Talk:Yangtze

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yang tzi = 洋子?[edit]

what is the proper chinese name for this river? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 208.120.85.210 (talk) 23:30, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

or is it 揚子? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 208.120.85.210 (talk) 23:32, 22 May 2008 (UTC)
扬子. Despite a conventional belief in the supremacy and inviolability of Chinese characters for writing Chinese, there is in fact some fluidity in how characters are used. I've seen the same phenomenon in other place names in China. For instance, a certain place name might use either the character 羊 or the character 洋, with possibly a change of characters from one era to another. Historians might debate this with some seriousness, solemnly listing the 羊 and 洋 variants as variant place names. In fact, the place name is "yáng" and there is no variation in pronunciation. The character variation is quite arbitrary.
In the case of the Yangtze, it looks like 扬子 is the traditional and probably correct usage. But 洋子 is certainly not out of character with Chinese usage, which fluctuates more than people realise. Bathrobe (talk) 04:02, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
Actually 揚子 is the traditional, and 扬子 is with the same word (Yang) simplified. But the article mentioned both 揚/扬 and 洋 without any explanation. --Tesscass (talk) 17:01, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
The article actually says:
The name Yangtze River, as well as various similar names such as Yangtse River, Yangzi River, Yangtze Kiang etc., is derived from Yangzi Jiang (simplified Chinese: 扬子江; traditional Chinese: 揚子江; pinyin: Yángzǐ Jiāng) listen (help·info), which, beginning in the Sui Dynasty, was the Chinese name for the river in its lower reaches, specifically, the stretch between Yangzhou (扬州) and Zhenjiang (镇江). The name derives from the ancient ferry crossing Yangzi Jin (扬子津, meaning "Yangzi Crossing"). From the Ming dynasty, the name was sometimes written 洋子 (yángzĭ).
Not sure what's unclear about that. Why, it even includes the Traditional and Simplified forms you pointed out. Bathrobe (talk) 09:50, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
I'm confused about the 洋 in that last sentence. It doesnt't explain why 洋 was sometimes used instead of 扬 . Was it because they are more or less homonyms? Or is there a different reason? --Tesscass (talk) 19:50, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure why I'm quoting a paragraph that is in plain view right above, but here goes:
Despite a conventional belief in the supremacy and inviolability of Chinese characters for writing Chinese, there is in fact some fluidity in how characters are used. ... For instance, a certain place name might use either the character 羊 or the character 洋, with possibly a change of characters from one era to another. Historians might debate this with some seriousness, solemnly listing the 羊 and 洋 variants as variant place names. In fact, the place name is "yáng" and there is no variation in pronunciation. The character variation is quite arbitrary.
I specifically made this point because people are so mystified by Chinese characters that they think there's something absolute about them. "THIS is the character to use because, you know, unlike a letter of the alphabet, a Chinese character isn't just a sound; it has a MEANING." This is not totally true. The example I was quoting, using 洋 and 羊, was from a place name in Hubei province. I don't have the source with me so I can't give you details, but I can assure you, this place was written with different characters at different times. Someone might try to tell you that the place name is written with 羊 because in ancient times someone saw a sheep there. And someone else might tell you that it's written with 洋 because the place was vast like an ocean (洋). The fact is that assigning characters can be fanciful and doesn't necessarily have a lot to do with etymology or derivation.
The paragraph in the article is perfectly clear. The normal usage is 扬子 (OK, if you want 揚子, I can input both Traditional and Simplified forms, too), and there appear to be good etymological reasons for it. From the Ming dynasty it was sometimes written 洋子. This (presumably) is a statement of fact. From the context it's clear that this is a minor usage. If we don't know the reason for this variation, there is no need to explain.Bathrobe (talk) 04:17, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. I really was just wondering. I accept that there's no absolute rules on languages. --Tesscass (talk) 16:32, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
Eh, don't sweat it. Bathrobe isn't wrong but he's certainly overstating the case. This character is fluid because the name English picked up on wasn't the "proper" one but a dialectical one. This yang is fluid because it's transcribing an effectively foreign name; it's not like Chinese doesn't have meanings or fixed forms but transliteration varies quite a bit over time since the spoken language (much more than the written one, historically) shifts around quite a bit. — LlywelynII 13:18, 12 August 2013 (UTC)
Interestingly, Matteo Ricci - likely the first Western European who visited the river (ca. 1600) while being able to speak and read Chinese - claimed (in De Christiana expeditione apud Sinas) that the name Yangtze means "the son of the sea", so presumably the form he saw was 洋子. But in today's Yangzhou, of course, you see 扬子 used in the names of various companies, places, etc. -- Vmenkov (talk) 00:26, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
It was just a misunderstanding by this westerner. I live in Yangzhou and I am sure 扬子 is the name of a ferry in Yangzhou and not the son of the ocean. --Acrux119 (talk) 22:06, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
Regardless of where you live, it wasn't "just a misunderstanding". He wouldn't've just made up the characters on his own; he learned them from the people he was talking to. Some of his literary friends probably just preferred the prettier gloss (or possibly had forgotten the actual ferry). — LlywelynII 16:17, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

Pronunciation[edit]

Would it be possible for someone upload an audio file for the pronunciation in Mandarin? Mattximus (talk) 23:38, 10 December 2012 (UTC)

WP:ENGVAR[edit]

Some issues creeping in, so just noting that this edit established the page's usage as American English and that should kindly be maintained. Cheers. — LlywelynII 13:51, 12 August 2013 (UTC)

Tuotuo[edit]

