I'm trying to write this in Chinese:

"Knowledge is a subset of true beliefs."

But I can't find a proper word for "beliefs."

Notice that 信仰 is faith. Faith has religious connotations; belief is neutral.

  • 1
    信心 is the word you're looking for here, I would translate the above sentence as 知识是真信心的基础 - I switched 'base' or 'basis' in for 'subset' as I don't think subset would translate super clearly into Chinese.
    – Mou某
    Sep 3, 2014 at 9:16
  • 1
    How about 信念? Anyway I can't understand the meaning of the whole sentence.
    – user4072
    Sep 3, 2014 at 9:25
  • 1
    @GeorgeChen you seem to have a pretty poor grasp of Chinese - you might want to accept what people tell you instead of fighting it each time.
    – Mou某
    Sep 3, 2014 at 9:42
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    From the whole sentence's meaning, you might say 知识是正确认知(看法 or 认识 or ...)的一个子集, no need stuck with one word's translation. BTW: According to here, true belief is translated as 真信念.
    – user4072
    Sep 3, 2014 at 9:56
  • 2
    true belief is a proper noun, so if 真信念 is the most popular translation, It's OK. People will understand it.
    – user4072
    Sep 3, 2014 at 10:05

2 Answers 2


I would say:

知識是一種信念, 但信念不必是知識.

I thus translate it because of the following reasons.

1) A belief is something that is not tested or proved.

2) Knowledge in natural sciences is something that passes lots of tests. But, it is still to a certain extent a belief; for there is no way to be sure that knowledge in natural sciences will not be disputed by new evidence.

Therefore, knowledge can be viewed as the collection of tested beliefs.

  • @GeorgeChen: Welcome. But by "first translation" do you mean "知識是信念的子集"? Isn't it just a verbatim translation :)
    – Yes
    Sep 7, 2014 at 3:59
  • Yes, the one in my inbox is definitely better. Sep 7, 2014 at 7:41
  • I only had problem with the translation of belief. It's hard to avoid religious connotation. Sep 7, 2014 at 8:09

If you are referring to the meaning of followed picture, maybe you can say "知识是客观事实和主观认知交集的子集".

enter image description here

  • This seems a pretty boring translation...
    – dumduke
    Sep 3, 2014 at 9:33
  • You know exactly my context. But the translation is way off. 客观事实 is facts, not truths. 主观认知 if that is belief, that must be newly invented word. Sep 3, 2014 at 9:37
  • That picture is wrong too. truths is a subset of beliefs, knowledge is a subset of truths. More succinctly, true or false is a property of beliefs and knowledge is a subset of true beliefs. But I'm curious where you get it? Sep 3, 2014 at 9:41
  • I swear I didn't down vote you, @caffHuang. I appreciate your participation. Sep 3, 2014 at 9:42
  • The picture came from Wikipedia. I'm not convenient to get the page URL right now. You should can find it easily by querying the sentence you want translate.
    – dumduke
    Sep 3, 2014 at 10:16

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