Talk:Chinese cash (currency unit)

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Requested move February 2008[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the . Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result was no consensus. Vassyana (talk) 08:13, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

Chinese wénChinese cash — per WP:UE (use English for article titles), WP:UCN (use the most common name for article titles), and WP:OR (no original research). The use of the romanization in this case appears to be a creation of Wikipedia. See these sources for examples [1] [2] [3].

See the above two sections and Talk:Brunei ringgit#Requested Move for related discussion. A proposal to modify Wikipedia:WikiProject Numismatics/Style that currently call for using non-English names for currencies is also under discussion at its talkpage. — AjaxSmack 22:44, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Numismatics Style guidelines have subsequently been changed to call for using English and using the common name of a currency. — AjaxSmack 04:47, 8 February 2008 (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 naming conventions.
  • Oppose Cash is a foreign name for this currency. There's no reason to use a foreign name. Pinyin is hardly a creation of Wikipedia.
    Dove1950 (talk) 23:08, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Citations in book titles [4], New York Times [5], google books[6] support cash as English usage. For other examples of English (rather than pinyin) article titles for Chinese objects, see Tael, Mace, and Candareen.Erudy (talk) 01:27, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Use English. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 18:57, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose — "Chinese cash" needs to redirect to Chinese currency or Chinese yuan, or become a disambiguation. Note that there are many more types of "Chinese cash": See Template:Chinese currency and coinage. --Endroit (talk) 19:04, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
    • This appears to be a confusion between the Chinese monetary unit, discussed below, one-thousandth of a tael, and the generic sense of cash = "money", cognate with case, OED cash n1. The Chinese unit should be called one, any one, of the things English calls it, of which cash is probably the most common. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 01:23, 2 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Endroit Bendono (talk) 00:49, 2 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Support: I've heard of "Chinese cash", and if I was looking it up on Wikipedia that's the first place I'd look. When a name is old and well-known, why are we trying to redefine the terminology on Wikipedia? Wén may be the Chinese name (I've never heard of it myself), but that's hardly a reason for supplanting the existing name. (And if anything, wén is the foreign name) Bathrobe (talk) 13:12, 3 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Support as nominator for reasons given above. — AjaxSmack 04:08, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose -- unhelpful at this time, perhaps worth re-visiting in 2009. --Ooperhoofd (talk) 13:21, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
    • What does this mean? What's happening in 2009? — AjaxSmack 17:50, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Its only the English Wikipedia which bends over backwards to incorporate "foreign" terms, despite the existence of WP:UE. Mcmullen writes (talk) 20:41, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Support as per nom. Llamasharmafarmerdrama (talk) 18:44, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment — I believe most supporters here have failed to resolve the disambiguation issue for Chinese cash (disambiguation). To gracefully close this poll in conformance with WP:DAB and WP:NC, I propose that we move this article instead to Chinese cash coins or Chinese cash (coins), which will be a uniquely identifying name. This article talks more about the coins (rather than the denomination related to this coin), so it is an accurate name. (If there needs to be a separate article about the denomination, that portion can be split into Chinese wén later.)--Endroit (talk) 22:27, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
Support the suggestion by Endroit, or something close to it, as long as the proper English word is used as the name of the article. Sincerely, GeorgeLouis (talk) 15:16, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

Discussion[edit]

Any additional comments:

Cash is not a foreign name, it's the English name. See external links above. — AjaxSmack 23:09, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Wén was a Chinese currency. That makes an English name such as cash foreign.
Dove1950 (talk) 23:12, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
Yes, and this is English Wikipedia where titles are at their common, English names (WP:UE, WP:UCN). — AjaxSmack 23:23, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
I will support the resulted, possibly new, guideline from Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Numismatics/Style#Guidelines change proposal. Fix a class of a problem, not an instance of a problem. --ChoChoPK (球球PK) (talk | contrib) 20:28, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
Numismatics Style guidelines have subsequently been changed to call for using English and using the common name of a currency. — AjaxSmack 04:47, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
    • I just redirected Chinese cash to Chinese currency. Feel free to revert me, if you have a solid reasoning.--Endroit (talk) 19:14, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
      • I reverted your redirect because Chinese cash/wen, whatever we name it, is one type of Chinese currencies. --ChoChoPK (球球PK) (talk | contrib) 20:28, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
← ← ← ←

This article is entirely appropriate and should not redirect. Chinese cash is a particular currency like a pound or dollar and a particular type of coin. Cash in this sense is not the same meaning as cash money and even the etymologies of the words are different. See cash article for details or the following passages:

From the Oxford English Dictionary entry for "cash, n.1":

[ad. F. casse ‘a box, case, chest, to carrie or kepe wares in, also a Marchants cash or counter’ (Cotgr.), or its source It. cassa ‘a chest,..also, a merchants cashe or counter’ (Florio 1598):{em}L. capsa coffer, CASE. Mod.F. has caisse, Sp. caxa, Pg. caixa: the phonetic history of the Eng. word is not clear; the earliest known instances have cash; the sense ‘money’ also occurs notably early, seeing that it is not in the other langs.]

