Talk:Junk (ship)

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Unit conversion[edit]

... junks capable of carrying 700 people together with 260 tons of cargo

The original Chinese text reads:

  • 大者二十餘丈,
    • The larger ones are over 20 "丈" long,
  • 高去水三二丈,
    • and above the water for 3 to 2 "丈",
  • 望之如閣道,
    • they are like houses,
  • 载六、七百人,
    • and are carrying 6-700 people,
  • 物出萬斛。
    • and are carrying more than 10,000 "斛" of cargo.

The Chinese characters are ancient units. We know very little about these units. Even if we could find a definition somewhere, the ship owner could had lied. Let's say you were a business man who wanted to hire a ship, what would the ship owner tell you? Lies, bloody lies. Yes, this ship could carry 10,000 "斛" of cargo, ... it could sink if there's any wind. Do not believe in these dead people's words. -- Toytoy 15:04, Apr 18, 2005 (UTC)

I agree for the units, although the numbers are based on estimates made by specialists. At least the "units" for counting people have not changed through time: 600 to 700 people on a boat does indicate quite a big-sized ship. Of course even historians could lie, but Chinese historians later than the 2nd century BCE do have a record for precision, and there is indeed a pattern of large Chinese ships throughout 2 millenia. Thanks for the feedback PHG 12:16, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Place names[edit]

... ships with seven masts, travelling as far as Syria.

I don't know if the original text was "大秦" (Daqin) and its translator was Friedrich Hirth of 19th century. Anyway, some place names are still in debate as of today. Please be careful. -- Toytoy 03:30, Apr 19, 2005 (UTC)

Does the original text indeed say Daqin? Do you have the quote? I am very interested, especially for the article Sino-Roman relations. Regards PHG 12:16, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)


The English name comes from Malay dgong or jong.

I checked the OED, it did not say anything about its origin but it includes some quotes:

1. a. Naut. An old or inferior cable or rope; usually old junk. Obs.

  • 1485 Naval Acc. Hen. VII (1896) 49 Hausers grete and small..iij, Jonkes..iiij. Ibid. 55 Olde Jonkes..iiij.
  • 1600 HAKLUYT Voy. (1810) III, We only roade by an old iunke.
  • 1622 SIR R. HAWKINS Voy. S. Sea (1847) 155 Peeces of a Junke or rope chopped very small.
  • 1626 CAPT. SMITH Accid. Yng. Seamen 16 Cables, hawsers or streame cables when that way vnseruiceable, they serue for Iunkes, fendors and braded plackets for brests of defence.
  • 1627 Seaman's Gram. vii. 30 Fenders are peeces of old Hawsers called Iunkes.
  • 1769 NEWLAND in Phil. Trans. LXII. 86 You may make your ship fast with any old junk.

b. A piece of old cable used in making a fender, etc. Obs.

[1626-7: see 1.] a

  • 1642 SIR W. MONSON Naval Tracts (1704) III. 374/1, I advise, that..the uppermost part of the Ship be arm'd with Junks of Cables.
  • 1716 Glossogr. Nova, Bongrace, to Mariners is a Frame of old Ropes or Juncks of Cables, laid out at the Bows, Stems, and Sides of preserve them from Damage of great Flakes of Ice.

junk, n.2

A name for the common type of native sailing vessel in the Chinese seas. It is flat-bottomed, has a square prow, prominent stem, full stern, the rudder suspended, and carries lug-sails.

The name is now applied to Chinese, Japanese, Okinawan, Thai, and other vessels of this type; early writers applied it still more widely to Malay, Javan, and even South Indian native vessels.

  • [1555 EDEN Decades 215 [from It. of Pigafetta] From the whiche Ilandes [Moluccas] they are brought [to India] in shyps or barkes made withowt any iren tooles... These barkes they caule Giunche.
  • 1588 PARKE tr. Mendoza's Hist. China I. III. xxi. 115 Such ships as they haue to saile long voiages be called Iuncos.]
  • 1613 PURCHAS Pilgrimage, Descr. India (1864) 54 The viceroy having two ships sent him for supply, two Iunkes, eight or ten boates.
  • 1634 SIR T. HERBERT Trav. 184 We espied a Malabar Juncke of seventie Tunnes, bound for Acheen in Sumatra.
  • 1697 W. DAMPIER Voy. (1729) I. 396 The Chinese..have always hideous Idols on board their Jonks or Ships.
  • 1720 DE FOE Capt. Singleton xiv. (1840) 237 A Dutch junk, or vessel, going to Amboyna.
  • 1773 Gentl. Mag. XLIII. 332 The Chinese junks and boats..were most of them sunk.
  • 1813 J. BURNEY Discov. S. Sea III. x. 255 The unwieldiness of the Chinese jonks.
  • 1853 HAWTHORNE Eng. Note-Bks. (1883) I. 442 All manner of odd-looking craft, but none so odd as the Chinese junk.


