Wikipedia talk:History standards for China-related articles

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Title format for articles of Chinese emperors[edit]

Poll deadline: TBD

Part 1: the Article Title[edit]

The examples used below are on Han Gaozu (漢高祖), birth name Liu Bang, the first emperor of the Han Dynasty

1)(XXX) of (name of dynasty) China

e.g., Gaozu of Han China
+specify which of the Chinese Empires
-assumed reader knowledge that the name was a dynasty
-Without "Emperor" in the title, one may assume it's, say, a philosopher

2)(XXX) Emperor of China or Emperor (XXX) of China

e.g., Gaozu Emperor of China
+close in name to western monarchy
-redundancy of the word "emperor" (see "Note on redundancy" in part 2)
-no English refernce of what dynasty the XXX is belonged to.

3) XXX

e.g., Gaozu
+comforatable to readers with considerable acquaintance of Chinese language
-no mention of dynasty or China-related.
-there many emperors by the same names in China. Some names are used by emperors in virtually every dynasty. With such ambiguity, even Chinese historians cannot understand unless reading the content.

Part 2: What Goes in XXX[edit]

Han Gaozu above, for example, has two official names: Gaozu (temple name) and Gao Huangdi (高皇帝 -- posthumous name). Some of later emperors have, in addition, era names.

The following is conventions that have been used by Chinese historians and in popular literatures (in both Classical Chinese and vernacular Chinese) for centuries (and still used in all occasions). Those of:

  1. the early dynasties (Han, Jin, Southern and Northern): posthumous name + di
  2. the middle (Tang and Song): temple name (end in zu or zong)
  3. the last two dynasties (Ming and Qing): era name
  4. smaller dynasties: treated as an ordinary person and voided all rules above - uses his/her first and family names (see Chinese name).
    • Exception: the first emperor is always referred to as Shi Huangdi ("The First Emperor").

Should the above traditional conventions be employed in Wikipedia? Or do we artificially select one of the above? If so, which one?

Note on redundancy: emperor is the English translation of "di" (or "huangdi" in full).
If option 2) of part 1 is used in combination with option 2) of part 2 ("Han Gao huangdi"), it creates "Han Gao Huangdi Emperor of China". Redundancy occurs. However, although uncommon in native English words, such repetition occurs in proper noun loanwords, e.g., "Sahara Desert".


Poll Response * Vote here![edit]

Are we supposed to answer to this poll? Why is there no response? I dont have a preference, but keep in mind that this handy box will probably be used, making the dynasty clearer.

Preceded by:
XXXXXX

Qing Dynasty

Succeeded by:
Jiang

Actually, I think we should use the Chinese conventions. There should be no redundancy in the title. It should be clear enough in the title that the person was an emperor or king.

--Jiang 09:19 15 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I didn't realize that you succeeded a porno star in the Qing Empire.
In the handy box, we just say the Emperor's name, none of that "Emperor" and "Qing China" stuff, unless the emperor happens to be in the boundary of two dynasties.
--Menchi
Sometimes the boundries aren't clear cut and dynasties overlap...and don't worry, there's someone between me and the porno star. --Jiang

My vote for title:

"Emperor" + ''established'' Chinese convention + Qing China.

Reason: Outside of CJKV, there's no convention on this. They use it very arbitrarily. No standard. Not even on Qin Shi Huangdi (First Emperor of Qin Dynasty? First Qin Emperor? Shi Emperor of Qin? According to the new convention, it would probably be Emperor Shi Huangdi of Qin China and systematic) --Menchi 17:21 15 Jul 2003 (UTC)

But with the Han Emperors (Emperor Han Wudi of Han China), wouldn't it get redundant listing "Han" twice in the title? Why shouldn't the dynasty and country be left out just like the European monarchs? I don't think leaving it out has caused some confusion. But then again, european monarchs have numeral have their name. I don't really real stronly on this issue. Will someone else comment? --Jiang
For Jiang's case, uses Emperor Wu of Han China. Emperor Shi of Qin China would be the systematic choice; it looks a bit weird to me though. I would prefer taking Qin Shi Huangdi and redirecting the systematic convention. kt2 19:21 16 Jul 2003 (UTC)
I don't know about take "di" and "huangdi" out, because they do differ, although cannot alone by specifier. But the article content can take care of that I suppose. Nonetheless, I think cross-language redundance is acceptable, so both side can understand with ease. --Menchi 22:23 16 Jul 2003 (UTC)
To Jiang: Because the Chinese do not number their emperors ("How dare you disrespect me with a puny vertical pipes!"), specific dynasty names has to be mentioned one way or another, but once is enough. --Menchi 22:23 16 Jul 2003 (UTC)

"{era name} Emperor of China" is inappropriate for the Manchu Emperors because they did not rule only China. The Qing Dynasty preserved Ming's administrative system, but confined it to China proper. Completely different systems were applied to so-called Outer China. Manchuria was ruled by three Manchu generals. Mongolia (Inner/Outer Mongolia, Jüüngharia and Köke Nuur) was ruled by Mongol jasagh. Southern Xinjiang was ruled by Muslim beg. Tibet was ruled by the Tibetan government, headed by the Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama. Mongolia, Turkestan and Tibet were supervised by generals and ministers (mostly Manchus). Calling the Manchu Emperors just "Emperor of China" hides the characteristics of the pluralistic empire. So it should be "{era name} Emperor of Qing" or just "{era name} Emperor". --Nanshu 00:15 25 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I think the title most commonly used in Chinese should be adopted -- it should be obvious to the reader that the article is referring to an emperor from China and the "handy box" would indicate the dynasty.