From the OED entry for "cash, n.2":

[ad. (ultimately) Tamil k{amac}su (‘or perhaps some Konkani form of it’), name of a small coin, or weight of money:{em}Skr. karsha ‘a weight of silver or gold equal to of a tul{amac}’ (Williams); Singhalese k{amac}si coin. The early Portuguese writers represented the native word by cas, casse, caxa, the Fr. by cas, the Eng. by cass: the existing Pg. caixa and Eng. cash are due to a natural confusion with CASH n.1 From an early date the Portuguese applied caixa (probably on the same analogy) to the small money of other foreign nations, such as that of the Malay Islands, and especially the Chinese, which was also naturally made into cash in English. (Yule.)]
A name applied by Europeans to various coins of low value in the East Indies and China: esp. a. The basis of the monetary system which prevailed in Southern India up to 1818; in this system 80 cash = 1 fanam, 42 fanams = 1 star pagoda (about 7s. 8d.).
b. The Chinese le and tsien, coins made of an alloy of copper and lead, with a square hole in the centre whereby they are strung on cords; of these 1000 made a tael or liang. —Preceding unsigned comment added by AjaxSmack (talkcontribs) 00:25, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

Quoting OED: "The Chinese le () and tsien (), coins made of an alloy of copper and lead, with a square hole in the centre whereby they are strung on cords; of these 1000 made a tael or liang ()." (Chinese characters and links added by Endroit.)

I don't know where the wén () designation for "Chinese cash" is sourced from. But the Japanese mon () dab says that mon/wén () originated in China during Northern Song, and subsequently introduced to Japan together with the qián (). (The Japanese mon () is derived from the Chinese wén ().)

This means that (), qián (), and wén () all qualify for the "Chinese cash" designation under definition n.2, as well as the Chinese currency article which cover the square-holed copper coins. Perhaps Chinese cash should go to a dab.--Endroit (talk) 07:42, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

Another point to consider is that the square-holed copper coins were used differently throughout history, and that the 1000 to 1 exchange ratio with the tael () didn't always apply, or simply didn't exist at times.
The Japanese Wikipedia's Sō sen/Sòng qián () article describes in detail the Song Dynasty cash (), circulated throughout Asia a millenium ago. This is an early usage of the Chinese wén () not tied to the tael. OED's description is clearly the (), which is part of a later Chinese cash system.--Endroit (talk) 17:53, 2 February 2008 (UTC)
"Chinese cash" should be treated like catty or picul. Those who were born since 1985 may feel that jin is the only conceivable name for the Chinese unit of weight, but junking everything that people under 22 have never heard of doesn't seem like a very enlightened approach to increasing the sum of mankind's knowledge.
Bathrobe (talk) 13:12, 3 February 2008 (UTC)
We already have an article for Chinese cash (). Here we are trying to make another article for Chinese cash (). I tell you, the target name "Chinese cash" is way too ambiguous.--Endroit (talk) 16:01, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

I am a native speaker of English. I do not speak Chinese. The entry title, whether "Chinese cash" or "Chinese wen" or something else, is not as important as the article's accuracy and clarity. This article is not clear. I suspect it is not accurate.

I am aware of three different uses of "cash" in connection with Chinese currency between the later part of the 18th century and World War One:

(1) cash : the traditional cast coin with the square hole;

(2) cash : the denomination unit appearing on the copper cash coins (without a hole and struck, not cast) that replaced traditional cash after 1900, the most common denomination being 10-cash. The Chinese equivalent would, presumably, also have appeared on token coins or "big cash" and on paper money previous to 1900; and,

(3) cash : a unit of account (1/1000 string) for debts and payments in copper (mace being used in English in connection with silver payments).

