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The recent news says that a number of highly skilled masters in China were titled 大国工匠.

but in this phrase, it just means a craftsman of a big country, which may imply whoever can be this regardless of his skill, but I know what is intended is these are great men of a big country, with emphasis laid on the high level of the skill, so the adjective 大 is for the man, not for the country, hence it should be 国大工匠.

Am I right, ladies and gentlemen?

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  • In general, "国之大匠" should be a great honor for the craftsmen. However, it is "politically correct" to call them 大国工匠 - great country's craftsmen.
    – r13
    Mar 10, 2023 at 3:31

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大国工匠 means "A craftsman of a great country", presuming everything is great in a great nation, a craftsman titled "nation's craftsman" is also presumingly representing the great country.

The real meaning of the title is "A craftsman worthy of (skill enough to) represent a great nation"

Note: 中国工匠 simply means "Chinese craftsman", not a craftsman who can represent China, while 中国国家級工匠 does mean this craftsman can represent China

A more common phrase: 大国風範 (Greart nation's demeanor) also didn't state it is good or bad demeanor, but being a great nation, its demeanor is always presumed to be the most honorable kind

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  • How about the skilled workers like the watch makers in Switzerland, a very small nation? Mar 10, 2023 at 8:17
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    A great nation can be small in size England once had an empire. And Switzerland is a great nation famous for its watch making
    – Tang Ho
    Mar 10, 2023 at 11:05

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