So: Wei Wu Di would be Cao Cao. The first emperor would be Qin Shi Huangdi. We'd have Han Wu Di, Tang Wen Zong, Ming Hong Xi Di, etc. Yuan emperors would of course use their Mongol names. This has the following advantages:

  1. It's the closest thing to an established convention there is (though granted, perhaps not in English. But then there really is no established English convention)
  2. It's the most likely out of all the alternatives that Joe User will search for, because of 1.
  3. No redundancy. (Though I don't consider this to be an important issue, since as was pointed out redundancy has a long history when importing foreign names)
  4. It doesn't attempt to impose an artificial system upon the naming. While such an artificial system (several mentioned above) would allow the reader to easily identify the dynasty, the posthumous name, etc., monarchs like Menelik II seem to be doing fine without their dynasty, country of origin and various titles being explicitly stated in a format like Emperor Name Title of the Foo Dynasty of Bar Country.

--Xiaopo 07:10, Oct. 26, 2003 (UTC)

Currently somewhat established conventions:

Mongol Yuan Emperors[edit]

The use of the names of the emperors of the Mongol Dynasty in Wikipedia has been fairly consistent, in that it almost always uses the khan-names, because the official language of the Mongol Empire was Mongolian. They are sometimes referred to by their Chinese temple names.

orry, kt2, I know the above issue [Emperor naming] isn't resolved... Heck, it hasn't even begun. Well, two Canadians can't change the world, can they? ;-) Anyway, here's another issue for all: ....


Disambiguations[edit]

I prefer State of Han over Han (state). We can avoid creating disambiguations that way. Wasn't it called "Han Guo" as with "Chu Guo"? Why is "guo" left out in all these articles? --Jiang 06:57, 25 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I don't think disambiguation is necessary in this case. For me, it's actually slower to type the 2 parentheses than the 2 letters "of". Not to mention the pipe, so that's one more keystroke (two if you count "shift"). Han (state) may be helpful as a redirect if the context requires it, but the article title doesn't have to look like that. --Menchi 07:11, 25 Nov 2003 (UTC)

So we are in agreement? Qin (state) should be moved to State of Qin and Yan (state) should be moved to State of Yan? --Jiang
Yes, but I have no clue why the creators (at least 2 I think) of those articles all chose the disambiguation way. Maybe they have a reason. --Menchi 07:23, 25 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Recently came across some very similar counter-examples. All Swiss cantons are named like Canton of Zürich, and not Zürich (canton). --Menchi 07:49, 28 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I would like to point out that disambiguation of Han would still be needed because of one-to-many mapping of Han to several historically significant Chinese characters. Canton of Zürich and Cantons of Switzerland are more comparable to Henan and Provinces of China since both are political administrative divisions. Inclusion of "State of" in front of the Hanyu Pinyin romanizations for the Warring States are closer to English terms. First those entities would never be called [[States of China]] beacuse they are not political divisions but independent regimes. From my experiences, history texts employed the romanizations more frequently than the form with "Guo"; for instance, 《春秋‧襄公二十五年》:「夏,五月,乙亥。齐崔杼弒其君光。」. So the choice is merely between an English nomenclature or Chinese form. 大将军, 都督中外诸军事 19:14, 28 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I might not have understood your post completely, but are you concurring with us? --Jiang 08:33, 29 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I partially agree with your views. Those articles could be renamed in generic fashion for English Wikipedia to "State of (name of the state)" but the disambiguation is still needed. My previous examples pointed out that name of the states (ie. without "Guo") were also employed (and perhaps more frequently) in ancient texts such as 《春秋‧襄公二十五年》:「夏,五月,乙亥。崔杼弒其君光。」. 大将军, 都督中外诸军事 (talk) 20:51, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I'll move them. Parenthesis are harder to deal with and I think leaving out the word "state" is seldom done in English. --Jiang 10:07, 22 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Exceptions[edit]

Han Gaozu is under Emperor Gaozu of Han China, but the history standard states:

And Han Gaozu isn't mentioned as an exception. So shouldn't it be Emperor Gao of Han China? Currently this is a redirect. --Xiaopo's Talk 02:31, Jan 4, 2004 (UTC)

Google states that Emperor Gao yields more result than Emperor Gaozu. IMO it's better to change the main article under Emperor Gao instead of making one exception. [1] 大将军, 都督中外诸军事 and [2] (talk) 07:12, 4 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Emperor naming conventions[edit]

The Qing Dynasty Emperors have had their article names shortened from [name] Emperor of China to [name] Emperor. I propose that we remove the word "China" from all the emperors since the Chinese, unlike the Europeans, dont name themselves after other people. The title does not need to tell all and "China" was not always synonymous with the entire empire. --Jiang 04:31, 27 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I've moved the Ming Dynasty Emperors to "{era name} Emperor". I'll be moving some others (e.g. [Emperor Wu of Han China] to Han Wudi...) --Jiang 00:18, 12 Sep 2004 (UTC)