These three meanings of "cash" need disambiguation. If I understand correctly, Chinese 文 | wén is equivalent to English "cash" only in sense (2) above, and Chinese 錢 | qian is equivalent to (1) and (3). When referring to silver money, the tenth part of a "tael" (兩| liǎng) is/was Chinese 錢| qián, but this was called "mace" in English, never "cash". (We are not discussing weight as such, and we are not concerned with other meanings of "cash" in English, etc., etc. And I might add that I have never seen or heard English "cash" used to refer to knife or hoe money or coin.)Sivasova (talk) 16:35, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps we already have something like this...
  1. Chinese cash coin (usually 一文錢, literally meaning "one wén cash"), covered in Wiki by Chinese wén and Chinese currency : yes, this is the square-holed coin
  2. Chinese copper cash (currency) (), covered in Wiki by Chinese wén and Chinese currency, perhaps not known by the European explorers & not covered in OED, introduced throughout Asia during Song Dynasty : yes & no, wén's history goes back a 1,000 years (or more)
  3. Chinese silver cash (weight & currency) (), covered in Wiki by Cash (mass) and Chinese currency, known by the European explorers & called le in OED, used during Qing Dynasty, tied in precisely to the Tael (1/1000) : no, I believe this is the silver cash unit Qing intended to be equivalent to one copper cash (wén)
  4. Chinese mace ( used as 1/10 tael), covered in Wiki by Mace (measurement) and Chinese currency, may not actually be considered "cash" because of its higher value (sorry I may have been mistaken before)
  5. Chinese cash ( used "in general") : I don't know if this is really covered in any of the Wiki articles, this is the general dictionary term for "small cash (coin)" in Chinese, called tsien in OED
Also, I submit the following reference for your further reading:
Please read carefully and understand that Chinese currency & weight units were usually equivalent, as the currency was inherently tied to the weight of the copper coins or silver ingots.--Endroit (talk) 17:52, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
In addition to creating the disambiguation page, we can split this article into two: Chinese cash coin (the bulk of this article) and Chinese wén (the portion describing the currency unit Wén/文). The other stuff like "knife money" and the first image can be moved to Chinese currency.--Endroit (talk) 18:52, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for your help, but we seem to be talking at cross purposes. English terms and Chinese terms do not equate one to one (if they did, machines could do much better at translation). To comment on your comments:
1. The coin is 錢, the denomination is 一文. These are two different things. And we are not even talking about "what is written on the coin" as opposed to how the coin is talked about.
2. What "European explorers"? Chinese copper cash (pure copper struck coins as opposed to brass cast coins) were introduced in 1900, well past the age of exploration. Wen (文) is the denomination; this is clear from looking at coins. For example, the illustration of Y#5 on p.398 of 2008 Standard Catalog of World Coins 1901-2000 shows the denomination on the reverse as "20 CASH" and on the obverse as "文二十" I have been told the coin is 玫 (to distinguished it from the coin 錢). I would very much like to find out if this is true.
3. There is no such thing in English as a "silver cash" (see 4. below). And don't talk weights, because that is another issue.
4. Chinese 錢 is English "mace" when talking about silver currency, but "cash" when talking about copper currency.
5. Chinese 錢 used 'in general' may mean "cash" or "currency" or "coin" or "money", but this is somewhat outside our discussion.
Please understand that Chinese currency and weight units use the same Chinese words, but currency and weight are two different things. And when discussing money, currency (meaning coins and paper) and the unit of account are two different things.
I insist that input is need from a native speaker of Chinese who has a (more than superficial) knowledge of pre-twentieth century Chinese numismatics.Sivasova (talk) 03:23, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
Do me a favor Sivasova, and read the Tael article. Tell me if it describes tael as being BOTH the "weight" and "currency" unit, simultaneously. If you find it to be both "weight" and "currency", tell me if it's possible to separate the two.
The same applies for Mace (measurement) (1/10 tael) and Cash (mass) (1/1000 tael), which are defined as fractions of the tael.--Endroit (talk) 03:40, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
It's too bad the "wén" word is hardly used in English. Here's a rare explanation in English, saying that the Wén (文) denominations existed in 1375, during Ming dynasty. The picture there shows a 1 string (貫) note, equivalent to 1000 wéns (文) in copper cash coins. A string () of copper and a tael () of silver are theoretically equivalent, but there's always a clear distinction made between the two.--Endroit (talk) 07:10, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Coin or denomination?[edit]

I need some clarification. This entry is certainly about English "cash", but is it about Chinese wén (文)?

I do not speak Chinese, only English, and I do not collect coins, but it is my understanding that the coin we call "cash" (the round cast coin with the square hole, not knife money or the other early moneys) is Chinese qian (錢). I thought Chinese wén (文), English "cash", was a denomination, not a coin, and that it was applied to the struck copper coins (without a hole) introduced in 1853, produced in great quantity in the 1890s, and standardized after 1900. I think these coins are usually called coppers in English, mei (玫) in Chinese, and are denominated in cash = wen.