Currently, the article reads

The Mongolian name for the river, Tuoketuonaiwulanmulun...

which is patently false and obviously just a transcription of the Chinese. It's not helped by this being the only page on the internets that records this 'name', but (albeit elsewhere) Tuoketuo is used in Chinese to record "Togtoh" (=togtox) and Wulanmulun is obviously just Ulan Moron ("Red River"). Anyone have any ideas on what the -nai- really is? or the meaning of togtoh? It seems to be used as a personal and as a place name, so presumably it does have one. — LlywelynII 00:27, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

You could have mentioned which river you are talking about. 通天河, right? Yangtse, obviously, would be blue, not red. Togtaqu is more likely a person name than anything else. There is a verb togta- 'become settled, become stable, become determined', but then the future participle -qu wouldn't make sense. I am not comfortable with the name, though, as TuoketuKU or something like that seems more accurate?! -nai could be a genitive (-n-u, -nii, -nää), but I am not sure which form of the genitive is used in Deed Mongol dialect. (There is a book that would tell, but I don't have it at hand.) The literary form after Togtaqu would be -yin (-iin), not -n-u. This uncommon form (generally used in Khorchin, but elsewhere?) makes me a bit skeptical about Toqtaqu, though I know of no noun toqtugan (which would exhibit a good sound correspondence). Sorry I couldn't help. G Purevdorj (talk) 11:15, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
Well, um, thanks for stopping by. Still kind of a bizarre reply: the entire comment was about the river and its name and why would it "obviously" be blue? Almost the entire length is muddy yellow and parts of the river are called 'Red' (Like this part).
In any case, sounds like you know some Mongolian. If you see a source glossing the actual version of this name, let us know. — LlywelynII 16:26, 4 December 2013 (UTC)
A local chorography of Haixi Mongol and Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture(《海西州志》, volume 1, 1995, page 109) records the Mogolian name and its meaning of the river(沱沱河), but the book is written in Chinese. It is mentioned that the river's (full) Mogolian name 托克托乃乌兰木伦(Tuoketuonai Wulan Mulun in pinyin)means 缓慢的红江 (the slow/quiet red river). --Acrux119 (talk) 22:08, 18 September 2013 (UTC)
And I learned a new word, thank you.
That's still just the Chinese gloss, though, which we already had. What's the original Mongolian form that's being transcribed? (Maybe G Purevdorj can piece it together now that he knows the meaning of the words involved?) — LlywelynII 16:26, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

Name section[edit]

Given this page's importance to answering the internet's question "Why do we call it this when they call it that?" I thought we could use something a little better than 'missionaries dun goofed'. Still needs some tuning up (like fixing Tuotuo if it's just a transcription of a Mongolian name), but lemme know your thoughts or if I overdid it and we need to split off a separate page now. — LlywelynII 03:52, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

Genetic studies[edit]

An anon editor added some text about a genetic study to the "Early History" section. I fixed the formatting and added the rest of the date from the survey:

A study of Liangzhu remains around the mouth of the Yangtze found a high prevalence of [[haplogroup O]]1, linking it to modern [[Austronesia]]n and [[Daic]] populations; the same study found the rare [[haplogroup O]]3d at a [[Daxi culture|Daxi]] site on the central Yangtze, connecting it with the modern [[Hmong people|Hmong]].<ref>Li H & al. "[http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17657509 Y chromosomes of prehistoric people along the Yangtze River]". ''Human Genetics'', Vol. 122, No. 3–4, pp. 383–388. Nov 2007. Accessed 4 December 2013.</ref>

That said, I would really like some outside help with whether analysis of five remains can really "link" these peoples to the Vietnamese or justify calling the Chinese the "source" of the Hmong. I know China's come a long way recently as far as doing actual science, but it seems too pat and politically expedient based on such scanty evidence.

(That said, if it is solid, we should probably split out the genetic info into its own paragraph or section and add it to numerous other articles, such as the Baiyue and history of Vietnam.) — LlywelynII 15:56, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

Contradiction[edit]

List of rivers by length lists it as the third-longest river.--2.245.142.24 (talk) 00:40, 19 February 2014 (UTC)


Requested move 13 April 2014[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: moved. Xoloz (talk) 02:38, 21 April 2014 (UTC)



Yangtze RiverYangtze – More concise title, per Nile, Ganges, Mekong, Danube, Euphrates, etc. We normally append "river" when the name by itself is ambiguous, as in Mississippi River and Amazon River, which is not necessary in this case. Zanhe (talk) 19:38, 13 April 2014 (UTC)

Survey[edit]

Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with *'''Support''' or *'''Oppose''', then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's policy on article titles.
  • Support the 'river' is quite often omitted when talking about the Yangtze as can be seen in a google ngram search and also in our own article, at least as many mentions of the Yangtze are sans 'river' as append 'river'. No ambiguity arises form this name thus by WP:CONCISE we should name the article Yangtze. Rincewind42 (talk) 03:04, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Mild support no objection to river but User:Zanhe's rationale and comments are as usual correct. In ictu oculi (talk) 05:52, 14 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. "Yangtze" by itself is recognizable as the name of the river, and the name by itself is already precise, as well as being concise. —seav (talk) 17:26, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Support - I mean, if there were a city or state of great importance to confuse it with, but there really isn't. Red Slash 22:00, 15 April 2014 (UTC)
  • Support Per WP:COMMONNAME and WP:CONCISE. ► Philg88 ◄ talk 06:26, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

Discussion[edit]

Any additional comments:

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.