Talk:Shanghai

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Former good article nominee Shanghai was a Geography and places good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
December 9, 2010 Good article nominee Not listed
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Which Demonym Is More Appropriate for Describing People of Shanghai[edit]

Just try to raise awareness of the correct form of the demonym. I doubt the word "Shanghainese" is acceptable to most Shanghai people. Various reasons as we may know. Also, using the word "Shanghaier" (kidnapper) in the wiki page of Shanghainese_people to describe Shanghai people nowadays is even more ridiculous. I suggest using "Shanghaian" which is not only grammatically correct, but also acceptable to the locals and more understandable to the foreigners. Also, there has been some talk about the name of the Shanghai language in the past years (see my recent comment in that talk section too). I think the demonym for Shanghai people deserves a good discussion here as well. --MakeItFair Hopefully (talk) 18:40, 10 March 2014 (UTC)

I think you misunderstand the purpose of Wikipedia. Wikipedia's policy is to use the most common terms of the English language, not to promote terms that are deemed more "correct". See WP:COMMONNAME. Whether we like it or not, Shanghainese is by far the most common demonym for Shanghai, and I've never seen any respectable media use the term "Shanghaian". -Zanhe (talk) 22:32, 10 March 2014 (UTC)
Aside from @Zanhe:'s correct observation that Wikipedia follows WP:COMMONNAME, "Shanghaian" with its three consecutive vowels does not scan well for the average English reader. The convention of using the "-ese" suffix in Chinese demonyms is also well-established : Taiwanese, Hainanese and Fujianese to name but three. ► Philg88 ◄ Star.pngtalk 04:08, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
Hey guys, thanks for the pointers. As all these recent demonyms for Shanghai people are arbitrarily "created" based on different understanding, it seems that only time will tell which one should prevail and become established. As mentioned in the wiki commonname policy, since there is no single obvious term based on which the editors can reach a consensus, we've got to live with a mixed use of all these, I'm afraid. However, I doubt that the evidence above can actually hold. For example, "Ghanaian" is a word with three consecutive vowels, let alone the well established "Hawaiian" with four vowels. Furthermore, as Taiwan, Hainan, Fujian are words ended with letter "n", it actually makes sense to append -ese to them, while it's not easy to justify this letter "n" showing up in "Shanghainese". So hopefully our discussion could raise awareness among concerned users. I will try to edit pages with more obvious errors like "Shanghaiers" in Shanghainese_people and Shanghainese_dialect when I have a chance. --MakeItFair Hopefully (talk) 19:23, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for @Zanhe:'s observation on the terms which I fully respect, while it is necessary to restate one point above that there is "Shanghaier" as the demonym for Shanghai after the word "Shanghai" FIRST, and then the British immigrants started to use the non-capitalized word "shanghai" as verb and "shanghaier" as noun for the meaning of "former custom of kidnapping sailors to man ships going to China" in later 1840s. It is same for Pekingese with a meaning of "a dog of a small breed developed in China, having a flat nose, a long straight coat, and a tail that curls over the back". It is quite common in English language to use a demonym to describe the local features, but no one city changes its demonym due to the above reasons, like putting the cart before the horse. English-language media did not start to use the word "Shanghainese" until late 1990s, mostly copied from then local media in Shanghai, with poor knowledge of English and created "-nese" suffix. Anyway, like "Hong Kongnese" is the most common demonym for Hong Kong, Hong Kong people still prefer to use "Hongkonger" as the demonym. Thus, both demonyms can exist to describe Hong Kong people as on the Wiki page of Hong Kong. -- Jeremyshih
WP:COMMONNAME stipulates that we use the most common term in English, regardless of its origin or "correctness". And Shanghainese is by far the most common term for describing the people and language of Shanghai. Google books returns 21,600 results for "Shanghainese", vs. only 87 for "Shanghaian", whereas almost all results for "Shanghaier" are in German. -Zanhe (talk) 20:16, 4 November 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Wow.

