I am struggling with auto translators that do not know that knitting and weaving are not interchangeable terms.

It seems that changing the position of the words in the English sentence can cause this confusion.

And it gets worse when weave and knit are used in the same sentence. For example:


When knitting and knitting are used in the same sentence, it gets worse.

Any ideas on how to untangle this would be appreciated.

Thanks and best regards, Alex

  • knit 编织 weave 纺织 (based on my knowledge) Mar 5, 2019 at 13:35
  • google 编织和针织词汇: 1 result: wenku.baidu.com/view/084c6fc09b6648d7c0c74645.html
    – user6065
    Mar 5, 2019 at 13:44
  • Yandex Translate: knit = 针织 and weave = 针织 Toosky Hierot: knit = 编织 and weave = 纺织
    – alexd1759
    Mar 6, 2019 at 2:18
  • Microsoft Translator knit = 针织 weave = 编织 when set to simplified Chinese. And knit = 針織 and weave = 編織 when set to Chinese Traditional. I think I will just try to get better with simplified Chinese. The back translation of Toosky's translation 编织 gave "knitting" and 纺织 gave "textile". So it would seem the issue has many deep and meaningful pathways to follow, Thank You Toosky Hierot. And Thank You user6065 your reference to the table of translations, it is well recieved.
    – alexd1759
    Mar 6, 2019 at 2:37
  • textilefashionstudy.com/… Mar 6, 2019 at 3:09

1 Answer 1


According to the ABC Chinese-English Dictionary, the Chinese word 编织 can mean "weave; knit; plait; braid". ABC is saying it's a general word that can mean all of these things. If you want to distinguish between these things then you might need a different word instead.

If you look up "weaving" on Wikipedia and press Languages / Chinese, it takes you to a Chinese article called 梭织. ("Knitting" takes you to 编织.) Although in general it is wise to be a bit careful when using Wikipedia (check the sources etc), I would be very surprised if an article title (especially for a long-established article like "weaving") would not have been corrected if it were wrong. 梭织 is not in the ABC but 梭=shuttle in textiles (compare 梭子) and 织 can mean to weave or to knit (compare 组织=organize) so it looks very plausible that 梭织 specifically means weaving with a shuttle.

ABC also says the word 针织 (from the question) means to knit but not to weave; the first character 针 means needle.

So simply put 针织 for knit, 梭织 for weave, and 编织 as a catch-all term that could mean either.

  • Thank you for your answer. I will need to read every word you have written very carefully because it revolves around some very subtle distinctions between crafts that are or can be done by hand and the complexity and differences between industrial looms, weaving, industrial knitting machines, knitting and how it is possible to do either with hands and impossible for a weaving machine to knit and knitting machine to weave. I hope this better explains my difficulty (and I do know about the Lapis machine that both weaves and knits but this is the exception that proves the rule, so to speak).
    – alexd1759
    Mar 8, 2019 at 20:04

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