  • 1634 SIR T. HERBERT Trav. 27 A Junck-man of Warre full of desperate Malabars.
  • 1880 I. L. BIRD Japan II. 320 The total junk navy is 468,750 tons.
BTW the word for 舟 is pronounced "zung" (sounds like joong) in the dioziu dialect, and I can assume that it's very similar if not the same in hokkien and other southern min dialects. I have always thought that the word came from that. But that was without knowing there were malay words that are similar. ~anonymous
I'm curious about the etymology as well; since Junk / Jonk meaning an old piece of rope was a nautical term since 1353 per this link. While I'll admit that its my own OR, I'd believe that the boat term was created when western sailors saw how much rope was used in the junk rig (and due to the quantity required, it was probably lots of old pieces).
Why was the following passage taken out entirely? It seems... well, useful. Even if the etymology is specious, the Chinese language equivalents are important:
The word junk comes to English from Malay jong, ajong, which is from Chinesecún / tsún (Minnan), chuán (Mandarin), boat, ship, junk. The Chinese word for an ocean-going junk is 艚 cáo. --grant (talk) 17:06, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
I’d say the reason it was taken out is that it is very unlikely to be true. The OED does mention the theory, but also flat-out states that there is no connection between the Chinese word 船 and the Javanese word djong. Moreover, the pronunciation given in the current version of the page, [dzuːŋ], is … well … strange, to say the least. There is no sign that this word ever had a velar nasal at the end: Japanese onyomi is sen (would probably have been if there had been a velar involved). Karlgren’s reconstruction for the EMC form is *ɗi̯wan (Tōdō reconstructs *diuə̆n), both with no velar. The link between the Chinese word and the Javanese one seems to be entirely made up. Kokoshneta (talk) 01:23, 12 January 2014 (UTC)

I've taken out the following passage because I'm not sure this article needs a discussion of phonetic drift:

As the letter u can also be pronounced as -oo- in English (like the word June), and for some unknown reason (possibly a very common phenomenon called phonetic mutation or even a slight Mondegreen), the final g was written in k, and the whole word was written as junk.: -grant (talk) 18:07, 15 June 2010 (UTC)


Fascinating article, but I have one small problem:

Junk employed rudders centuries before their adoption in the West. The world's oldest known depiction of a rudder can be seen on a pottery model of a junk dating from the 1st century CE. By contrast, the West's oldest known rudder can be found on church carvings dating to around 1180.

This is basically not true; to make it true we have to use the word "rudder" to refer to two different steering mechanisms whilst excluding all other steering devices:

  • Rudders in general are at least thousands of years older than this, in the West and elsewhere. We have clear examples of quarter-rudders—rudders mounted on the quarters of a ship—from c. 2500 BC in Egypt, in the form of artwork, wooden models, and even remains of actual boats. (Some older references call these "steering oars", implying that they were attached at only one point like a sculling oar, but the evidence is that they were attached at multiple points and hence a true rudder.)
  • Even stern mounted rudders are known from the Middle Kingdom of Egypt (1986 BC to 1633 BC). Those rudders, however, were not the pintle-and-gudgeon sternpost rudders we mean today — but then, neither are the rudders of early junks.
  • The evidence is that the modern re-introduction of stern-mounted rudders was indepdently invented three times, because the Chinese, North European and Arabic systems actually work in three quite different ways, and are similar only in the position of the rudder at the stern of the ship. The thing we usually mean by "rudder" today, the sternpost pintle and gudgeon rudder, was invented in Northern Europe in the twelfth century. It is not at all similar to those used on junks.
  • Because these rudders are universal on large modern vessels, it is often assumed that they are significantly superior to quarter rudders; this is not the case. All else being equal, quarter-rudders generate significantly more turning moment for a given blade chord, are easier to maintain and repair, less likely to be damaged, and provide finer control. The real reasons for the eventual triumph of the pintle and gudgeon rudder are complex, and detailed in an excellent reference on this subject, the thesis of Lawrence V. Mott, The development of the rudder, AD 100-1600: A technological tale, Texas A&M, May 1991.