It would be very helpful to have a Chinese speaker with a knowledge of numismatics comment on this. I would really appreciate having this cleared up for me.Sivasova (talk) 04:04, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

I'll hazard some guesses. There's not a one-to-one correspondence of cash and wén () for various historical and linguistic reasons. Cash in English can mean ¹cash (mass), ²the currency cash (i.e., Chinese cash), or ³Chinese copper coins in general (as in "a string of cash"). In Chinese, the cash mass is () and the currency is wén (文). The only thing I guess they have in common is they're both 1/1000 of a tael, the currency being 1/1000 of a tael of silver.
The word qián () is today a generic word for money. Modern spoken Chinese grammar requires measure words before nouns (a little like the "loaf" in "a loaf of bread"). So to say dollar or cent in Chinese, you must say "a dollar of money" or "a cent of money." For the cash (wén/文) coins you refer to, some of which have "CASH" printed on them in English, the measure word is wén and for "one cash" you could say "yī wén qián" (一文錢), lit. "one cash of money."
I don't know of any use of méi (玫) except in 玫瑰 (rose).
To make it more confusing though, the Chinese qián (錢), in addition to being a word for money, is also a measure word itself and is a Chinese measure of mass called mace in English equal to 1/100 of a tael. This was probably used in earlier eras to denote a coin just as English "pound" is both weight and currency.
This article deals with both the Chinese cash currency and copper cash in general.
BTW, I'm no specialist in any of this so hold off before placing a bet on any of this.

AjaxSmack 06:26, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for your input. I am aware of the other usage of the Chinese terms you refer to.
I am not literate in Chinese; I am literate in English. My point is that this article is misleading and should probably be merged into Chinese currency. This article lumps together three different meanings of the English word "cash" when applied to Chinese currency. One use of "cash" is to refer to the denomination on the Western-style copper coins that ousted traditional cash after 1900. I believe this 'denomination' is Chinese "wen" (and it appears on the cash notes of 1853-1858). The article also labels as "cash" (in the accompanying image) both knife money and hoe money or coins. They are not called cash in English.Sivasova (talk) 13:44, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

Square holes[edit]

I read on a Chinese webpage regarding the square holes on the Chinese coins. The question was that if the hole is solely for threading the coins together, then why was it square? The theory was that the minting process back them was not very sophisticated and the minted coin usually have rough edges. A stack of coins would be stacked together and held still by a square rod through the square holes and the blacksmith would file the coin smooth as a group. I just read it from an article and the article didn't quote any source, so believe it or not! Kowloonese 00:35, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Article split[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Copied from above: I propose that we move this article instead to Chinese cash coins or Chinese cash (coins), which will be a uniquely identifying name. This article talks more about the coins (rather than the denomination related to this coin), so it is an accurate name. (If there needs to be a separate article about the denomination, that portion can be split into Chinese wén later.)--Endroit (talk) 22:27, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