I know the main issue was already addressed but, for future editors, it may be important to note

  • MIF: A) No, the term 'Shanghainese' is not pejorative and, in years of living here, the Shanghainese have absolutely problem with it, any more than they have a problem with 'Chinese'. Its use is a standard part of students' English education, which is mandatory at most schools. The only issues locals have with the term—apart from all the baggage over cultural chauvinism w/r/t 'outsiders' and the 'New Shanghainese'—is that they want to use it as a countable noun in a similar fashion to Shanghairen/Zaanhening: "He's a Shanghainese" instead of just "He's Shanghainese".
    B) No, I don't really know why you think the term would be offensive. I'm sure eventually some fenqing will start a campaign to use "Zhongguonese", but Shanghai isn't even an exonym. The Chinese have no problem with it, except grammatically. (There are some Western scholars who object to -ese as 'orientalizing', but it's a little foreign precisely because the first reports on East Asia came in from Italians, Spaniards, and Portuguese. No one really thinks of 'Milanese' as insulting, except when they have opposing tastes in soccer teams.)
    C) No, Shanghaian is neither more correct nor more acceptable nor more understandable. It is, in fact, much less so on all counts.
    D) While Shanghai itself has only been important to English-speakers since the Opium Wars, the use of the -ese suffix to describe the peoples of East Asia goes back to the very first English translations of the Spanish and Portuguese voyages of discovery. They are nearly as old as actual descriptions of these places (beginning with Polo), other than via Latin, where the -ensis suffix was similarly used. This is not a "new" or "alternate" thing.
    E) The addition of an -n- is a phonetic kludge (possibly via one of the Romance languages, possibly via analogy with Chinese) and has no bearing at all upon the ubiquity of "Shanghainese" versus the cacophonous "Shanghaiese". Its very existence and popularity belies the idea that such a suffix "doesn't exist", at least in this case. You also have Hangzhounese, Suzhounese...
    F) In fine, "Shanghaian" violates WP:FRINGE, WP:NEOLOGISM, and any mention of it on the page would violate WP:UNDUE WEIGHT. If you can start to get people elsewhere to use it enough to start registering on ngram or something comparable on Scholar, we'll have something we can work with. Until then, not so much.

    G) As an aside, "Shanghaier" isn't "wrong": it's just much less common and (given the kidnapping associations) infelicitous. "Shanghailander" is wrong (someone mentioned it over at Talk:Shanghainese), since it properly referred to the expatriates living in the Shanghai concessions and not to the locals themselves. Do kindly correct times when you see people (mis)using those.
  • Mr Shih: A) As far as I am (or the OED is) aware, the verb 'to shanghai' is very much an Americanism—from Portland and San Francisco's China trade—that has nothing to do with the British. (Their services were so used to kidnapping workers they simply kept on with the old 'impress' and 'dragoon'.) I don't have Lexus/Nexus to speak to periodical usage but the ngram results above show "Shanghainese" in English much earlier than "the 1990s". Granted, it was more common not to distinguish the Shanghainese, just to lump them together as "Chinese", "Chinamen", or "natives"; all the same, when distinction was needed, Google Books has Shanghaiese in 1860 and Shanghainese by 1913. (It also 'Shanghaian' as early as 1850, but every example I could find was just their machine reader misunderstanding "Shanghais", "Shanghai an", or "ought to have".)
    B) Where did you get the idea that "Hong Kongnese" was common? It isn't. You're thinking of Hongkongese, I think. Both are used on Hong Kong because they're both used elsewhere, commonly enough that mentioning them doesn't mean we're giving WP:UNDUE WEIGHT to the term.

 — LlywelynII 07:50, 13 January 2015 (UTC)

Pronunciation mess[edit]

The Shanghainese IPA was already in the infobox (and dealt with better, since it should have tone numbers). Pinyin is phonetic, so IPA isn't needful and (if included) should just go in the infobox and not a (badly-formatted) version of the {{zh}} template. The English pronunciation is straightforward and therefore unnecessary (WP:NOTADICTIONARY). There will be some native speakers who pronounce it shaahng, some as shaing, and (for English) neither is "more correct". — LlywelynII 07:09, 18 December 2014 (UTC)