The various Emperor articles are badly in need of formatting. For one thing, it is improper to refer to emperors by their reign names as if they were given names (e.g. "The Guangxu Empewas born Caitian" instead of the current "Guang Xu was born Caitian"). The table at articles such as Shunzhi Emperor look clumsy and need to be replaced with the name box proposed above. --Jiang 04:27, 27 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Are you proposing that the body of the article refer to the emperors as e.g. "The Guangxu emperor" rather than "Guangxu"? The latter, in everything that I've read, is the normal English usage (regardless of how silly it is in Chinese). Markalexander100 07:44, 27 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Yes...sorta. It's technically incorrect in English, even if it is common. Guangxu refers to the time period, not the person. (Of course using it the way we do automatically implies the person, but that's not what it really means.) To refer to the person, you must indicate that it is the emperor of the particular time period. Alternatively, we could use Qing Dezong, Qing Jingdi, or Zai-tian but those are less common. Given that's it's so common, it might not matter that much, but the opening must start out {era name} Emperor, not just {era name} as some of the articles are doing. --Jiang 07:58, 27 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I created Template:Chinese Emperor and tried it there. There are still some problems to be worked out. The full posthumous name does not fit (is it necessary to include it?). I also left out the Zi (is this also necessary?). Should the surname be included and "given name" changed to "birth name"? Please comment and improve.--Jiang 05:10, 27 Aug 2004 (UTC)

IMO, full "birth name", the common name of referral, period of reign can be included but some extra info can bt omitted. For instance full posthumous name of the Qing emperors shall not be needed since they are not much in common use and too long. Keep up the work. I shall be back in recent future.Ktsquare (talk) 23:11, 28 Aug 2004 (UTC)

1- a- For emperors before the Ming dynasty, we should definitely leave the articles the way they are now. "Emperor Wu of Han China" is clear and accessible for people with no knowledge of Chinese. "Han Wudi" is just confusing, people may not know that "di" means emperor, and they may end up thinking that Han is the given name, and Wudi is the family name!
b- The recent change to Emperor Gaozu of the Han, now turned into Emperor Gao of the Han, is unnecessary I think. Yes, we should consider him the one exception to the rule of posthumous names before Tang, temple names from Tang to Yuan. In Chinese, he is known as "Gaozu of the Han" (汉高祖) much more than as "Emperor Gao of the Han" (汉高帝) (between 10 and 30 more hits in Chinese google for 汉高祖). Gaozu is not even his temple name actually (temple name is Taizu), but it is the name that was given to him by famous historian Sima Qian in his historical records, and this name Gaozu has sticked ever since inside China. I am of the opinion that we should revert to Emperor Gaozu of Han China.
c-Then for sure the naming of the emperors of the Qin dynasty is a tough issue. Personally, I think "Emperor Shi of Qin China" is plain silly, as "Shi" is not really a proper name, but rather a common name meaning "first". And "Qin Shi Huangdi" is just abstruse for people with no knowledge of Chinese (i.e. 99% of the readers of the English Wikipedia). I would favor naming them "First Emperor of Qin China", "Second Emperor of Qin China", etc. After all that's exactly the meaning that the first emperor intended to convey when he created this naming pattern.

2- For emperors of Ming and Qing dynasties, I think puting the era name (nianhao) before Emperor is a bit contrived and unnatural. We should leave "Emperor Qianlong", as it's the use of writing it in Western languages for decades, instead of writing "the Qianlong Emperor". Yes, technically speaking there's a difference between an era name and the name of an emperor, but what is the name of an emperor anyway? Given that they had so many names during and after their lives, the notion of "name of an emperor" is quite relative. What I know, is that for Chinese people living during Ming and Qing dynasties, the era name was clearly the name of the emperor, it was the name writen on coins, at the beginning of proclamations of imperial edicts, etc. If you had asked an average Chinese person leaving during the Qianlong era what was the name of the emperor, he would almost certainly have answered Qianlong. The personal names of the emperors were taboo, and the posthumous and temple names were not known yet. This is so much true that when the empire was abolished in 1912 and the office of president of China was created, many farmers in the countryside thought that "president" (总统) was the name of the new emperor!! (the subtlety of this will make sense if you know a bit of Chinese) So I suggest we revert to the traditional "Emperor (nianhao)". We can perfectly state inside the articles that "born (xxx), he ascended the throne on (xxx) and became Emperor (nianhao)", which shows clearly that (nianhao) was not his real personal name.