An article split is probably not a bad idea. However, the "Chinese" in the current title derives from the Wikipedia:WikiProject Numismatics/Style guidelines that call for an adjective before a currency name. But if this article is to be about the coins rather than the currency denomination, then the "Chinese" as a direct part of the name is unneccesary. Just cash (Chinese coin) would suffice (cf. cash (mass)). As far as the term "wén" goes, it's rarely used (and bordering on original research with the tone mark). With changes in the guidelines, the English "cash" can be used. — AjaxSmack 17:33, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
I'm afraid I have to oppose such split/move. Usually we have an article of a currency first, and if the article grows larger, then we split off "Coins of ...", and then if that gets large, we have articles for individual denominations. What you're proposing is the reverse of this norm. And this article already has an image of a 2000 wen note. I can grab my coin and banknote catalog and start inputing all the denominations that have been issued. As with wén v.s. cash, I'm not against cash.--ChoChoPK (球球PK) (talk | contrib) 18:05, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
As noted in the discussion above, this case is different. The article currently covers two subjects:
1) cash : the traditional cast coin with the square hole;
2) cash : the denomination unit appearing on the copper cash coins (without a hole and struck, not cast) that replaced traditional cash after 1900, the most common denomination being 10-cash. The Chinese equivalent would, presumably, also have appeared on token coins or "big cash" and on paper money previous to 1900;
Not all cash coins are denominated in cash (currency), not all cash (currency) is cash coins, and the two are different in Chinese yet the two are covered together in this article. The idea is to disambiguate the two to make clear that the English cash refers both to a type of coin and to a denomination of currency. — AjaxSmack 19:20, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
I'll endorse what AjaxSmack just said. I propose that we move this article to Cash (Chinese coin) or Chinese cash coins or Chinese cash (coins). If there needs to be a separate article about the denomination, that portion can be split after the page move. I propose that the resulting (split) article on the denomination can be named Chinese wen, Chinese cash (copper currency), or Chinese copper cash (currency).--Endroit (talk) 18:10, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
I oppose. If the balance of this article's content is too far towards the coins, then why not expand it, as ChoChoPK suggests, so that it deals with other aspects of the currency? This proposal risks producing a group of articles which are all dealing with different parts of the same topic. To be absolutely clear, this isn't about a single denomination that was part of a bigger currency system, it's about the currency system as a whole. It just so happens that there was only one denomination. I hope the issue of the name (wén) has been decided once and for all by the above discussion.
Dove1950 (talk) 23:04, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
"This proposal risks producing a group of articles which are all dealing with different parts of the same topic." No, it's about two topics.
"...this [article] isn't about a single denomination that was part of a bigger currency system, it's about the currency system as a whole." Exactly. Which is why the denomination should not be dealt with here. It's an entirely separate thing that happens to share the same English name. The denomination appeared on coins (without a hole and struck, not cast) that replaced traditional cash and was a subdivision of the yuan. — AjaxSmack 04:51, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

Of the suggested new titles Cash (Chinese coin) seems the most useful; we are likely to link to this article as Cash. I don't have a useful opinion on the split; but some of the arguments sound like they would, if pursued, produce a separate article for each definition of cash. Isn't that Wiktionary's business? Septentrionalis PMAnderson 06:50, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

After further research, I found
Tael system (old system before yuan)
unit (E) unit (C) pinyin = ? tael
cash 釐 or 厘 li 1/1000
candareen fēn 1/100
mace 錢 or 钱 qián 1/10
tael 兩 or 両 liǎng 1
Yuan system (intro ca. 1889)
unit (E) unit (C) pinyin = ? yuan
cash wén 1/1000
fen/cent fēn 1/100
jiao or chiao jiao 1/10
yuan 圓, 圆 or 元 yuán 1
Also 1 yuan = 0.72 tael. The tael monetary system appears to be a direct import from the tael weight system. But wait, what is that 2000-文/wén note? The date was clearly before the introduction of yuan. Was this wen another name for li? I can't find any hard evidence, except hints here and there. The world coin catalog says 800-1600 cash = 1 tael. I'm more confident in the second table, as I see two coins with the same date and same specification, one says 1 cent, the other says 10 cash. Anyway, I suggest we have
I know this is somewhat contradictory with my previous opinion. Well, we learn. --ChoChoPK (球球PK) (talk | contrib) 17:49, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
I've got to run, so I'll have to make this short. Please don't forget the original cash system, which is very relevant here...
Copper cash system
unit (E) unit (C) pinyin = ? wén
Cash wén 1
(intermediate units may have existed)
String guàn 1000

This system already existed during Song dynasty, as described in the Japanese Wikipedia's Sō sen (宋銭)/Sòng qián () article.--Endroit (talk) 19:19, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
Fluctuations existed between the aforementioned "Tael system" (silver based) and "Copper cash system", which coexisted. I don't have time to analyze it, but this Google search may help us find a source for this.--Endroit (talk) 19:49, 22 February 2008 (UTC)
I get the impression that it is being assumed by some that the currency system must have had a name distinct from its chief unit, as is currently the case with renminbi and yuan. I've seen no evidence for this and we cannot introduce this concept without evidence. It's important here that we avoid overusing the word cash, as it is bound to cause immense confusion. By sticking (as agreed above) to wén, we can ameliorate many of the potential difficulties. It would also obviate the need to add "(currency)" to the end of the article name, as the weight is not called the wén. Liǎng (两, called tael in English) and guàn need including as these are super-units of this system. We also need to make clear that the wén became a subunit of the yuan currency system.
Dove1950 (talk) 22:00, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

Draft of split articles[edit]

There still seems to be the impression that the coins (錢) and the denomination (文) are the same thing which is understandable considering the conflation of the two in the current article, So, please check out the following draft articles with the content separated:

