Talk:Chemical elements in East Asian languages

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Cute and colorful but perfectly irrelevent in the English-language Wikipedia, no? User:Wetman

Wetman, please sign your comments (I have done so for you above). Thanks.
Anyway, regarding your question, not so. This is perfectly relevant. The reason that a Chinese periodic table is encyclopedic and we do depict a periodic table in Chinese but not in other languages is because Chinese is one of the few languages, perhaps the only language, that uses characters instead of the usual one or two letter abbreviations for elements. Also, the page has some information about the history, ways the characters are chosen, and uses of the Chinese periodic table. --Lowellian 00:53, Apr 6, 2004 (UTC)
Well, they do use the letter abbreviations, but they use characters as well, just like Iron and Fe - 铁 and Fe; Iron(III) chloride and FeCl3 - 氯化铁 and FeCl3. --Puppy8800 (talk) 06:50, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

I've noticed the Chinese Wikipedia equivalent entry, linked from this page, is 中文元素命名法 (The method of naming chemical elements in Chinese) - the English version of this entry isn't really that. Perhaps someone could expand the Chinese version of that page and rename it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:57, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Elements 104 and above[edit]

The Chinese names of the elements with atomic number larger than 104 -

No. Sym. Name Trad. Chinese Sim. Chinese
104 Rf Rutherfordium 鑪, 釒拉 钅卢
105 Db Dubnium 𨧀, 釒杜, 釒都 钅杜
106 Sg Seaborgium 𨭎, 釒喜, 釒希 钅喜
107 Bh Bohrium 𨨏, 釒波 钅波
108 Hs Hassium 𨭆, 釒黑 钅黑
109 Mt Meitnerium 䥑, 釒麥 钅麦
110 Ds Darmstadtium 钅达
111 Rg Roentgenium No Chinese name yet

(If your computer did not have a Unicode-3.1-font, you can only see spaces or garbage squares.)

The traditional Chinese names of elements 105 through 109 use characters that are only available in Unicode 3.0 or Unicode 3.1 -

105 106 107 108 109
Unicode (Hex) 289C0 28B4E 28A0F 28B46 4951
Unicode (Dec) 166336 166734 166415 166726 18769

The simplified Chinese names of elements 104 through 110 have not been encoded even in the newest version (4.01) of Unicode. --Hello World! 07:34, 23 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Yes, that's right. One additional comment to what you said: The issue is not just whether they have been encoded, but also whether the operating system or web browser supports rendering of surrogate pair characters. —Lowellian (talk) 08:18, May 9, 2005 (UTC)

A bug?[edit]

The character for stone (U+77F3) is now showing. Seemingly it is connected with recent changes in Wikipedia engine. See the third paragraph:

< All symbols for metals (except Hg) contain the radical 钅 or 金 ("gold"), for solid nonmetals 石 ("stone"), for liquid elements 水 ("water"), and for gases 气 ("steam"), in reference to their usual states at room temperature and standard pressure. >

Monedula 05:57, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)

It seems that this bug is fixed now. — Monedula 13:43, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Request for screenshots[edit]

Could someone who has the appropriate fonts please take a screenshot of the tables and post them as pictures? This would enable those of us who lack the fonts to see this information. One-dimensional Tangent 04:15, 4 May 2005 (UTC)

Here you are: Traditional and Simplified. Dunno how to upload images properly so I put them in my webspace; the images were captured with HyperSnap-DX 5 by me.--G.S.K.Lee 01:10, 12 May 2005 (UTC)

Thanks! I've cropped and uploaded them, and am placing a link on the article page so that people can see them even when you remove the original screenshots from your webspace. One-dimensional Tangent 18:15, 13 May 2005 (UTC)

Korean characters?[edit]

In reference to the following sentence from the second paragraph of the article:

These characters specially-invented for the periodic table are not used in Japan or Korea even though the Japanese and Korean languages also use Chinese characters.

As far as I know, the Korean alphabet, Hangul is completely unique and entirely distinct from Chinese, sharing no characters. Thus, I have removed the reference to Korean characters from the sentence, as it is irrelevant. Uniqueuponhim 22:59, 10 May 2006 (UTC)

Then I am afraid your knowledge to East Asian cultures is still not adequate. You should check Hanja for more. -- G.S.K.Lee 13:00, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
While some of the characters are the same, the Korean alphabet is phonetic and composed of a small number of letters and therefore in no need of special symbols like these. Indrian 17:52, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

Look again:

These characters specially-invented for the periodic table are not used in
Japan or Korea even though the Japanese and Korean languages
also use Chinese characters.