3- a- As for the Template:Chinese Emperor, you should leave "given name", and not write "birth name". Emperors had "birth names" (i.e. "milk names"), which are different from their personal given names, but you would be hard pressed to find milk names anywhere.
b- You forgot a line for "family name" above the line "given name". The template for emperors of Yuan and Qing dynasties should be different however, in that the line "family name" should read "clan name" instead.
c- the line "reign name" should be rephrased "era name". Nianhao are knwon as "era name" in English, not "reign name"
d- Courtesy name (zi) is not necessary, as I don't think emperors had courtesy names.
e- For the posthumous names, I think we should definitely list the full posthumous name (one line below the short posthumous name), if we intend to be a thourough encyclopedia. That's what they do on the Chinese Wikipedia. I do not recommend copying and pasting the full posthumous names of the Chinese Wikipedia though, as I have found errors there. They should be cross-checked with serious Chinese references online or in libraries. Actually, the best would be that a Beijing Wikipedian go to the Ming and Qing tombs and take pictures of the stelae with the full posthumous names for us. That way we would have the exact full posthumous names for sure. Anyone interested?
f- Finally, I would also add a line in the template for the exact dates of beginning and end of actual reign, and another line for the exact dates of beginning and end of era (nianhao), which would help as these two things are so often confused everywhere online (eg. Emperor Daoguang's reign ended at its death on February 25, 1850, but the Daoguang era ended on January 31, 1851, almost a year later) Hardouin 14:10, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)

  1. Few people use the term "Emperor Wu of Han China". In history books, the common term is "Han Wudi". I agree that people might mistake that as [family name][given name], but we should at least do away with the "China" since most mentions of the guy will be in a domestic context. Alternatively, we can just make it really clear in the article from where the name Han Wudi originated.
  2. ...
  3. Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names) applies. Qin Shi Huangdi, though not complete "translated", is the most common form in English. Discussion of what the name/title means is relevant in the article. It is not relevant in the title. Dont insult the intellegence of the reader. People are used to seeing "Qin Shihuangdi" in their grade school history books and will get more confused seeing "First Emperor of Qin China" for the first time.
  4. Chinese makes no distinction between "the X Emperor" or "Emperor X", so in translating to English, we are given a choice. Based on the context of how the name "X Huangdi" is derived, "the X Emperor" is a superior translation. There is no such thing as being contrived and unnatural. It is perfectly grammatical. In Japanese, there is "the Showa Emperor", etc. "Emperor (nianhao)" only makes grammatical sense if nianhao is a name and not an era; readers will be given no implication that it is an era name in the first place, nor does it imply that it is not a personal name (refer to European monarchs). Just because others are using faulty translations doesn't mean we should follow suit. I'm fine with "Qianlong" by itself, but "Emperor Qianlong " is just jarring. I propose starting articles with "The X Emperor" and using the reference X thereafter. In addition, there is nothing to revert. I just moved X Emperor of China to X Emperor.
  5. I agree with your suggestions re Template:Chinese Emperor and will make another template for Qing emperors. Looks like some of it's been already implemented...feel free to finish it off.

--Jiang 10:32, 1 Oct 2004 (UTC)

  1. For nianhao, let's see what other people have to say, and the majority will decide. I just want to add this: the reason why traditionally people say "Emperor Qianlong" is not a faulty translation, but is a carefully thought translation over 5 centuries of Chinese scholarship starting with Matteo Ricci in the 16th century. If they chose to put it that way, that's because, like I said above, for people inside China the nianhao and name of the emperor was the same. Plus, on a side note, your "trick" of putting nianhao before the word emperor works only in English and Germanic languages. It couldn't work in Romance languages where adjectives/qualifiers can never be before a noum, so it's "empereur Qianlong" or "emperador Qianlong". "Qianlong empereur" or "Qianlong emperador" is not possible. I also note that even in other Germanic languages, nianhao is put after the word emperor, such as in German: "Kaiser Qianlong" returns almost 10 times more hits on Google than "Qianlong Kaiser". So by putting nianhao before emperor in English, you basically introduce two standards of naming in the Western world. I think it would be better if it were all unified.
  2. For Qin Shi Huangdi: first of all, I don't even know where that name come from. In China he's known as Qin Shi Huang only, people don't use "di", a tradition that goes back to Sima Qian and his Historical Records. So not only we are using a name that is hard to understand for people not familiar with Chinese, but we are also not using his native name in China. As for school kids, well, we must not live in the same world. When I was in high school (and a good level one at that!), the majority of kids didn't even know who Sun Yat-sen or Chiang Kai-shek were, so "Qin Shi Huangdi"...
  3. "First Emperor of China" is what people are most familiar with I think. "Qin Shi Huangdi" is a very recent name in English, and an inacurate one at that. "First Emperor of China" returns 11,700 non-Wikipedia hits in Google, whereas "Qin Shi Huangdi" returns 4,180 non-Wikipedia hits. And then "Second Emperor of China" returns 32 hits, "Second Emperor of Qin" returns 151 hits, whereas "Qin Er Shi Huangdi" returns 0.
    Hardouin 11:40, 1 Oct 2004 (UTC)
  1. Let's not pull of an argumentum ad antiquitatem here. 5 centuries of Chinese scholarship did not see an effective means of translating things. Whether we are given a choice in the Romance languages is irrelevant--we could fault translation there but not here. We are only concerned with the Chinese --> English translation. Just because people are forced into not so accurate translations because of the nature of certain languages doesn't mean we should make all translations equally bad. Having some better translations is preferable over having all bad translations. Few people are fluent in so many languages and if they were, they wouldnt care and it wouldnt adversely affect then.
  2. Yes, Qin Shi Huangdi isn't really correct and perhaps we should do something about it. As for learning this in school, we learned it in the California public school system in 6th, 7th, and 10th grades. Most kids probably forget what they learn or see but this doesn't stop any bells from ringing. Chances are that someone trying to look up the article has some idea what he is looking for and Qin Shi Huangdi is the standard form used in my part of the world at least.
  3. Point taken. Qin Shi Huang wins over Shi Huangdi in Chinese though. "First Emperor of Qin"? --Jiang 18:43, 1 Oct 2004 (UTC)
  1. I have broken up the template in 6 templates, reflecting the particularities of various dynasties. Example of new template can be seen at Kangxi
  2. I am very suspicious of the Manchu translations of the emperors of the Qing dynasty. I see that Jiang is at Berkeley, and if I remember correctly they have some classes in Altaic languages there. It would be great if Jiang could contact some professors at Berkeley who are knowledgeable in Manchu and can double-check the Manchu names. It would be completely terrific if on top of that they could also input those names in Manchu scripts in the tables we are creating (I don't even know if there exist Manchu script in Unicode).Hardouin 14:29, 2 Oct 2004 (UTC)

