
(2) [three-dimensional; stereoscopic]
(3) 包括地面、水、空中的
(4) 指地面以上具有若干横向层次的
I guess, in this sentence, 立体 takes meaning (3), but I'm really not sure.


Maybe here 立体 just means 'completely'? Maybe 立体 is not 1 word here?

(to) completely reconstruct an area's ecological diversity
(to) reconstruct an area's land-, water- and airborne ecological diversity

What do they mean by 立体还原?

  • 立体 = multiple hierarchies or 3D, sometimes, it covers sky, land and underwater, or multiple levels at different altitudes. 立体地还原 means they try to restore/reconstruct at whole perspective (integrally), not partial of them, = 多角度地,多维度地。 Apr 7 '17 at 1:36

'In a multifaceted manner' seems like a good choice. In '立体还原', '还原' is a verb 'restore' ; that makes '立体' an adverb

'立体还原' can be translated as: 'restore in a multidimensional manner' or 'restore in a multifaceted manner' (having many aspects or phases)


There's a relative work 平面, which might be helpful for understanding. 立体 is three-dimensional, while 平面 is two-dimensional. So we can use 立体 to express the more dimensionalities (not has to be only three).

So 立体还原 can be interpreted as to restore at most dimensionalities/aspects/levels.... Of course you can extend its meaning to to completely restore.

  • 只拍照片怎么可以‘restore’一个保护地区的生态多样性? 它们要建立个‘野生动植物影像库’。我觉得作家想要表达的意思是‘reconstruct, make a reconstruction in photos'。你不同意吗?
    – Pedroski
    Apr 6 '17 at 22:47
  • @Pedroski You meant the meaning about 还原 should be reconstruction? This might be an English issue, as a native Chinese I can't tell the subtle difference between reconstruction and restore. Is restore usually used for the scenario that 还原 something with the same/original materials? Anyway I think your understanding about the whole sentence is correct.
    – user4072
    Apr 7 '17 at 2:25
  • 'make a reconstruction' can mean 'make a copy'. Here, I think they mean with '建立野生动植物影像库,立体还原一个地区的生态多样性。 ' 'make a photographic copy or record of all of an area's flora and fauna'. The police will often 'reconstruct a crime' to better understand what happened, but that doesn't mean they actually go and kill someone!
    – Pedroski
    Apr 7 '17 at 22:36

I personally think it counts as overblown "purple prose", and that your intuition that it simply means "completely" is right, although that is influenced by its (already) extended use as land-, water- and airborne. Perhaps "multifaceted" (which collocates with English "approach") might be a good equivalent.

Meaning 3 of zdic.net is generally limited to 立体战争, which is basically triphibious warfare (the translation "three-dimensional warfare" is not correct in English, and could lead to severe misunderstanding).

The link between 立体, which at root means a "raised or standing body" and the semantic field of "to do something completely via many methods" is due to its roots as a calque of the technical root "stereo-" in English and other Western European languages, derived from Ancient Greek στερεός, meaning "a solid".

Being in the 3D world, a "solid" is therefore of greater complexity than plane objects, and thus in science and technology "stereo-" came to mean various modes of perception of 3D space. One of the earliest words based on this was stereopsis, now generally referred to in English as stereoscopic vision, which has the Chinese translation 立体视觉.

In English "stereo-" is not only rather opaque to the modern reader, used primarily in technical contexts, it is also a bound morpheme. The Chinese 立体 on the other hand has taken on a life of its own, and has expanded continuously to other niches not taken by "stereo-" in English. This accounts for meanings (3) and (4) in zdic.net.

For what it's worth, this is actually the first time I've seen 立体 used with 还原, and I thought it was a technical term. I parsed it as "stereoscopic neutralisation", and I was wondering "is that even a thing?"... Am now wondering whether there is something that counts as 立体还原 in photography and optics.

  • Thanks for the long answer, appreciated. Not long ago, I read of a physics experiment, long and ongoing, lots of lasers involved. If it gives the results they expect, it will show that we actually live in 2D. Our 3D is just an illusion!
    – Pedroski
    Apr 6 '17 at 22:51




  • 意思就是‘多角度,多维,多层次地还原一个(保护)地区的动植物多样性‘吗?这里‘还原’的意思是‘恢复该地区的原状’或者‘做个这个地区的影像模型‘吗?
    – Pedroski
    Apr 6 '17 at 23:02
  • @Pedroski 对的。。。还原意思是做‌​这个地区的影像模型,让它像原本(代指影像模型的原地区)一样
    – 王震宇
    Apr 7 '17 at 2:56

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