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What title did Qing China use for the US president, given that US presidents are periodically "deposed"? Certainly not 王 as the office is not hereditary and could not be held for life.

I am looking for translations used by the Qing government, and also other translations used by writers of the era (in literature, newspapers, correspondence, etc).

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Formally, the Chinese title was President - that is, the English word President was transliterated into Chinese as 伯理璽天德. From the Treaty of Wanghia (望廈條約):

以上關涉太平、和好、貿易、海面各款條約,應候各大臣奏明大清大皇帝批准,大合眾國大伯理璽天德既得各國選舉國會長公會大臣議定允肯批准...

The present Treaty of peace, amity, and commerce, shall be ratified and approved by the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate thereof, and by the August Sovereign of the Ta Tsing Empire...

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  • Are you aware of other titles? I vaguely remember having read that there were a dozen or so different titles that had been used to refer to US presidents in literature, newspapers, etc. – Flux Feb 5 at 7:03
  • @Flux I can't find any. There is 伯理, which is just the first two characters of 伯理璽天德, then there is the word 總統(領), which is really just the modern word - these were used in less formal contexts during the Qing. – dROOOze Feb 5 at 7:24
  • What language would this have been? It certainly doesn’t sound like persistent in msm. I mean, probably some form of 官话 but still...? – Mo. Feb 5 at 14:47
  • @user3306356 you mean President? bo-li-xi-ten-de has all the necessary consonants to approximate president (b l x t d > p r s d t). You're right though, Qing Dynasty is slightly different from MSM. – dROOOze Feb 5 at 14:48
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depends on the original texts, here’re some:

in 瀛環志略 卷九

governor of state is “統領”, while president of the united states is “總統領“ (i suspected it’s the origin of “總統”

enter image description here

in 合省國說,the president is just “統領”

in 遐邇貫珍,governor of state is “總憲”, while president of the united states is “合郡國主“

enter image description here

in 海國圖說 卷五十九:

governor of state is “首領”, while president of the united states is “統領”

enter image description here

there should be more, have fun :)

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