There are two Chinese operatic terms that I'm looking at at the moment:

  • 二流
  • 倒板

Neither of these terms show up in any dictionary that I have gone through.

I have seen both translated just phonetically:

  • erliu
  • daoban

I'm not sure if there are better English equivalents for these terms though?

Any ideas?

  • Normal Chinese people would not know what they mean only by seeing the words, even with context. So I think phonetic translation might be good enough.
    – fefe
    Jun 12, 2019 at 6:15
  • >baike.baidu.com/item/%E5%80%92%E6%9D%BF/31285 倒板,是一种戏曲板式,也写作“导板” (lead-in meter)。多用以表达愤怒、激昂、悲痛的感情。
    – Tang Ho
    Jun 12, 2019 at 7:52

1 Answer 1


I would argue that it is wisest to simply transliterate (with Pinyin) with the Chinese characters included. As both these are specific terms with no equivalent in Western culture, transliteration with some explanation is best. For example:

erliu (二六, a medium tempo xipi tune)

daoban (倒板, literally "lead-in meter")

However, academic studies have provided standard translations:

二六 = two-six meter

倒板 = lead-in meter

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