As noted before and mentioned in the drafts, most of the cash coins were not cash denominated and much of the cash denomination was not coins. See the images in the Chinese cash (currency) draft for examples — one is paper money and the other is a minted coin with no hole.) If it matters, Chinese Wikipedia also notes the difference between the two topics with separate articles. The currency denominations is represented by the redlinked article in the first line of zh:文 and the type of coin is covered at zh:方孔錢. — AjaxSmack 01:50, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

I support this split. AjaxSmack does it very cleanly. And the naming is acceptable:
--Endroit (talk) 17:49, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
I oppose this split on the basis that the terminology has been agreed above to be wén and this split should not be used as a back-door method of overcoming that agreement. When the nomenclature has been resolved, there may be cause for a split but, if everything is called the same thing (as in the drafts) there is absolutely no need. I intend to edit the existing article to show my proposal for improving matters.
Dove1950 (talk) 16:46, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
Well, I've done as I said I would. It won't surprise you that I've used the local terminology wherever possible. I'm sure others will disagree but I must insist that, whenever we use the word cash, we must indicate which cash we mean, wén or li (or any other meaning it may have had). I've used much of AjaxSmack's draft (many thanks), replacing cash with wén as I think this is the meaning of cash intended. It strikes me that we don't have a statement of when the denomination wén was introduced. As it stands, the article implies that it goes right back to the introduction of coins to China. However, the article tells us that other denominations were used, so it may be that this implication is incorrect. This fact needs clearing up. If it is incorrect, then we need to split this article into the wén and whatever came before.
Dove1950 (talk) 20:11, 24 February 2008 (UTC)
Your revisions are fine — there's nothing obviously incorrect &c. It's just that the article still confuses two distinct topics The opening line says: "The wén was a currency of China from 6th Century BC until 1889 AD and continued to circulate into the 20th century." That implies that the article deals largely or exclusively with cash (wén) denominated money of all forms. (And cash [wén] was a currency beyond 1889 as you can see from Image:ROC-1912-10cash.jpg.) However, the article then veers into discussion of copper cash coins (tóng qián 銅錢/fāng kǒng qián 方孔錢) most of which were not wén denominated. The result is two sometimes conflicting topics dealt with in the same article with a vagueness and broadness that almost makes it seems like its dupicating the Chinese currency article.
Your note that "we don't have a statement of when the denomination wén was introduced...the article implies that it goes right back to the introduction of coins to China" is correct. The wén does not go right back to the introduction of coins. The most common denomination of all time was the wǔ zhū (Chinese article conforms this, see:五銖).
The wén denomination can be said to have begun in AD 621 (Tang Dynasty) with the first tōngbǎo (通寶) ("general currency") coins.(Schöth and here) The had no amount noted (they were all "ones") and they didn't have wén (文) marked either (that could be assumed though). Wén only shows up on coins later when iron or other coins with higher values appeared (although these usually say e.g. "value 5" only). I think the earliest surviving paper money is from much later so that doesn't apply either. I'll try to get more sources for this and add it to the drafts and article.
There just doesn't seem to be a compelling reason to combine Topic A (3000 years of struck copper coinage of many denomiantions) with Topic B (1300 years a specific denomination of struck, minted, and paper currency) with little in common but the English name "cash". I'm still wondering why you would prefer this to clearly dealing with the two separately just as cent (currency) and cent (United States coin) are. This is especially mysterious since you oppose using the English name cash and the Chinese word wén (文) definitely does not apply to all Chinese struck copper coinage. (A standard dictionary definition reads: "a former monetary unit"). See this Chinese template for various monies and notice there is no 文. — AjaxSmack 04:16, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
Now we're motoring. It's clear from what you have said that we need to have at least one article in addition to this one which describes the other currencies used before (and probably alongside) the wén. The Chinese wén article should start in AD 621 to avoid the current conflation. I'm afraid I was confused by your use of cash without the original name. One other point. Wén did not continue as a currency after 1889 (unless you're refering to areas which had yet to adopt the yuan). It continued as a denomination within the yuan currency system. I think it would be clearest if we stuck to the pattern applied elsewhere and have an article for each currency and, if needed due to size, a separate article for the coins and paper money.
Dove1950 (talk) 20:13, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
I assume what you mean is that, after 1889, the cash was no longer a base unit of currency -- I agree and the article should make this clear. I'm not sure that this was seen as an abrupt change in the meaning of wén at the time. It was a merging of the silver (tael) currency and the copper cash currency into one yuan system. However, the cash coin continued to be issued (struck and minted but still copper with a square hole) until the end of the Qing Empire including coins from Xuantong minted between 1909 and 1911[7].
With two articles, the time coverage would roughly be:
  • Chinese cash (currency) - the currency unit used ca. AD 621–AD 1889 with mention of use as a subunit through the 1920s
  • Cash (Chinese coin) - the type of copper coin struck between 300s-200s BC–AD 1911 with mention of earlier knife and spade money
As far as a general discussions of the other currency units in use throughout Chinese history, they are covered at Chinese currency and can be expanded on there until there is sufficient info for separate articles as is the case at Chinese Wikipedia. — AjaxSmack 19:28, 27 February 2008 (UTC)
I cannot support these changes until the proper nomenclature is used. As long as you stick with calling everything cash, there is no hope of producing articles which are clear and easy to understand. Please start using the Chinese names so that everyone can understand what you mean. Let's be clear, the name cash was not applied to any Chinese numismatic concept in 621 AD, nor for many centuries after.
I take your point about the fact that cast coins continued to be produced after 1889 but I'm not so sure about the idea of a "merger" of the wén and silver liǎng systems, as opposed to a replacement, all be it a gradual rather than an abrupt one. Could you elaborate on that point?
Regarding your final point, I still think that we should treat the Chinese currencies the same way we treat other countries', i.e., one article per currency name, only combining separate currencies into a single article when they share a name.
Dove1950 (talk) 15:54, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
← To address your points in reverse:
  1. I agree with "one article per currency name." Cash (Chinese coin) is not a currency but a type of struck copper coin that carried many currencies. I just meant that if there is more info on the individual currencies (e.g. wǔ zhū zh:五銖) written in the future, this can be split off as it is written per "one article per currency name."
  2. What I meant by the merger was that the old system had parallel copper (cash) and silver (tael) currency systems and the post-1889 one had 1000 cash (copper) = 1 yuan (silver). That doesn't need to be written that way in the article though. My point was merely that there was Chinese cash (currency) before 1889 and after.
  3. Perhaps you mean that the English word cash was not used in AD 621. You're right — English as we know it didn't exist in AD 621 but, then again, Standard Mandarin didn't exist until the 20th century so the currency wouldn't have been pronounced wén in AD 621 either.
  4. "Please start using the Chinese names" is not an option per WP:UE and now currency style guidelines. Furthermore, Cash (Chinese coin) doesn't exist conceptually in Chinese the same way it does in English. To Chinese, what we call cash are regular old copper coins with square holes in the middle. To Westerners, they are a unique East Asian type of coin, different from other copper coins, and are called cash. We can't change the fact that pound refers to a currency, a measure of mass, and a place for dogs; we just deal with it.

