How to say 公德心 in English? I am not looking for explanation. I am looking for translation.

Similar words for 没有公德心 is selfish, thoughtless, disregard, and don't care about other people. But none of this relates to public and social order, and none of this is a virtue.

Is there a proper and popular word for it? Or in English there is just no such word?

  • not quite but might be correct
    – eey
    Sep 24, 2022 at 5:13

4 Answers 4


公德心 mostly refers to 對公眾利益的尊重 (respect/ mindfulness for the public interest).

For example, not littering, not damage public property, not making noise in the early morning are all for the public interest

The public interest is also your interest -- you are a part of the public.


公德心 in English means "civic consciousness"

  • Is this a common usage?
    – Superuser
    Oct 12, 2020 at 6:28
  • Civic consciousness = 公民意识 = know your role and duty as a citizen. Remember to vote, willing to pay tax, voice your opinion on social issues, and so on. And having 公德心 is also a part of 公民意识
    – Tang Ho
    Oct 14, 2020 at 21:56

公德 can not be regarded as any form of law or order.

It is the code of conduct based on social consensuses without being written down. It might have mutual ground with law or regulations but mostly, it emphasize "understood and accepted" moral standard.

In Chinese, we like to use XX心 to describe people who have the awareness and senses, also bear in mind of "xx". It is entirely neutral. The denotation depends purely on the usage of the "xx".

  • 3
    You didn't answer the OPs question which is what it is in English.
    – dan
    Oct 12, 2020 at 2:44

公德心: public spirit

Be public spirited, without party or faction.

Wear a low cut dress, then use your hands to cover your bosom, not very public spirited. :)

  • Is this a rare usage?
    – Superuser
    Oct 12, 2020 at 6:09
  • No, not at all, very common. If you do something selfless, altruistic, for the good of someone, some group, or society as a whole, I might say "That was very public-spirited of you."
    – Pedroski
    Oct 12, 2020 at 8:26
  • 1
    I am a native speaker and I have never heard "public spirited" before. Does it mean something like "altruistic" or "humanitarian"? Oct 12, 2020 at 8:59
  • Really? Had to believe! You are joking of course! You may consult any dictionary or thesaurus!Or jusr enter public-spirited in a search engine! Try it! "Public-spirited is from 1670s."
    – Pedroski
    Oct 12, 2020 at 22:16

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