A couple things I'd like to change about the new templates: Birth and death dates are already on the first line and the Dynasty is specified in the lead section, so I don't think they're necessary in the table. For the Qing table, we should call the names given in "pinyin", not "Mandarin." I think we should also include tones on the pinyin. Should Wade-Giles be given coverage at all? Or will the redirect suffice in leading readers of older history books to the right place?

Regarding the Xuantong Emperor, I'm not sure if the article should be moved to Puyi on the basis of "use common names". Is there a precedent? European monarchs revert to monarchial titles (Edward VIII of the United Kingdom instead of Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor), but we have Hong Taiji, etc.

As for contacting professors at Berkeley, I dont think I have enough clout as a lowly undergraduate to make a difference. There doesnt seem to be anyone listed specializing in the field. I could try but I don't know who to contact. --Jiang 23:46, 2 Oct 2004 (UTC)

If you check US presidents, you'll find birth and death dates are also included in the templates, although they also appear on the first line for each president, so I don't see what's the problem here. There are people who just look at the tables, and there are people who actually read the article. We satisfy both. Same thing applies for dynasty.
Pinyin is only a transliteration. We could use pinyin to transliterate Cantonese, or Shanghainese, etc. By writing "Mandarin", we specify that we are writing the Chinese names with Mandarin pronunciation, instead of just assuming that "Chinese" is the same thing as "Mandarin". It is important, because when we will use the templates for emperors of, say, the Southern Song, we will be writing their name in a dialect (Mandarin) which they did not use at all (Southern Song probably used a Wu dialect, Han dynasty used ancient Chinese which is extremely different in pronunciation from Mandarin, and so on). Tones on Pinyin don't have their place in such a synthetic table (same applies for Wades-Giles). No space, plus would just confuse people with all these accents. People who do not know Chinese have no idea what these accents are all about. As for people who know Chinese, well, they don't need the pinyin in the first place.
For professors at Berkely, maybe the easiest way would be to go talk with people at the East Asian languages department, and ask if there's anyone on campus with a knowledge of Manchu.Hardouin 04:17, 3 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Just because we're doing it for US presidents doesn't mean we should do it here. On the same note we should also list all the wife and concubines for each emperor. Appeal to tradition isnt by itself an argument and consistency is not an issue because we clearly don't have the same formatting and line items as the US presidents. The problem here is redundancy. There are people who read the article and people who don't. People who read the article will see both and see the same thing both times. It's pointless. Why aren't we also putting the names in the article text too then?

Mandarin is a spoken tongue. It cannot be written. The written language is called Chinese, not Mandarin. We are writing in Chinese and providing a Romanization based on Mandarin. Pinyin is not the same as Mandarin. Calling what is there Mandarin will just confuse people and fail to instruct them that what they're looking at is not Mandarin, but pinyin. Some people probably won't even know it's pinyin. Don't forget those people like me who know the pinyin but are too illiterate to read all the charcters in name. The chances are that people who dont know the Chinese won't be interested in reproducing or memorizing the names in the first place to care about tones. --Jiang 04:47, 3 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Ah... those endless debates... First, I reckon Jiang doesn't like redundancy, something I've noticed already over his past edits. Well, the thing is, here at Wikipedia, redundancy is OK. I know some people often get this wrong, but: at Wikipedia we are not making art, we are not crafting some top notch litterature full of grace. We are stating facts, plain and simple; we are stating the obvious; we say "1 + 1 = 2". So it is FINE to have the same information appearing in two, three, four, ..., different places. It is FINE to highlight the same word over and over. That way we make sure that nobody, NOBODY misses the information. Clumsiness is ok as long as it serves information; graceful phrasing that leaves doubts about the interpretation is not ok.
The pinyin/Mandarin quarrel is so "detail-esque" (all that for a small footnote...). I wish people would focuss their time and energy on adding content to the articles, instead of dissertating over little details (but I've noticed on Wikipedia people oftentimes put more energy on the little details than on the big picture, alas!). As for the tones on pinyin, the rules set up by the PRC are clear: accents are to be used in learning textbooks only; in material published in foreign languages, pinyin ought to be used to write Chinese words, but without the accents. So we write "Emperor Ren", we don't write "Emperor Rén". If you want to put the accents, you need to add an extra line for each category, such as "Rén huángdì", but then the table would become very VERY LARGE.Hardouin 12:40, 3 Oct 2004 (UTC)

An encyclopedia is supposed to provide a short and concise' summary of the topic. When giving a lecture, it's a good thing to be redundant because people might miss it the first time around, but when putting stuff in print, especially in a context like this one, redundancy is unnecessary. If people don't get it the first time around, they can re-read the text. Our articles are short enough so that missing what little is presented is not an issue. Ambiguity is not the issue here (yes, let's be as unambiguous as possible). Redundancy does not solve ambiguity. Hey, what do I have better to do at 2AM in the morning than to complain about tones on pinyin at some website like this one?