-- Securiger 10:17, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Abstract and full text in PDF. -- Toytoy 15:44, Apr 19, 2005 (UTC)
So, to be precise, should we be talking of this innovation as the "pintle-and-gudgeon rudder" or "stern-post rudder", "which supplanted the quarter rudder in Europe in the 14th century, and permitted the steering of ships of bigger size"? The "independant invention" thesis seems rather questionable since there were so many exchanges between Europe, the Arab World and China during the 12th-14th centuries (Ibn Battuta, Marco Polo, who describe Chinese ships in details, and many others). My source for the Chinese influence on rudder design is the book "The Genius of China, 3000 years of science, discovery and invention" by Robert Temple, although it does not go into technical details. PHG 21:48, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)
To be precise, the "pintle-and-gudgeon rudder" is the thing that was invented in Europe in twelfth century and supplanted quarter rudders in Northern Europe in the 14th, and much later in the Mediterranean. "Stern-post rudder" is a much vaguer term, which includes P&G rudders but is not restricted to them. The rudder on junks is not a "pintle-and-gudgeon rudder". It would be a stern-post rudder, except that junks don't have a stern-post!
I think you misunderstand the argument for independent invention. Yes, it is true there was cultural exchange between these regions, and they could have copied each others' designs. But they didn't! The European stern-post rudder, the Arabic stern-post rudder, and the Chinese stern-post, erm, stern rudder, are very different designs, which show no sign of being derived from one another. The only similarities are that they are mounted at the stern, and incorporate a movable blade (which of course is pretty well essential for a rudder). The mechanisms of mounting, rotating, controlling, construction and shipping and unshipping for maintenance are all about as far apart as you can get within the design parameters.
BTW, the PDF file of that thesis is 24 MB, but it is well worth the download if you are interested in this sort of thing. Mott has pretty well canvassed, and then surpassed, all other research on the subject IMHO. Absolutely fascinating. -- Securiger 20:21, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for the thesis, it is indeed very interesting. What is clear from it is that actual stern-mounted rudders (pintle-and-gudgeon system) appeared in the West in the 11th century (the Egyptian example is only an oar thrown over the aft). In contrast, stern-mounted rudders (hung system) are recorded in China from the 1st century (detailed in Junk (sailing), source: Robert Temple), which is 1000 years earlier. So maybe the phrase in the text should be:
"Junks employed stern-mounted rudders centuries before their adoption in the West. The world's oldest known depiction of a stern-mounted rudder can be seen on a pottery model of a junk dating from the 1st century CE. By contrast, the West's oldest known stern-mounted rudder can be found on church carvings dating to around 1180.
I will make that change if everybody is OK with it.
Regarding the transmission, clearly nothing is proven, and the author of the thesis explains that maybe the idea of the stern-mounted rudder was transmitted from China, but probably not the actual mechanism. That's fair enough. Thanks for the feedback. PHG 12:06, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I'd like to add an interesting technical note about junk rudders. I'm also a Wikipedia newbie, so please excuse if I'm going about this wrong. I once read a technical analysis of junks done or sponsored by the Navy in about 1960-62 (I will try to track down the original source). The following is from my recollection of the article; I have no expertise in this area myself. The paper noted among other things that junk rudders have holes in them. This was considered odd until some experiments showed that this effectively reduced the tendency of the rudder to 'stall', so the rudder was more effective at high angles of attack. This ancient technological feature is still not regularly used in "Western" design craft to my knowledge. This was one of several empirically-designed characteristics that turned out to have valid rationales from modern physics and fluid dynamics. Gar37bic 02:46, 16 July 2007 (UTC)


I wouldn't dream of meddling with such apparently expert articles, but a reduction of material that also appears in the articles Zheng He and Junk Keying articles would probably be appropriate. --Ahruman 00:14, May 18, 2005 (UTC)

Don't want to meddle either, but perhaps it is worth noting that centerboards were also known to the Indins in the Americas. And thus, diffsuion to the "Dutch and Portuguese" could have come from their example.