Now, that said, tone marks could helpfully be included, since it is needful. It's already in the Chinese infobox but could also replace the title of the provincial infobox so it's readily visible. — LlywelynII 07:11, 18 December 2014 (UTC)

Yangtze River Delta[edit]

The image is a beautiful one but, as mentioned in my edit and in the discussion on its article's talk page, it's not the "Yangtze River delta", which Hangzhou is very much not a part of. I'm not sure what the map is supposed to show or why Nanjing is a separate color. (One of the regional economic groups?) It should probably be redone with Shanghai singled out and (maybe) the actual Yangtze delta watershed shown. — LlywelynII 08:06, 14 January 2015 (UTC)

History section[edit]

Some separate issues:

  • The early sections state "Shanghai belonged..." and discuss it as if it were already existent by the Spring and Autumn Period. We probably shouldn't do that, as:
  • Personally, I'd like to see a source that the land that Shanghai is on was existent by then: the Yangtze deposits enormous amounts of silt: the entire peninsula Haimen and Qidong sit on was formed within the last few centuries.
  • It would also be good if there were a map or animated map of the formation of Shanghai's peninsula. The present downtown is landlocked but much of Pudong is relatively new.
  • It would also be good to list and cite the earliest documentary evidence that Shanghai or something like Shanghai existed. I need to dig the book out from under something but I seem to remember seeing that the earliest evidence of settlement in the area of the Old City was c. 3rd century and the evidence for Shanghai itself was after that.
  • Since the city wall didn't exist since the 16th century, we shouldn't be using a picture of it to illustrate the ancient city.
  • "From... 1292 until Shanghai officially became a city in 1927" is probably not the best way to phrase this. In English, county seats can be towns or cities; in Chinese, "city" can be county- or prefecture-level but neither are municipalities, which is what Shanghai became in 1927. Besides, didn't getting the City God(s) Temple upgrade the status of Shanghai? What is the editor trying to say that Shanghai wasn't measuring up to? (Provincial-level municipalities didn't exist at all in Old China.)
  • No need to sugarcoat the racism present but the development of the city by the international settlement should be addressed: Shanghai had China's first railroad, first (iirc) telegraph line, HSBC, &c.
  • The present phrasing makes it sound like Japan's war crimes in Shanghai occurred mainly during its withdrawal, which seems doubtful. I'm sure it was horrible, but better to give some context and detail rather than just hurl epithets as well, even if that means linking to the description in the History of Shanghai article rather than to the main Japanese war crimes one. Similarly "a railway station" seems needlessly inexact, given that Shanghai had two. Is the photo from the south one?
  • Shanghai did not "become" a center for radical leftism in the '50s and '60s. It had been one for the entirety of leftism's existence in China. It's not propaganda to mention the city's importance to the CCP or the slaughter of CCP members carried out in the '20s that filled up Longhua. Both the forced and the volunteer zhiqing should probably be addressed.
  • 'Productivity' is probably being misused, unless it's only relative to that in other areas of China.

 — LlywelynII 09:45, 15 January 2015 (UTC)

  • Much of the land of Shanghai is actually quite ancient, although the eastern and northern parts were only formed in the last 1500 years or so. The southwestern portion (Qingpu, Songjiang, Minhang, etc.) was home to several important neolithic cultures dating to as early as 4000 BC, see Majiabang culture, Songze culture, Liangzhu culture, Maqiao culture (Songze and Maqiao are both named after their type sites in Shanghai). I'll try to add a summary of them to the section when I have time.
  • Re "becoming" a center of leftism, it's quite accurate IMO. Although Shanghai was the center of leftism in the 1920s, it wasn't as radical as later, and was quite effectively extinguished by Chiang Kai-shek's White Terror, allied with Du Yuesheng's Green Gang.
  • Japanese war crimes were mainly committed at the beginning of the war, during the fierce Battle of Shanghai, rather than the end of the war. The railway station depicted in the iconic crying baby photo is the old South Station (not the current one in Xuhui) which was completely destroyed by Japanese bombing in 1937. I've edited the caption to clarify that.
  • I've edited the article to address some of your more minor points.
-Zanhe (talk) 21:35, 15 January 2015 (UTC)