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Questions tagged [history]

Questions related to the history of the Chinese language(s).

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Is "资治通鉴" still worthy to read now?

I am a native chinese speaker with a fine grasp of ancient language formalisms, so I have no problem in reading 资治通鉴 in 文言文 version. But I haven't read a lot of history books, especially chinese, ...
Yinuo An's user avatar
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57 views

Does shi 是 have multiple meanings between copula and cleft?

I'm very much a beginner here learning Chinese and am likely to use the wrong grammatical terminology. I know that you can use 是 to equate a subject to a subject complement (e.g. he is a student). But ...
edaniels's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
243 views

为什么「五二〇运动」没有别称「五廿运动」?

这里的「五二〇运动」,是指1947年5月20日这一天爆发的学生运动。 这个问题是我在看到「五卅运动」后想到的,这个发生在1925年5月30日。这说明这个事件是以日期命名的,同时,它也被称为「五三〇事件」。在日常行文中,一般以「五卅运动」为主。 然而,精确检索「五廿运动」,结果只有零星几个,并且都指向「臺大學生自覺運動」(1960年代发生的)。这个也是以日期(5月20日)命名的。...
Soriak's user avatar
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1 answer
83 views

What is a good Chinese encyclopedia about the life and work of mathematicians?

Nowadays, one would usually look up informations as referenced in the title in the Chinese version of Wikipedia. But still, as a professional reference for such information and as a supplement to the ...
Christoph Mark's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
160 views

Is there any evidence that 八 used to be pronounced bia?

I've heard from someone that 八 was at one point pronounced bia1 in old Mandarin. The topic came up when discussing the term biaji, a word for chewing loudly. I couldn't find any evidence for it, since ...
HAL's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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Translation of the official titles including 封王, 開府, 儀同

Here are some variants of the official titles I'm trying to translate : 封王開府/開府封王 儀同開府/開府儀同 開府儀同三司 Some contexts : 隋書‧卷十四 雜樂有西涼鼙舞、清樂、龜茲等。然吹笛、彈琵琶、五弦及歌舞之伎,自文襄以來,皆所愛好。至河清以後,傳習尤盛。後主唯賞胡戎樂,耽愛無已。於是繁手淫聲,...
Firmin Martin's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
166 views

So... what the heck was petunse / pih-tun-tsze / pai-tun-tsze / petuntse / patootie?

Good china is made with kaolin, clay with an ample amount of kaolinite. Wiki's pretty clear that “kaolin” derives—via 18th-century French Jesuit mangling of gāolǐngtǔ (高嶺土)—from the village of Gaoling ...
lly's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
279 views

Translation of the official title 王府率 (Tang dynasty)

I cannot find too much information about the official title 王府率, mentioned in the 舊唐書‧曹确傳 : 確精儒術,器識謹重,動循法度。懿宗以伶官李可及為威衛將軍,確執奏曰:「臣覽貞觀故事,太宗初定官品令,文武官共六百四十三員,顧謂房玄齡曰:『朕設此官員,以待賢士。工商雜色之流,假令術逾儕類,止可厚給財物,...
Firmin Martin's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
131 views

更: geng and jing

One of the less common meanings of 更 has to do with traditional Chinese time-keeping. There's a changing of the guard, and this is kept track of by hitting a drum or whatever. 更, extending from the ...
Stumpy Joe Pete's user avatar
0 votes
4 answers
104 views

Translation of Rothko's: We are for the large shape because it has the impact of the unequivocal

In response to a harsh critique of the Syrian Bull by a journalist, Adolph Gottlieb and Mark Rothko wrote a letter which contains the sentence: We are for the large shape because it has the impact of ...
Christoph Mark's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
59 views

Word request: Mensatüte

I would like to know the Chinese translation of the German word "Mensatüte". Explanation: German people who a bit older will remember the so-called "Wundertüte" from their ...
Christoph Mark's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
295 views

The origin of "goody-goodies are the thieves of virtue"

Does anyone know where I can find the origin of this quote? It is often attributed to Confucious, though I could only trace it back to Alan Watt(eg: https://truthlesstruth.wordpress.com/tag/alan-watts/...
HoaPhan's user avatar
  • 137
0 votes
2 answers
50 views

Translation: the aesthetics of dawn, die Ästhetik des Morgengrauens

What is the correct Chinese translation of: English: the aesthetics of dawn German: die Ästhetik des Morgengrauens Explanation: The aesthetics of dawn is one evoked on a philosophical level in the ...
Christoph Mark's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
60 views

Word request in Chinese: media transfer, media transformation

What is the correct Chinese translation of English: media transfer, media transformation German: Medientransfer, Medientransformation Explanation: By medium (plural: media) in this context, I mean ...
Christoph Mark's user avatar
0 votes
4 answers
107 views

Translation: Not ambiguity, but versatility!

I'm looking for a Chinese translation of this 格言: English: Not ambiguity, but versatility! German: Nicht Vieldeutigkeit, sondern Vielseitigkeit! What is meant with this to give context for a ...
Christoph Mark's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
83 views

Translation: Soft abstraction is not an ideal, it's a reconciliation!

