5

诚实 (HSK 4) has the meaning 'honest', just like 老实 (HSK 5), which also carries the meaning of 'honest'.

I would like to know what the difference between these two words is when they mean 'honest'.

I've found this online: 个人觉得,“诚实”形容人的品质,“老实”形容人的性格, which loosely translates to '诚实' describes a person's quality/characteristic, while '老实' describes a person's personality.

However, I don't really understand the difference; a quality you possess would indirectly be a feature of your personality right?

I've also found that '老实' carries the meaning of 'well-behaved', as well as 'naïve' (not featured in the HSK curriculum).

As a result, I would also like to know the difference between 老实 and 天真 (HSK 5) when they mean "naïve".

  • As a measure try seeing what the words mean by themselves and what makes them up as characters. As with any language there are certain procedures that a language goes through in its development which begets its eventual optimal usage. Learning the history of character development is both a rewarding and engaging accomplishment. Keep in mind there are many dialects and branches. 正当 is a fitting word for this description. 正值直到为止。 – Abe Shudug Oct 16 '18 at 22:19
  • 善哉得善良 is another example using the 1 stroke that is the difference between purchase and honest with the inclusive of being there with or without 1 stroke [ie in person] and encompassing the raising of the roof. – Abe Shudug Oct 16 '18 at 22:22
3

诚实 is honest with no further implication.

老实 is honest and possibly easy to trick.

天真 is more like innocent or even naive.

1

诚实 describe a person, who is always truthful because he chooses to, for moral reason. Calling someone 诚实 imply he is a moral man (we can trust him because he is a trust worthy man)

老实 describe a person, who is always truthful because he can't help but telling the truth all the time. Calling someone 老实 imply he is a relatively simple man, not the cunning type at all (we can trust him because he is too simple to make thing up)

Edit:

老 mean old ; '老实' implies a person is 'honest as always'. People expecting a 老实 person to tell the truth because it is his 'compliant nature'. And people who is always 'compliant' is being looked at as 'simple' = 'not smart' ; on the other hand, being 诚实 is considered a virtue.

老实 also carries the meaning of 'obedient' or 'compliant'

For example:

"給我老实点別再搞事" = "be compliant (don't be smart), and don't cause anymore trouble."

Calling an adult 天真 imply he is naive ; Calling a child 天真 is just stating the fact that he is innocent / naive like all other children

  • i thought this was an old question btw haha..not sure if ur answer has changed – Abe Shudug Oct 16 '18 at 22:22
  • How is it possible for a person to not have the possibility to lie though. I mean, to be able to lie is considered a human trait. I do understand the meaning of 诚实 now, but I still don't really understand the difference between 诚实 and 老实 when they mean 'honest'. Would it be possible for you to explain further? – Jacob de Neur Oct 17 '18 at 8:52
  • Please see my edition. – Tang Ho Oct 17 '18 at 10:02
0

诚实:honest

老实:submissive

天真:naive

老实 means submissive, it has nothing inherently to do with kindness, for example, "这个囚犯不老实", meaning the prisoner might be up to something, or he tends not to obey orders

obedience to authority is the main characteristic of the word "老实", like students to teachers, children to their parents, employees to employers, citizens to governmental officials, prisoners to prison guards。Of course, it implies that the former doesn't lie to the latter, but it is not out of a sense of honor or integrity, rather than fear of punishment.

Take another example, the Chinese communism party accuses some of its party members "对党不老师", that literally translates to "not submissive to party leaders."

  • 老实 is not only used that way. – zyy Oct 26 '18 at 14:01
  • You are free to change your answer back to original, it is your right. – zyy Oct 26 '18 at 14:14

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.