I'm trying to say "the Song Dynasty used this invention to make paper money". So far I've got "宋朝用了这个发明做纸钱“。 The "make money" part is messing with me- I know "做钱“ can mean to print counterfeit money, and I'm not trying to express that. I also know the word "赚钱”, but I know that's to earn money in a job, not to print it. And does the word "纸钱“ effectively express the idea of paper money, like bills, or does it just sound strange?

Also, the simplest word would be best! :)

My research:

I've plugged "make money" into various online translators, and either gotten "赚钱" or "做钱", hence the question. For "paper money", I've gotten "纸币" and "纸钱“, neither of which I'm totally sure of.

  • 制造(纸质)货币,depending on your context。纸钱 is another word with different meaning. Notice the original sentence didn't use any detail description like print or produce or issue. 做钱 is simply a made-up word. Also notice the original sentence is in simple present tense. 用了 would be improper translation. May 3, 2019 at 4:33

4 Answers 4


生产纸币: to manufacture paper money/ to produce paper money

制造纸币: to make paper money / to produce paper money

发行纸币: to issue paper money

印制纸币: to print paper money

米凯乐 wrote: 宋朝用了这个发明做纸钱

It should be 宋朝用这个发明来制造纸币 (来= to)- Song Dynasty used this invention to make paper money

'做' means 'being', it should be '制造'(make)

Note the difference between 制造 and 制作 Difference between 製作 and 製造?


I would say the following




  • translation: Song Dynasty used this invention to print and issue currency made of paper
    – Tang Ho
    Apr 25, 2019 at 21:57
  • @TangHo I would prefer not to use 纸钱 because it has ambiguous meaning of 冥币。
    – zyy
    Apr 25, 2019 at 22:26
  • 1
    "宋朝用了这个发明做纸钱 " was I quoting the OP's post, "宋朝用这个发明来制造纸币" is my correction to it
    – Tang Ho
    Apr 26, 2019 at 0:22

evidently "make money" in English does not mean "print money", for which may use http://www.iciba.com/print%20money 印钞票, 印刷货币 also find examples there, for vocabulary of paper money production in Chinese during Song Dynasty, google 宋代:印钞票, find e.g. http://collection.sina.com.cn/qbtd/2018-03-13/doc-ifyscsmv0588158.shtml 钞票不断印制


does the word "纸钱“ effectively express the idea of paper money, like bills, or does it just sound strange?

Yes it is strange in this case. (Chinese explanation for now, will edit soon.) 纸钱有冥币的意思, 在祭祀鬼神先祖,祭奠逝去亲人时焚化。https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joss_paper https://zh.m.wikipedia.org/zh/紙錢 ,例:“烧纸钱”,陈毅的诗“捷报飞来当纸钱” https://baike.baidu.com/item/梅岭三章

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