Usually the technological terminology is mapped to an equivalent word in Chinese. For example:

  • Deep Learning: 深度学习
  • Linear Algebra: 线性代数
  • Web Server: 服务器

However, 深层学习 may also be a valid choice. In fact Japanese people use on the term (i.e. 深層学習).

So how is which characters are used decided and by who? Is there any organization that lays it down?

  • 深度学习 is a better interpretation for Deeping Learning, as 层 means "layers", while "Deeping learning" doesn't embrace the sense of layers. I am not sure who did those translation work.
    – dan
    Aug 16, 2017 at 4:40
  • @dan The "deep" in deep learning comes from the fact that the layers are stacked "deep", compared to a traditional single-layer perceptron model, I believe.
    – Blaszard
    Aug 16, 2017 at 6:04
  • Well, deep could be layered, or linear-ed. Anyways, both translations are fine. who cares which one is better.
    – dan
    Aug 16, 2017 at 6:23
  • @dan I didn't ask which one is better; I want to know how the character to be mapped is determined by who.
    – Blaszard
    Aug 16, 2017 at 6:28
  • Understood your questions. That's why I just put it as a comment and hope to provide some clues on how those characters are mapped by comparing these two translations of "deep learning".
    – dan
    Aug 16, 2017 at 6:44

3 Answers 3

  • '深度學習' = 'in-depth learning'

  • '深層学習' = 'deep level learning'

As you mentioned, Japanese use '深層學習' instead of '深度學習' for 'deep learning'

(深層學習 is the preferred translation of 'Deep learning' in Hong Kong too)

Different countries and regions have different translations of some technological terms from foreign language. Hard to say which is better.

Blaszard wrote:

I didn't ask which is better or what meaning each word exactly has; I asked how it is determined and by who.

When a new terminology is coined in foreign language, different medias and publications may have trouble deciding on an unified translation.

Eventually, they will follow the lead of the authority in that particular field. If the Science journal in China translates 'Deep learning' as 深度学習, the news would adopt it and the general public will follow. Finally, dictionaries would make it official by listing it.

  • Thanks but I didn't ask which is better or what meaning each word exactly has; I asked how it is determined and by who. (BTW do you also understand Japanese? It's impressive!)
    – Blaszard
    Aug 16, 2017 at 6:02

in taiwan, there is a institution "國家教育研究院", which maintain the database 雙語詞彙資料庫.


this database contains most, if not all, bilingual terms, in english and chinese. there're specialised committees to consider the words used for translation.

i think that this database is authoritative.


I don't think there is an organization, usually it is decided by the first guy that translate it.

when translators translate a specified words, he need to find is this word have translated or not. If it does, he can use that translation or he can make a new one if he have a better one, in this case he should add a foot note or something like that to give readers enough infos.

In the early stage, these translations usually includes the original words to let readers know what is that translation is.

After the translating documents by different guys got more and more, a consensus will be made.It is a natural selection.

Compares 深度 with 深层. 深度 is more common.

  • Thanks for the answer. So who is the first guy to translate it? If it is a blogger on the Internet, is it also going to be used as well?
    – Blaszard
    Aug 17, 2017 at 10:12
  • @Blaszard, Many new words are born from Internet,not just for entertaining, some are used by formal media, and as far as I know , many terminology in IT domain are translated by Internet users.
    – sfy
    Aug 17, 2017 at 11:23

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