Regarding the Manchu scripts, I think User:Nanshu and User:Mgmei have some experience in the field. They may be worth asking. --Jiang 23:51, 3 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Western Liao and Western Xia[edit]

How are the leaders of these two periods named?

They both, for example have an Emperor Renzong - are they therefore Emperor Renzong of Western Liao China and Emperor Renzong of Western Xia China? Or simply Emperor Renzong of Western Liao, etc.--[[User:OldakQuill|Oldak Quill]] 23:36, 20 Oct 2004 (UTC)

[Emperor Renzong of Western Xia], [Emperor Renzong of Western Liao], etc. will do.--Jiang

Gregorian calendar vs. Julian Calendar[edit]

It seems the Julian Calendar is being used for older subjects such as Hongwu Emperor and the proleptic Julian calendar used for even older subjects such as Qin Shi Huang. This is counter to the conventions currently spelled out and I believe this is western-centric. Everything should be in the proleptic Gregorian calendar or Gregorian calendar since the Chinese used a completely different calendar than the Europeans and there's no need for date-matching. --Jiang 10:36, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Western centric? I don't see what's Western centric about using the Julian calendar rather than the proleptic Gregorian calendar. Jiang must be joking. All historical works always use the Julian calendar for dates before 1582. Even Chinese historical works, when they translate the dates in Western calendar, use the Julian calendar for dates before 1582. If Wikipedia starts to use the proleptic Gregorian calendar we will be creating our own sets of dates that won't match with other sets of dates that exist in books published worldwide. The world is already complicated enough, let's not make it more complicated! Hardouin 18:23, 15 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Yuan Emperor naming conventions[edit]

User:Nanshu has unilaterally moved all Yuan dynasty emperors to their khan names, which is counter to the "use common names" approach. I don't disgree with his moves, but anyone who does should comment. The standards currently call for templale names to be used for Yuan emperors after Kublai Khan. --Jiang 02:56, 2 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Traditional Chinese characters (正體字)[edit]

Should traditional Chinese characters be used for articles on history? The set of simplified characters is a relative recent invention, and historical figures never write their names with the present set of simplified Chinese characters in their days.

Do you mean to phrase your question, "Should simplified Chinese characters be used for articles on history?" The current MoS says to list both (mainlanders writing about history will still use simplified). I don't object to changing the rule though. In any case involving historical topics pre-Communist China, traditional should be listed first. --Jiang 00:06, 8 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Qing Nobles[edit]

There has been recent disputes on how Qing Dynasty nobility should be named. These nobles all have quite a few names to choose from. We have decided on three possible methods:

  • [Name, Title] (Ex. Yinxiang, Prince Yi) (this is the common way to name nobility)
  • [Title only] (Ex. Prince Yi added with order, so 1st Prince Yi) (this is the common English way of naming Chinese nobility)
  • [Name only] (Ex. Yinxiang) (This is the Chinese way of naming Chinese nobility)

Emperor article titles[edit]

I notice that pretty much no articles on older Chinese history mention the Wade-Giles names of the individuals involved. This seems clearly wrong - our readers are extremely likely to be looking at older books that use the Wade-Giles transliterations, and we should be trying to make this easy for them. Can we add something saying that all names should be given in both Pinyin and Wade-Giles?

(Another issue - I find titles like Emperor Wu of Han incredibly irritating. Couldn't we just put them at Han Wudi? Usually English sources call him "Wudi" or "Wu-ti" and not just "Wu." Failing "Han Wudi," I'd much prefer Wudi of Han to the current formula.) john k 19:18, 12 August 2005 (UTC)

I proposed the same above and got this for a response: "'Han Wudi' is just confusing, people may not know that 'di' means emperor, and they may end up thinking that Han is the given name, and Wudi is the family name!" "Emperor Wu of Han" has in translated form "emperor" (di) and "of Han" (placement of Han before the name of the emperor). This is what is meant when we say "Han Wudi" in Chinese. "Wudi of Han" is inapproprate because it is neither in the Chinese form (Han Wudi) nor the English form (Emperor Wu of Han) but a little bit of both. This is too similar to the European style and will lead readers to assume that the emperor's name is "Wudi" instead of "Wu." (di is not part of the emperor's name, it is his title!!! "Emperor Wudi" or "Emperor Han Wudi" is incorrect due to redunance, but if we dont inlude the title "Emperor" in the text, not all readers will realize the importance of the subject.) --Jiang 19:28, 12 August 2005 (UTC)

A couple of points here. Firstly: isn't "di" a part of the posthumous name of these emperors? At least, we list it as such. Even if it means "Emperor," that doesn't mean it isn't part of the name. In terms of the "English form," that's bogus - I've never seen the form Emperor Wu of Han anywhere but wikipedia - just because a form isn't fully translated doesn't mean it is not the common "English form." As I said above, I've normally seen Han Wudi as "Wu-ti." As far as not including Emperor, that's absurd. See Caesar Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, every other Roman emperor article, Napoleon I of France, Franz Joseph I of Austria, and so forth. As far as people being confused about "Han Wudi" - that's an argument against using any normal Chinese name, too. Should we have Zedong Mao, as well?