There is no single error in the statement of this sentence, though this is no longer relevant since the article has had a new name. -- G.S.K.Lee 14:53, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

There is a big error in your statement, because Hanja is no longer used. They use phonetic script Hangeul. Chceck Korean wikipedia if you don't belive. 12:19, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

The Basis of the Entire Article[edit]

It recently occurred to me that this article is not about the Periodic Table. It is about the elements. What should we do? Am I right in this assumption? AdamBiswanger1 00:33, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

Traditional characters for the elements?[edit]

I suspect that the Chinese had words for at least some common elements, like silver, copper, carbon, sulphur, iron, or mercury, well before a periodic table was erected in Chinese. The names of the elements here seem to have been regularized with the standard prefixes that refer to their usual state. It might be worthwhile to point out what the original characters for these elements was, and also to explain the derivations of at least some of the new characters added to the table; in addition to the classifier, the second element may have meant something as well. Smerdis of Tlön 04:32, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

  • Good idea. Maybe we can contact someone in the Chinese Wikipedia AdamBiswanger1 23:12, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
there're no such regularisations: naturally there were copper and iron before the table was erected in Chinese, and the same characters were and are used before or after that (銅、鐵). Here the part "金" is not a "chemical prefix", but a "semantic component". The same for 汞 (mercury). Hope the information helps.--K.C. Tang 02:24, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
Thanks alot for your help. I added what I could to the article. AdamBiswanger1 02:31, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
indeed I noticed the article some time ago... Frankly, as a Chinese, I can't see its raison d'être... anyway, it has officially been announced to be kept. No more arguments.:)--K.C. Tang 03:00, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

I believe this character "碳" did not exist before the periodic table or modern chemistry was introduced into China. There was only 炭 in ancient texts. -- G.S.K.Lee 14:57, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

Where should this page go?[edit]

Now that it's been kept, it should really be moved to a better title... Suggestions? -Goldom ‽‽‽ 21:42, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

utility of wiktionary[edit]

I've added some wiktionary links, often for just radicals, but wiktionary is an underrated tool which may be of some interest to readers (and a project which has immense potential but needs more attentioon) so I'm wondering how far we should go? Elle vécut heureuse à jamais (Be eudaimonic!) 22:40, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

Section on Japanese[edit]

This is the note to the name for antimony:

the lack of the final vowel (y would've become i)is likely due to its origin from Dutch (Antimoon)

The note seems poorly phrased, since it's actually the other way around: the final vowel is almost exclusively an English language thing, most other languages don't have it. It's not so much that Japanese "lacks" the vowel, it's that English "has an extra vowel". Just pointing this out, since from the perspective of a non-native English speaker, this note seems like a rather anglophonocentric notion. TomorrowTime (talk) 13:48, 4 August 2009 (UTC)


I don't want to modify the article, since I don't have any sources to confirm it, and I'm no etymologist. But the following section section looks like Wikipedia:OR to me, and it doesn't even make much sense:

Elements with the -on suffix (e.g. noble gases) seem to be inconsistent. Boron and silicon are respectively shortened to bo and silic. On the other hand, neon,argon, krypton, xenon and radon do not seem to have shorter forms.

Other languages than English have different endings for these elements, so provided that the Vietnamese names are derived from these, they are not inconsistent at all.

For example: Boron is Bor in German and Borium in Latin, while Silicon is Silizium or Silicium, respectively. The noble gases on the other hand all have -on endings in German and Latin (even though they're derived from Ancient Greek).

Can someone confirm? -Onitake (talk 13:23, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

Yes, the whole thing about shortening would look funny for many people except anglophones. These shortenings in Vietnamese, at least in part, are not a unique feature of this language and certainly do not appear to be abbreviations of the English names of elements. A part of naming tradition in other countries takes root in German language for example, since Germany was a leader in chemical studies a century ago. For another example, it's bor, iod, chlor, aluminii, magnii, etc. and, yes, neon, argon, krypton, xenon and radon in Russian. I'm a Russian. (talk) 11:21, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

I confirm! That's right, I'm from Vietnam. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:17, 5 August 2010 (UTC)

Formatting of phonetic transcriptions[edit]

The article does not have a coherent format for typesetting the Chinese characters and their Roman transliterations in pinyin or romaji. Parts of the article put the transliterations before the characters, which is putting the horse before the cart. I suggest the format Chinese character/kana (pinyin/romaji), e.g. 溴 (xiù) and ウラン (uran). AcidFlask (talk) 08:27, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

German as a frequent source[edit]