I'm looking for a Chinese translation of this 格言: English: Soft abstraction is not an ideal, it's a reconciliation! German: Weiche Abstraktion ist kein Ideal, sondern eine Versöhnung! What is meant ...
Christoph Mark's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
122 views

On the Chinese translation of some words "by" Christopher Columbus

In the famous biography of Christopher Columbus by Jakob Wassermann, we find in Chapter 3 the frequently cited passage: Ich nenne mich Cristobal Colón, bin ein Seefahrer aus Genua und muß betteln, ...
Christoph Mark's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
89 views

What is the latest official document that describes simplification of radicals?

The document 《漢字簡化方案》 was published in 1956 by State Council of the People's Republic of China and it lists the simplification of some radicals in page 10 (see screenshot below). Here's the document ...
Rodrigo Morales's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
95 views

On the Chinese translation of some words by 歌德

I am curious about the official Chinese translation of a few words by 歌德. The first occurs on this webpage advertised as an aphorism, namely Man weicht der Welt nicht sicherer aus als durch die Kunst,...
Christoph Mark's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
489 views

When years are (or were) written using Hanzi numerals, what are the usual variants/options?

I believe that these days, years would be written almost all of the time using Western/Arabic numerals in the Gregorian calendar. But they must sometimes be written using the Hanzi numerals, e.g. in ...
hippietrail's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
126 views

关于一句鲁道夫·卡斯纳格言的中文翻译

According to a letter from Rilke to Magda von Hattingberg from the 16th-20th February 1914, Rudolf Kassner (his Chinese transliterations is 鲁道夫·卡斯纳 according to this Douban page) has coined a saying ...
Christoph Mark's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
69 views

About a passage from a published Chinese translation of Kafka's "The Trial"

According to Bing-AI, Kafka's novel "The trial" (German: "Der Prozess") was translated many times into Chinese by different translators and in different times up to only recently ...
Christoph Mark's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
72 views

About a chapter title from Adolf Wölfli's 简历

In the short 简历 (Lebensbeschreibung) of Adolf Wölfli (I don't know how the name of this artist is officially transliterated in Chinese publications - if you can help with this with a reference, it's a ...
Christoph Mark's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
500 views

About the origin of the quote 所爱隔山海,山海亦可平

A 网友 drew my attention to a quote which I find recorded in different variations online, e.g. on Baike Baidu as 所爱隔山海,山海亦可平. It's attributed there to a collection of works called 山木诗词全集. My question is:...
Christoph Mark's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
143 views

About the Chinese translation of two passages in the notes of Laurids Brigge by Rilke

According to Bing-AI, the notes of Laurid Brigge by Rilke were translated two times into Chinese (1986 and 2007), cf. screenshot. I am curious about the translation of two passages for my calligraphic ...
Christoph Mark's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
53 views

Trying to find information on this silk painting - Presumably from 1666, made for the Kangxi Emperor

This painting was presented to us as follows: “Xia Summer”. With seals“Chen Quan Xi” and “Nam Ping Kangshi”. Dated 1666. I've figured out that this does refer to 'The year of the Fire Horse' which ...
Jordaens's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
158 views

西海 vs 东海 in literature

In Chinese literature, poetry, song, etc. 西海 is used more often than 东海. Is it because 西 in Chinese literature more romantic than 东? For example if I compose a poem, would it be weird if I use 东海 ...
EmilyJ's user avatar
  • 509
0 votes
3 answers
286 views

Why does 黄牛 mean scalper?

What is the history of the word 黄牛 meaning scalper? MDBG defines it like this:
rhughes's user avatar
  • 462
1 vote
1 answer
121 views

What poem of 李太白 was 毛泽东's painting with the title "half sun, half rock" alluding to?

I'm reading the book "Red Star over China" by Edgar Snow. In the autobiography 毛泽东 reported to Snow, in the passage about his teacher's education in a school in 长沙, it is said that he once ...
Christoph Mark's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
932 views

Word for “planet”

This Wiktionary article mentions that the term for “planet” is 行星 and that it was “[c]oined by Alexander Wylie and Li Shanlan in 1859,” from characters meaning “travel” and “star,” which makes sense ...
Pierre Paquette's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
127 views

Where to find official documents that introduce the Wubi 86 input method?

Table of contents The context The input method I'm learning Variant Chinese characters Font used by the creator of Wubi 86 The version of Wubi I'm learning What I'm looking for The question The ...
Rodrigo Morales's user avatar
1 vote
4 answers
280 views

How did Chinese develop so many different classifiers?

One of the weirdest things about Chinese is the classifier. It's 一栋楼, not 一个楼, and 一只鱼, not 一个鱼. My question is: how (and why) did Chinese develop so many different classifiers? It makes sense to me ...
mucube's user avatar
  • 106
0 votes
1 answer
85 views

Where to find official documents that introduce the four-corner input method?

