We got this stamp as a gift. What does the Chinese characters translate to? It seems too long to just translate to "conscius" [sic].

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2 Answers 2


自觉的, just "self-conscious".

Note that, is seldom used today. It's an interchangeable character for (simplified Chinese) or (traditional Chinese), which means sense/feel.

PS: I think the one who made the stamp maybe didn't know Chinese. He or She might search conscius in an electronic dictionary and found the Chinese meaning 自觉的. However the translation can be greatly refined :)

  • 1
    Agreed, if it were me, I'll make it 自律.
    – Yu Hao
    Commented Jul 31, 2013 at 12:36
  • 1
    Maybe they didn't know English either? Conscious is the usual spelling :) Commented Jul 31, 2013 at 18:08
  • @YuHao Doesn't 自律 mean "(self-)disciplined"? Commented Jul 31, 2013 at 20:27
  • @StumpyJoePete Yes it does. As the natural purpose for self-consciousness. To avoid being superfluous, assuming the stamp maker wants to say 'self-conscious', it should be 自觉 without 的.
    – NS.X.
    Commented Aug 1, 2013 at 0:47
  • 1
    @StumpyJoePete cōnscius is Latin. And "conscius" is the name of their company.
    – Stan
    Commented Aug 1, 2013 at 6:18

As the others have noted it means 'self-conscious.' The 的 adds a meaning of "being self-conscious" or "having the property of being self-conscious."

However, 觉 is simplified but 覺 is traditional. This leads me to believe that the stamp was made from Japan/Japanese, since the same Chinese character when rendered in Japanese it looks like 覚.


This expression has basically the same meaning for both Chinese users of traditional and simplified and Japanese. (And probably Korean, though they would use 覺.)

  • Formally Japanese use too.
    – Stan
    Commented Aug 2, 2013 at 4:36
  • well... traditional characters are still widely used today. In Chinese mainland, you can most of the Calligraphy are in traditional Chinese characters. And in Taiwan and Hongkong, they don't have simplified Chinese, they keep using traditional Chinese. However, in China mainland, simplified characters are offcial
    – Yang
    Commented Aug 2, 2013 at 14:49
  • Speaking of the traditional set, Hong Kong uses a traditional set slightly older than the one used in Taiwan. You can see this in the use of: 為 (Taiwan) vs. 爲 (Hong Kong). You can also see this in the use of 神 where in Hong Kong the left radical is rendered as 示 and in Taiwan the left radical looks like a ネ. (I'm simulating these through a Japanese font...)
    – Kylon
    Commented Aug 2, 2013 at 20:53
  • I mean "Japanese use 覺 as a formal character too". Yes, Japanese use 覚 more often. BTW, if you don't @me, I can't see your message :)
    – Stan
    Commented Aug 3, 2013 at 10:36

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