AjaxSmack 05:21, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

I think you are both on the right track. However, this is the English wikipedia, and WP:UE must be considered.
Now that Dove1950 has expanded the article to include usages of the word wén (文) in Chinese.... I believe the article now needs to be expanded to include usages of the word "Cash" in English, which is used differently and ambiguously. This can greatly complement the disambiguation page Chinese cash (disambiguation).
Once this expansion is accomplished, the article can be split. When the article is split, the passage describing different usages of the word Cash can be moved to the Cash (Chinese coin) article.--Endroit (talk) 17:17, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
Additional terminological clarity can be added with hatnotes and by amending Chinese cash (disambiguation) to include the etymology as follows:

Chinese cash may refer to:

  • Cash (Chinese coin) (fāng kǒng qián), a type of copper coin used in imperial China
  • Chinese cash (currency) (wén), a historical Chinese currency unit often used on cash coins
  • Cash (mass) (), a Chinese unit of weight equivalent to 1/1000 tael, and a currency equivalent to that weight in silver

The word "cash" used in these ways was derived from the Tamil kāsu, a South Indian monetary unit. The English word "cash," meaning "tangible currency," is an older word from Middle French caisse.[1].

AjaxSmack 20:50, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
To quote AjaxSmack "Please start using the Chinese names" is not an option per WP:UE and now currency style guidelines. I find this a thoroughly disingenuous attitude. First, it has been agreed on this discussion page, very recently, to stick with wén. Second, as has been pointed out by Endroit, the use of the word cash is ambiguous. To persist with the suggestion that a clear group of articles can be written using the term "cash" is simply folly and cannot succeed. It is precisely this kind of article which illustrates why the style guideline imposed without consensus will fail. WP:UE is all well and good until it obscures meaning. This is a clear case where that occurs. Either we follow a guideline blindly, refusing to use the proper terminology, despite the mess it will produce, or we act according to common sense, accuracy and the recent decision made on this discussion page, and use wén, lí, etc. and write clear, precise articles. I agree that we definitely need a page describing the different Chinese things to which the word cash has been applied.
Dove1950 (talk) 21:34, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
The proposed move to the English name discussed above was not agreed upon due to the lack of clarity of the article, not the terms per se. However, in order to gain more input, I will split the article and post a notice for discussion of the article title at WP:RM and Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Numismatics/Style. — AjaxSmack 02:32, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

