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Chemistry term:

disproportionation

What is the Chinese translation of this?

The cambridge dictionary gave this:

disproportionate translate: 不成比例的;不相称的;太大(或太小)的

But I found this very unreliable.

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  • The dictionary definition is not the chemistry term; it's "disproportionate" in the sense of "lobby groups have a disproportionate influence on public policy".
    – Becky 李蓓
    Jul 4 at 0:42
  • Yes @Becky李蓓, exactly the reason why I was confused at first, r12 helped em outthough
    – DialFrost
    Jul 4 at 0:47
  • I think that the best translation only exists in the context. Since there is no any contextual clue, it is hard to give a good translation. Jul 5 at 11:35

3 Answers 3

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I found it in Dict.cn:

"disproportionation" - (noun) 歧化作用;不均;不相均;氢原子转形.

Example:

  • This reaction involves disproportionation of the aldehyde. - 这个反应就是醛的歧化作用。
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Where do you dig up these words? And how long is it since I sat in a chemistry lesson?!?

不成比例: disproportionate

不成比例的时间被用在一个话题上。
A disproportionate amount of time was devoted to one topic.

So, disproportionation is the noun form of disproportionate, "not in proportion".

In a disproportionation reaction, the same element is simultaneously oxidized and reduced. The decomposition reaction 2H₂O₂ → 2H₂O + O₂ is also a disproportionation reaction because O is reduced in forming H₂O and oxidized in forming O₂. Some disproportionation reactions are not decompositions, but they all involve the simultaneous oxidation and reduction of the same element.

I can't see what is not "in proportion" in the above reaction. 2 x (2 hydrogens share an electron with 1 oxygen) and 2 oxygens share 2 valence electrons make up the magic 8.

The Chinese term 歧化反应, (diverging reaction) "disproportionation reaction" just emphasises the the dual nature of "the simultaneous oxidation and reduction of the same element."

Personally, I think the English-speaking chemists should adopt the Chinese term!

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  • Technical terms are acquired knowledge. I can't make sense out of either the English or the Chinese term. Both terms are not intuitive to me. Why isn't it called self-redox reaction, which is one letter less than disproportionation?
    – joehua
    Jul 3 at 13:35
  • You are right about technical terms. How this phenomenon got the disproportionately long and unituitive name “disproportionation" is a mystery to me. "proportion" can mean "give". Maybe they just meant to say, "un-give the electrons" or "re-divvy up the electrons"
    – Pedroski
    Jul 3 at 22:51
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Google translate gives:

歧化

And Baidu gives:

歧化反应

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