BTW, what are your thoughts on Wade-Giles? john k 06:24, 13 August 2005 (UTC)

To restart discussion, isn't the current format also a "mixture" of the Chinese and English forms?" The proper English translation of Han Wudi is not "Emperor Wu of Han." It is something like "The Martial Emperor of Han," no? john k 16:05, 15 August 2005 (UTC)

If nobody objects soon, I'm just going to start changing things. john k 13:53, 19 August 2005 (UTC)

I agree with you on Wade-Giles, but it needs to be included in the emperor naming tables, and not merely inserted into the text in parenthesis.
I'm not saying that "emperor" must be included in the article title, but that if it is to be included it must be apparent to the reader. When we write of Franz Joseph I of Austria in an article, we are likely introduce him as Emperor [[Franz Joseph I of Austria]]. However, this option is not available when introducing Han Wudi because "Emperor Han Wudi" is misleading and redundant - it implies that Wudi is either the emperor's surname or part of his given name. Those not familiar with Chinese or Chinese history will be denied information due to a failure to translate. However, as long as "Emperor Han of Wu" is mentioned once somewhere, I don't oppose the use of "Han Wudi" elsewhere in the article (without the title "Emperor" applied of course).
The current "mixture" translates titles and prepositions but leaves names intact. Are we to "translate" Han too? Titles and prepositions need to be conveyed to the reader. The abstract and obscure meanings of names that are not even evident to the average Chinese peasant is not. --Jiang 18:12, 20 August 2005 (UTC)

Jiang - I think part of the problem here is the expectation that the article title will do everything. The article title should basically be there to give a reasonably unique and familiar form of the emperor's name. Everything else can be explained in the article text. Han Wudi (156 - 87 BC), personal name Liu Che, was Han Dynasty Emperor of China from 141 to 87 BC. As long as we explain somewhere the longer name information (although, to be honest, I really don't see why this information should need to be discussed in any detail in the articles on individual emperors - it is already discussed in great detail in various articles on name types). Here's what Columbia has: "Wu-ti, posthumous temple name of the 5th emperor (140 B.C.–87 B.C.) of the Han dynasty. Wu-ti [Chin.,=martial emperor] ruled directly through a palace secretariat." This seems a perfectly acceptable way of going about it. Certainly he should be called "Wudi" in the text of the article rather than "Emperor Wu." john k 18:28, 20 August 2005 (UTC)

I think going to "Han Wudi" for title would be going way backwards. No, "Emperor Wu of Han" is not elegant, but at least it quickly conveys, to a non-Chinese speaker, 1) the person was an emperor and 2) the person was of Han Dynasty. "Han Wudi" conveys neither (since it could plausibly appear to be a personal name). I would go along with "Liu Che"; at least that would be accurate and would not be confused for a title, but using "Han Wudi" is just inviting people to mistakenly believe that he's an individual whose family name is Han and personal name is Wudi. As someone who was brought up in Bo Yang's school of thought as far as history is concerned (even though I find myself disagreeing with Bo on a number of issues), I had been an advocate of using personal names, but I do see the practical values in using imperial titles in these articles (and therefore have continued to use them, although, confusingly enough (for me, at least), I am now venturing into the Three Kingdoms period, where the alleged convention is not to use imperial titles). But "Han Wudi" would not accomplish anything; it's not informative; it's confusing; and it has no practical value. --Nlu 10:14, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

Personal names are not acceptable because they blatantly violate the "use common names" rule. Of course, there's a slight deviation from this rule when it comes to royalty, but this deviation does not entail using the personal name.--Jiang 12:24, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

If people want to know naming conventions for Chinese emperors, and are confused by them, there are plenty of articles to enlighten them. Who cares if "Han Wudi" could plausibly appear to be a personal name? The article itself, as well as multitudinous other articles on the naming of Chinese emperors, would quickly set someone straight. On the other hand, "Emperor Wu of Han" is incredibly annoying. Especially since such emperors are almost always "Wudi" rather than just "Wu." As Jiang says, personal names are totally unacceptable. john k 07:17, 24 November 2005 (UTC)

Well, they're incredibly annoying to you. To me, I'd find "Han Wudi" far, far more annoying. --Nlu 07:52, 24 November 2005 (UTC)
For reasons stated above, I think article titles should remain titled like "Emperor Wu of Han". The article title should not be confusing at all. Relying on people to "figure it out" through other articles and repetition seems rather ridiculous. However, I wouldn't mind if in the article itself, we referred to him as "Wudi" or "Han Wudi" instead of "Emperor Wu". This keeps the search engines happy - both will be hit at the same time. --Jiang 11:48, 25 November 2005 (UTC)
The infobox uses "Han Wudi", so I think we're fine there. :-) --Nlu 20:53, 25 November 2005 (UTC)