Watertight Holds[edit]

Seems to me the discussion under design, that watertight holds were a myth, is contradicted under history, 14th century, by the quote from Niccolo Da Conti. Is this a conflict, or is da Conti's comment merely out of context to his intent? 'Intact' certainly suggests 'not water damaged'. Is there a good source for the watertight idea being a myth?ThuranX 05:15, 26 March 2006 (UTC)

Why is there edits on the lack of watertight compartments in junks? Limber holes and watertight compartments can coexist easily, although the usefulness of limber holes would be minimized. By discarding foreign outlooks on the existence of watertight compartments just by assuming that they looked "not too closely" is way from enough.

Here's a quote from Marco Polo to prove my point: : ‘so that if by accident the ship is staved in one place, namely that whether it strikes a rock, or a whale-fish striking against it in search of food staves it in … the water cannot pass from one hold to another.'

" It was an innovation which permitted the steering of large, high-freeboard ships, though the system of mounting was chronically weak and required large numbers of crew to control in strong weather."

According to Needleham, a reasonably large cargo ship of the Yangtze have a rudder that needs "as many as 3 men to handle in a difficult rapid". That would not be considered "large numbers of the crew", so I'll delete it. Also the fact that rudders were never said to be "weak" but was in fact the exact opposite. Primary sources say that it was indeed the strongest part of the junk, not the weakest part. I'll change that too.

I took out the "(obviously not too closely)" in the sentence " and he acknowledged that he had got the idea of watertight compartments by looking (obviously not too closely) at Chinese junks there. ".

It is not neccessary since only some historians debate whether the junks had water tight compartments. Most historians do believe they did have water tight compartments due to blueprints from the Ming dynasty so I will stick to the general consensus.


Size of Zheng He's ships[edit]

The article treats the sizes as given facts and does not reflect at all the fact that all these numbers are just speculation. In fact, by any measure we have, the size of the ships, particularly of the Treasures ships, must be blown out of proportion. See Largest wooden ships. Gun Powder Ma 01:42, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

The article reflects uncritically the dimensions given by ancient sources and fails to take into consideration modern scholarship which favours far smaller sizes. See zheng he. Regards Gun Powder Ma 23:58, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
Counter. Modern scholarship by Louise Levanthes,et al, points towards a ship size of the treasure junks at 400-440 feet ("When China Ruled the Seas" pg. 80). Others, particularly Prof. Edward Dreyer of the University of Miami have approved of the ship sizes as being factual range probabilities, not technical impossibilities ("Journal of Asian Studies" - Vol. 54, No. 1, pp 198-199). Joseph Needham, as well, had pointed towards treasure ships in the 400-500 ft range. Therefore, based on their research and modern translations into modern units as well as the rudder posts unearthed at Longjiang, the treasure ship sizes of 400 ft or longer are both plausible and, in all likelihood, probable. Kairn012 02:55, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

Copyright query re 14th century junks (Yuan Dynasty)[edit]

Are the Ibn Battutah quotations free of copyright? Parts of them match word for word The Travels of Ibn Battutah edited by Tim Mackintosh-Smith (ISBN 0 330 49113X). He claims copyright for his foreward (not quoted in this Wikipedia article), not for the text which he abridged from the translation by Professors Hamilton Gibb and C.F. Beckingham and for that The Hakluyt Society holds copyright.--SilasW 20:35, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

Chinese name[edit]

The article needs the Chinese name of this type of ship. Chinese Wikipedia gives 中国帆船. Badagnani (talk) 23:59, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

Text contradicts illustration[edit]

The text states that the medieval Chinese junk could sail against the wind, but the illustration shows that it is primarily propelled by rowers. Why are they rowing if the ship could beat against the wind? Ibn Battuta (Travels of Ibn Battuta) writes that the medieval Chinese junk only used its sails when the winds were favourable, and rowers when the winds were unfavourable. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:03, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

I wonder whether someone was confused between the sailing characteristics of the junk rig and the sailing characteristics of junks themselves. It's entirely plausible that junk rigs would enable the vessel to point closer to the wind than square rigs, but that junks themselves might not sail well upwind due to their hull shape. Indeed, my International Maritime Dictionary (1961) says that "the frequent absence of keel in the junk does not permit it to work well to windward." (talk) 15:30, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
Color me skeptical; I grew up sailing a Sunfish (and other scow-like flat-bottomed boats with daggerboards) they sailed pretty close to the wind. I suppose the profile of the ship above the waterline might cause some wind resistance, but that's not really due to keellessness. Unless the IMD is referring to boats that only use the rudder (no daggerboard or leeboards) for lateral resistance - I vaguely remember reading that some junks have oversized rudders for that purpose. -- grant (talk) 16:57, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
Using an oversized rudder in place of keel/centerboard/daggerboard doesn't make sense to me--the resistance to leeward drift has to either be distributed over the entire bottom of the boat (as with the keel of a frigate, say) or be concentrated directly below the sails' center of effort. If the resistance is applied only at the stern, the boat will have such a lee helm that it will always tend to fall off. No? (talk) 13:34, 27 October 2011 (UTC)