Table of contents The context Information about the input method The questions The context I'm interested in learning how to use the Four-Corner Method. I've started making some graphics of the ...
Rodrigo Morales's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
170 views

The Chinese readings of 朴 (Korean surname)

The character 朴 is used in modern Mandarin in the following ways: pò 朴樹 'Chinese hackberry, Celtis sinensis', 厚朴 'Magnolia officinalis'. pǔ [simplified from 樸] 'simple, plain, rough, unpolished'. ...
Alexander Z.'s user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
316 views

What’s the deal with the xing-type readings for 行?

How come did the readings of the xing-category appear for 行? They make no sense. The Early Middle Chinese for “to walk” is γæng, which should give héng – and so it does, in 胻, 蘅, 桁 – even with the ...
Alexander Z.'s user avatar
  • 1,031
4 votes
3 answers
63 views

Interpreting a line from Li Shangyin -- 鶯花啼又笑

The full poem is as follows: 早起 風露澹清晨 簾間獨起人 鶯花啼又笑 畢竟是誰春 I was discussing this with a friend who speaks Chinese, and they translated this line: 鶯花啼又笑 as "Birds and flowers cry and laugh". ...
Persimmon_Leaves's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
85 views

Historical background in 《亮剑》 relating to organization of National Revolutionary Army

I am trying to understand the exact meaning of the military terms used in the text at the very beginning of the first episode of the show 亮剑 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WAnpfEbR5s), and in ...
babu_babu's user avatar
  • 169
1 vote
4 answers
221 views

Why does 即使 mean even if?

Usually when two characters combine I can puzzle through how they obtained their combined meaning. However, even after years of study I have no idea why 即使 means even if. I’m looking to better ...
Grant Curell's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
189 views

A Cantonese-influenced Old National Pronunciation (老國音) system

I need advice/help on creating a system similar to the Old National Pronunciation system/language for a worldbuilding project called Roses, Tulips, and Liberty. Some background: Imagines, it's a world ...
Omar 's user avatar
  • 41
-3 votes
1 answer
204 views

Who is the creator of Chinese language?

Who is the creator of Chinese language? When I googled "Who is the creator of Chinese language?" it didn't show what I expected. I will be very grateful for any answers.
My Car's user avatar
  • 145
1 vote
1 answer
56 views

Who was 赵王 after 赵奢 in 赵国?

This is from the Standard Course Book of HSK5, chapter 15: 几年后,赵奢去世了。这一年正好秦国军队来打赵国,赵国派老将廉颇带20万大军迎战。 ... 这时,赵王正因廉颇闭门不战而生气呢,听到外面的那些谣言,果然上当了,他派赵括去换回廉颇。 So I wonder, who was 赵王 after 赵奢 in 赵国? Did he have ...
Konstantinos's user avatar
  • 1,307
2 votes
3 answers
305 views

What language did 咖啡 reach Chinese from?

"Coffee" is originally an Arabic word that reached the English language through Turkish at some point in the 16th century. Does anyone know the history of the word 咖啡 in Chinese? When did it ...
Buddy L's user avatar
  • 892
6 votes
4 answers
897 views

What are the oracle-bone characters for 后 and 司 which led to confusion in naming 司母戊鼎 (or 后母戊鼎)?

My grade-7 Chinese history textbook describes the gigantic bronze ding called 司母戊鼎, and adds a footnote saying it's also called 后母戊鼎: (alternative image source: 1 2) Wikipedia writes: The ...
Becky 李蓓's user avatar
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1 vote
3 answers
343 views

Why is it 放学 and 下班, instead of 放班 or 下学?

I know that there is also the variant 放工 but I don't think this is typical usage. The use of 下 is so common, but yet in the instance of a school we use 放 instead.
eancu's user avatar
  • 51
1 vote
1 answer
296 views

Is Chinese language influenced by sanskrit and vice versa?

India and China are neighboring countries, in ancient India sanskrit was spoken and in ancient China Chinese was spoken. So could these two languages have influenced each other in any way.
Dark Knight's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
3k views

Is the number 4 really considered unlucky because it sounds similar to the word for "death"?

From what I've Googled so far, there are lots of claims that the number 4 is considered unlucky in Chinese. 四 is understandably considered unlucky in Japanese and Korean because it sounds identical to ...
Vun-Hugh Vaw's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
1k views

Is it fair to assume that 站 and 占 are the same word?

It seems that the meanings "to stand" and "to occupy" are semantically related, and considering the pronunciation is exactly the same, is it fair to assume that the difference in ...
Buddy L's user avatar
  • 892
2 votes
2 answers
107 views

What is the origin of 名堂?Compound or loanword?

Does anyone know of the origin of this word? It feels like it must be a loan word from another language as I can't find the semantic connection to 名 and 堂。Any ideas?
Buddy L's user avatar
  • 892
3 votes
1 answer
177 views

How/why was western-style punctuation inherited into Mandarin?

How was it decided what aspects of Western language Mandarin would inherit and why? Ex: Western punctuation (! . ?), left to right writing style (in the mainland at least), pinyin vs bopomofo, etc. ...
Grant Curell's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
157 views

女 in 嫩 : combining characters

So I just learned a new vocabulary called 嫩. An example from a YouTube channel was given as 这块儿牛肉非常嫩 to mean “This piece of beef is very tender”. As I understand many Chinese characters can come ...
EmilyJ's user avatar
  • 509