Qing dynasty empresses[edit]

We're having a discussion at Talk:Xiao Xian Chun on how to properly name Qing empresses. Based on recent scholarly sources, I would suggest that the above mentioned article be renamed Xiaoxian Empress, but others argue in favor of Empress Xiaoxian. Please weigh in on this, so we can settle the matter and move the articles to a proper place. We need to do something about these articles before the erroneous naming spreads to other versions of Wikipedia.--Niohe 23:09, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

Naming conventions for Mongol rulers[edit]

I proposed naming conventions for Mongol rulers at Talk:Yuan Dynasty. If you are interested, please leave your comment. --Nanshu 08:19, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

"Emperor X of Y China"[edit]

This is a really awful convention. Why Emperor Wu of Han China when Han Wudi is both shorter and more familiar? Personally, I think that we should have conventions as follows:

  1. For rulers up through the Sui Dynasty, Dynastyname Posthumousname, e.g. Han Wudi, Sui Yangdi, Zhou Wuwang
  2. For Tang through Song, Dynastyname Templename, e.g. Tang Taizong, Song Taizu
  3. For Ming and Qing, what we have now - Eraname Emperor, e.g. Yongle Emperor, Qianlong Emperor.

What exactly is the objection to this? I see that this has been suggested before, but never adopted, and I'm at a loss to understand why. It's simple and not nearly as hideous as the current format. Obviously, it is less obvious that Han Wudi was an emperor of China than that Emperor Wu of Han China is, but I think the advantages are well worth this, and we obviously have plenty of articles on rulers where it's not obvious from the title that the person is a monarch. I note, for instance, Charlemagne, Tiberius, Alexios I Komnenos, Sulayman ibn Abd al-Malik, Atahualpa, Mansa Musa, and so forth. The fact that the current convention requires us to use bizarre forms like "Emperor Wu" for the emperor usually called "Wudi" or "Wu-ti" makes the current convention particularly inappropriate. john k (talk) 22:18, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

The discussion is probably more appropriately raised at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (Chinese) (which you did so already), and there is some discussion over there right now. --Nlu (talk) 19:54, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

Qing dynasty empresses redux[edit]

I am interested in getting opinion on the correct location of the articles on Qing empresses which are almost all currently located at hideous violations of pinyin rules. I don't have opinions on the format or even the names themselves so I would like to get some consensus before proposing moves. (But please, no hyphens and no CamelCase!) The articles in question are every CamelCase or hyphenated name plus Empress Xiao Xian and Abahai at Category:Qing Dynasty empresses and Category:Qing Dynasty empress dowagers. If you are interested please discuss here. — AjaxSmack 03:05, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

Is Empress Dowager Cixi the pinyin standard? If so, I see no reason not to regularize. Please check as you go that there are Wade-Giles redirects; they are particularly important here since there will be literature on them from before pinyin existed. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 03:17, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
Note that Abahai appears to be Manchu. If this is in fact what English usually calls her, we should leave it alone; there is no reason why some of the Qing should not be under Manchu names. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 14:35, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
Move. There should be no hyphen or CamelCase according to the rules of pinyin. --Neo-Jay (talk) 03:59, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

Move. CamelCase should be eliminated, and so should hyphens for all Pinyin titles. Some articles may be at Wade-Giles names, in which case it should be hyphenated.

A brief google search on Abahai shows almost exclusively copies of the Wikipedia article from various times. A Chinese language search shows that it seems to be the common name for this person in Chinese. Some further research is needed, but I am leaning towards leaving it where it is.

Wan Rong should be at Wanrong, since the two characters form her given name, and not surname-forename. --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 22:26, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

On a side note, Category:Qing Dynasty empress dowagers should be moved to Category:Qing Dynasty empresses dowager, because the head is "empress", "dowager" being the modifier. See, for example, this Google books search, highlighting the usage of "Duchesses dowager". --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 01:39, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

There seems to be general agreement on the need for a move but what about the new titles' name format? Should the present versions of the names be kept or should the third character listed in the title line be added (e.g., Empress XiaoCheng become Empress Xiaochengren)?. In addition, what's the best name for outliers like Empress Ulanara or Lady Abahai? (Interestingly, the Chinese article for Abahai is at "Ulanara Abahai" (烏拉那拉·阿巴亥). — AjaxSmack 01:53, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

MoS naming style[edit]

There is currently an ongoing discussion about the future of this and others MoS naming style. Please consider the issues raised in the discussion and vote if you wish GnevinAWB (talk) 20:53, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

"Dynasty" should not be capitalized in wiki titles[edit]

moved to Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (Chinese)#On removing capitalization from "dynasty" in wiki titles

done. Kanguole 11:54, 19 October 2011 (UTC)

non-Qing Dynasty empresses, empresses dowager, princesses and royal women[edit]

Is there a naming standard for these individuals. Timmyshin (talk) 14:36, 5 May 2013 (UTC)