I hope this helps.When sailing before the wind there is little or no need for lateral resistance forward so dagger or leeboards are shipped. When sailing to windward the leeboard or dagger board is lowered to provide more balance. Without some lateral resistance forward to balance the boat the lee helm is terrible. The holes in the aft and top sections of the rudder were no doubt an early attempt to improve this . The holes had the added benefit of reducing the weight of the rudder when it had to be raised for sailing in shallow waters. The cost of course, was awful laminar flow ie lots of turbulence around the rudder which would have slowed the boat down but this would have been hard to measure. They obviously considered shallow draft a very important factor. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:12, 10 June 2012 (UTC)

"The rig allows for good sailing into the wind (about 100 degrees) compared to a square rigger (about 130 degrees). Typically a junk could sail 30 degrees closer to the wind than a traditional square rigged ship." I don't understand this at all. If zero degrees is directly into the wind, and 180 degrees is directly down wind, then 100 degrees (or 130 degrees) is NOT sailing into the wind at all. Both are sailing down wind, on what is known as, I believe, a broad reach. Bog (talk) 04:16, 11 October 2013 (UTC) Update: I found the answer to this poser. The 100 degrees (and 130) refers to the TOTAL angle off the wind from both sides of directly into it. In other words, the junk can purportedly sail at an angle of 50 degrees on either side of the true wind direction. Should this be clarified in the article? Bog (talk) 03:39, 14 October 2013 (UTC)

In any case, I searched for anything I could use to rewrite this and having found nothing removed it. It was part of some major additions by an IP at [1] some of which were nonsense, eg the bit about Cromagnon's doing cave painting on the Indo-China cost. This I sourced back to a magazine (sorry, called it a book in error in my edit summary) later copied into a self-published book.[2] Despite some odd claims, the Cromagnon (an obsolete but still popular term) are European. He added some other unsourced stuff. Dougweller (talk) 09:44, 11 October 2013 (UTC)

Sail Diagram[edit]

I need a diagram of a junk sail that labels all the differant parts and stuff.

-Thanks —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:43, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

Leeboards & centerboards article comments on compass not being used inaccurrent?[edit]

The commment in the "Leeboards & Centerboard" section stating that before the 19th century most navigation "continued for the most part to be done by the wind, sun and stars" may have been true for the Chinese, but was not true for Europeans. The numerous compass bearings seen on 14th century Portlan Charts, as well as the remark quoted later in the article from the 15th century Frau Mauro map testifies to the importance of steering by magnetic compasses. (talk)gb —Preceding undated comment added 01:52, 28 January 2010 (UTC).

Translation of Frau Mauro map text from the medieval Italian[edit]

This translation from medieval Italian to modern English appears to have been made by a Wikipedia editor (no other reference is given) and is thus original research. This translation has allowed the editor to insert his/her own speculations: for example the improbable idea that "isole uerde" referred to the Cape Verde Islands in West Africa, thousands of miles north of the Cape of Good Hope. A story of a junk being blown off course from the Indian Ocean into the South Atlantic is one thing; a story that they then traveled thousands of miles further away from their intended route instead of sailing back to that route is quite another. Which story best corresponds to the medieval Italian text should be decided by credible sources, not by Wikipedia editors.

It's also questionable to use this source from the other side of the world, probably repeating second-or-worse-hand rumors, that relates a story about "Zoncho de India" alongside a story of a roc, in a section that suggests that it's about the factual history of junks rather than uncorroborated rumors or possibly fictional stories about them. A credible source (of the kind we should be quoting from) would provide multiple primary sources before making a strong claim about the historicity of this voyage. (talk) 05:40, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

Jong (Malay) vs Chuan (Chinese) - too far/different in terms of phonetics[edit]

Hi. I write this new talk section here compared to the above "Etymology" section because I intend to make it more specific regarding this dispute of the word "junk" (ship). I would also like to dispute the word "junk" came from Chinese language as detailed below:

