In Chinese literature there are four poems:


As you can see, the word 涼台 occurs. I used to live in a very hot country, so the idea of 涼台 seems much more natural than 陽台。But lately native speakers from both China and Taiwan tell me to use 陽台. Is 涼台 limited to ancient Chinese, or does it carry a different meaning?

  • bkrs:涼台 1) 供乘凉用的平台。 2) 阳台。 balcony; veranda synonyms:相关: 阳台, 平台,(no indication of being out-of-date 过时), however jukuu only has 1 irrelevant (characters separated by other characters) example for 涼台 but 100 for 阳台 (all relevant, no other characters between the 2 characters)
    – user6065
    Sep 1 '17 at 12:25
  • Both 阳台 and 凉台 are common and natural. Some people use them with no difference. Generally, the balcony in the apartment is often called 阳台(but still some call it 凉台). You name it!
    – dan
    Sep 1 '17 at 12:51

Both 陽台 and 涼台 can be translated as 'veranda, balcony and deck'

I suppose 陽台 refers to a deck you can sit on to enjoy sunshine, and 涼台 is a deck you sit on for cooling down. Which means the location of this deck determines how you call it.

陽台 should locate in an area that is open and have access to plenty of sunshine. While 涼台 should locate in an area with shade. surrounded by tree, or near water.

陽台 is a more common term because most people live in cities don't have a backyard to build a deck for cooling, but most apartment buildings do have balconies.


臺 has the meaning "a structure that is high and flat, one can look in all directions" (高而平﹒可供眺望四方的建築物)


so, when reading "朝登涼臺上", i would make a mental image of "ascend a lookout tower in the morning, look around the 360° scenario, let the summer breeze dry my sweat"

well, nowadays, most people are familiar with 陽臺, or 露臺, which is part of a building (balcony, maybe veranda).

imo, these two are different from "涼臺".

last, may i ask, how do you choose particular poems from the 子夜四時歌?

  • Just from some old lecture notes, because I think that's where I first saw 涼台. Are they not normally grouped together?
    – Ludi
    Sep 1 '17 at 13:34
  • yes, most of the books, maybe all, would group 20 春歌, 20 夏歌, 18 秋歌 and 17 冬歌 together. like this in 古樂苑: archive.org/stream/06070492.cn#page/n14/mode/2up so, your lecture notes is very interesting, and inspiring, imo :-) Sep 1 '17 at 18:51

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.