We now have:

manganese       mangganizeu (망가니즈)    from German Mangan

How is mangganizeu from Mangan, and not the far more obvious manganese?
Varlaam (talk) 01:52, 13 March 2012 (UTC)


I have copypasted the legend from zh:Template:元素分類 into here. Since I do not read Chinese, maybe someone better check {{Periodic table (simplified Chinese, legend)}}. -DePiep (talk) 08:33, 14 June 2012 (UTC)

114 and 116[edit]

When will they get their Chinese characters?-- (talk) 18:56, 3 October 2012 (UTC)

They now have them. Double sharp (talk) 06:58, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
113 Nh 鉨,114 Fl 鈇,115 Mc 鏌,116 LV 鉝,117 TS 石+田(combined character, but current font database is not supported),118 Og 气+奧(combined character, but current font database is not supported). Wilander (talk) 02:26, 13 July 2017 (UTC)

Korean Element Names[edit]

According to the Korean Chemical Society, some Korean element names in this article should be changed.(e.g. present 망간(manganese) should be changed into 망가니즈(this sounds much closer to English pronunciation of 'manganese'), and 안티몬(antimony) into 안티모니) --제0자 (talk) 11:23, 9 August 2014 (UTC)

Phrase, remove Vietnamese or rename article[edit]

While most East Asian languages use—or had used—the Chinese script, only the Chinese use the characters as the predominant way of naming elements.

This is trivial. Chinese doesn't have the choice, there is no alphabet in Chinese. So why is it an interesting fact that Chinese use Chinese characters? This sentence must be changed.

The next point is that Vietnamese is Southeast Asia, a very huge difference. Either Vietnamese should be removed or the article should be renamed. -- (talk) 19:20, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

I guess it is not completely trivial. Japanese has a choice: it just chose to use katakana as the predominant way. I agree that the others don't have a choice (use Chinese characters in the case of Chinese; don't use them in the other cases).
Vietnam is not in East Asia, but it is in the East Asian cultural sphere: I think that's why it's there. Double sharp (talk) 07:12, 22 September 2015 (UTC)

The criteria for choosing Chinese characters for the elements[edit]

I hope you don't mind if I put this on your talk page, since this discussion seems the most relevant to it; I should translate it for our page on chemical elements in East Asian languages. The criteria of the China National Committee for Terms in Sciences and Technologies are (with my translation, which tries valiantly to be natural-sounding in English:

  1. 根据尽量少造新字的原则,在元素定名需要造字时,尽量选用已有的古字。
    • When coining names for chemical elements, try to use already existing characters if possible; avoid coining new ones. (Although apparently they made an exception to avoid obviously referring to Japan in nihonium; the Chinese name of Japan is 日本, so I would have thought that 鈤 would have worked fine for nihonium. But no, they made up a new one, making it much less obvious. Why am I not surprised? ^_^)
      • P.S. I suppose I have to take that back now, since 鉨 (traditional) is indeed in Unicode; just not the simplified version. Double sharp (talk) 14:17, 13 March 2017 (UTC)
  2. 选用或新造汉字应符合国家汉字规范。
    • Selection or construction of new Chinese characters should be consistent with the national standard. (Yes, there is such a thing.)
  3. 符合以形声字为主体的汉字书写特点,以体现元素的性质,发音靠近国际命名。
    • The sound and written form of the character should reflect a property of the element and approximate its international name (presumably the English one).
  4. 避免与以前的元素名称同音,避免用多音字。
    • Avoid homophony with already named elements, and avoid creating polysyllabic characters. (The latter exist, but almost no one believes it.)
  5. 使用简化字,避免用怪异字,选用笔画少的字。
    • Prefer simpler characters with fewer strokes.
  6. 为了避免歧义,选字应尽量避开生活常用字和已经用做其他行业专用字的汉字。
    • To avoid ambiguity, avoid commonly used words in everyday life and other fields. (Resurrecting archaic characters is an option per criterion 1, and is in fact a commonly used one.)
  7. 尽量采用繁简无差别的字,以利于海峡两岸和汉语圈科技术语的统一。
    • Try to use characters which are the same in traditional and simplified forms (since the "metal" radical is different between the two, I suppose it means the phonetic component on the right), to promote cross-strait unity in Chinese scientific terminology.

Double sharp (talk) 08:07, 13 March 2017 (UTC)

End of copy/paste. Double sharp -DePiep (talk) 06:46, 25 April 2017 (UTC)
BTW 多音字 more commonly means "one character with multiple pronunciations", but that meaning doesn't fit very well here, I think. Double sharp (talk) 10:34, 27 April 2017 (UTC)