BTW, the word "jong" existed in Sulalatus Salatin (also known as "Malay Annals" or "Sejarah Melayu") 17 times + 1 time as "jongnya" (means: 'his junk') which written text existed since the year 1356 CE and revised in 1612 CE . You may refer here:

The word "jong" means a large ship in the Malay ancient book dated since 1356. Below is an excerpt from Sulalatus Salatin of 17 + 1 times "jong" is mentioned on the ancient book:

"Maka baginda pun hairan serta dengan sukacitanya, seraya menyuruh menghiasi negeri. Maka segala kelengkapan Bintan, lancaran tiang tiga, selur, dendang dan jong diatur oranglah, semenjak dari Tanjung Rengas sampai ke Karas Besar tiada putus lagi kelengkapan Bintan, ..."

It is because the abundance of resources mention that the word "junk" originated from Malay word which is "jong" or "ajong". Even Oxford Dictionary (, Online Etymology Dictionary (, ( in Junk 2, and etc.

In addition, R.J. Wilkinson also did not relate the word "junk" origin with Chinese in his published dictionary "An Abridged Malay-English Dictionary (Romanised) By R.J. Wilkinson, F.M.S. Civil Service", dated 1908. He only mentions the origins of the words if they are borrowed from another languages.

Even John Crawfurd in his dictionary, "A Grammar And Dictionary Of The Malay Language", dated 1852, said the word "junk" originated from Malay word "jong". He also did not said that the word originated from Chinese at all but from Malay. (page xliv).

Other Wikipedia pages also listed "junk" as originally came from Malay/Javanese. No relations from Chinese at all. Please note that this is not about any or whatever "-centric", because this is about the majority of scholars' writings.

It is too much different and too far from its own phonetic spelling to conclude Malay word "jong" as came from Chinese word, as "Grant" (Wikipedian) said that in Chinese it is 船 cún / tsún (Minnan), chuán (Mandarin), boat, ship, junk; while the Chinese word for an ocean-going junk is 艚 cáo.

An anonymous said earlier in the "Etymology" section that the word for 舟 is pronounced "zung" (sounds like joong) in the dioziu (Teochew) dialect. Could it be influenced (loaned to southern dialects of China) by the teachings of Malay (Malacca) language in language teaching department established in China during Ming Dynasty in 15th century? FYI, Ming Chinese also recorded Malay vocabulary in Chinese-Malay dictionary during that times. It might influenced the Southern Chinese who learned Malay to communicate with peoples in South East Asia, because Malay language is a "lingua franca" since Srivijaya until Malacca Sultanate and continued until replaced by British's English circa. after the World War 2.

The Chinese-Malay dictionary was known as Ma La Jia Guo Yi Yu (Words-list of Melaka Kingdom) and contains 482 entries categorized into 17 fields namely astronomy, geography, seasons and times, plants, birds and animals, houses and palaces, human behaviours and bodies, gold and jewelleries, social and history, colours, measurements and general words. In the 16th century, the word-list is believed still in use in China when a royal archive official Yang Lin reviewed the record in 1560 CE.

In conclusion, "Chuan" and "Jong" are definitely different words. Both words are spelled differently and too far to relate them to have the same origin if we compare both words in terms of their phonetics. So both of them could not have any relation at all. Even majority scholars & resources agree that the word "junk" is a Malay word. Mr. Knows (talk) 10:35, 2 May 2013 (UTC)


I was watching a History Channel program on Youtube and they said that the old Chinese junks could carry 1500 tons of cargo. Does anyone know if that could be the case.....thanks. PS...I'm editing this to say that the 1500 ton number would represent more than the weight of three fully loaded high capacity versions of the Boeing 747.Longinus876 (talk) 14:06, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

Development dates[edit]

Contradictory statement in intro para:

"Junks were developed during the Song Dynasty (960-1129)[1] and were used as seagoing vessels as early as the 2nd century CE."

Seems strange that junks were seagoing vessels from the 100s onwards, but their 'development' only took place from 960s.

The cite for the first-mentioned dates is a print book I don't have access to. -- Centrepull (talk) 09:28, 6 April 2014 (UTC)

Traders and passengers[edit]

Ambiguous statement in the section on Asian Trade:

"These junks were usually three masted, and averaging between 200 and 800 tons in size, the largest ones having around 130 sailors, 130 traders and sometimes hundreds of passengers."

Hundreds of passengers in addition to 130 traders? Were the traders not counted amongst the passengers? -- Centrepull (talk) 10:46, 6 April 2014 (UTC)