Split executed[edit]

I split the article into Chinese cash (currency), the currency unit used ca. AD 621–AD 1889 with mention of use as a subunit through the 1920s, and Cash (Chinese coin), the type of copper coin struck between 300s-200s BC–AD 1911 with mention of earlier knife and spade money. General discussions of the other coins and currency units in use throughout Chinese history are covered at Chinese coins and Chinese currency.

There is some sentiment that these titles are not appropriate for the subject material covered by the articles. If this is the case for one or more cash/Chinese cash artilces, please discuss it at Talk:Chinese cash (disambiguation) rather than here. — AjaxSmack 19:34, 18 March 2008 (UTC)


The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Name changed reversed[edit]

The decision made not long ago on this discussion page has been observed and the page has been moved back to wén. In fixing the nomenclature, I have also reinstated several passages that were omitted during the split. There are still a lot of things to be done on this article. Just for starters, we need to back up the date of 621 for the introduction of the wén. If someone has Schöth, can they look it up there? We could also do with more information on the denominations issued before 1800. My catalogues don't go back earlier so I can't fill in the blank. It would also be nice to have a lot more about the first paper money, given that it really was the first paper money.
Dove1950 (talk) 14:16, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

Tonal marks not part of transliteration[edit]

The tonal mark of the pinyin representation of a character is not part of its English translation. Such is the policy and practice of Hanyu pinyin. These bits on top of characters are tonal marks, which are different from diacritics in European (and other non-European) languages. Tried to move the article as well but couldn't. Admin assistance? --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 05:22, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

Requested move - June 2008[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was No Consensus, closed by Splash.

This is a follow-up on a move request from earlier this year that did not receive consensus due to procedural issues involving the content of the article rather than the merits of the move. Some of these concerns have been addressed by the creation of another article, cash (Chinese coin), dealing with the type of copper coin and leaving this article to deal with the unit of currency. Although there may be good arguments for other content changes, please focus on the move request of this article as it currently exists.

Move request
Chinese wénChinese cash (currency) — per WP:UE (use English for article titles), WP:UCN (use the most common name for article titles), WP:OR (no original research), and Numismatics Style guidelines (use the term for the currency that is most commonly used by standard English language sources.). The use of the romanization of the Chinese in this case appears to be largely a creation of Wikipedia.

Numismatic sources such as the definitive Chinese Currency (Schjöth) or the general World Coin Catalog: Twentieth Century (Schön and Günter) use "cash." Please see "Chinese Cash Overview" for typical English usage of "cash" as both a type of coin and the unit of currency. The following are examples of coins from bothe the Qing and Republican periods that use the English name "cash" printed on the coin: [8] [9][10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16]. The word "cash" was also used in English on postage stamps such as this. There are no examples of the word wén ever being used in English on any cash coin. — AjaxSmack 03:02, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Survey[edit]

Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in one of the sections below 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 naming conventions.

Support[edit]

  1. Support as nominator. — AjaxSmack 03:02, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
  2. Support; Ajax seems to have covered the reasons. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 18:35, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
  3. Support - Also note that some of it known as "kue" and "pitis" in Brunei as described in the Brunei pitis article. --Novelty (talk) 11:12, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
  4. Support -- this is a good idea because wen means language or literature in Chinese so 'Chinese wen' means 'Chinese language' or 'Written Chinese' too. (It is 'Zhongwen' in Chinese). So this money should use the 'cash' as the word to be clear that its not about a language. 74.211.177.2 (talk) 19:54, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
  5. Support Reasons outlined by AjaxSmack.Mr.Clown (talk) 00:47, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
  6. This has been going on for months. Please decide preferably for the most useful title for people wanting to know about this topic. This should probably be moved for this reason. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 65.199.61.100 (talk) 15:09, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
Sorry I have not signed. I now am enrolled at Wikipedia and have a signature. TrinityExchange (talk) 17:10, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

Oppose[edit]

  1. Oppose what would Cash (Chinese coin) be for then? Chinese cash (currency) seems synonymous with chinese money, this article seems to be schizoid. If it's about a demonination of money, or a monetary base unit (ie. one cent, one dollar, one basis point), it should be renamed "denomination", if it's about the coin with a hole in it, there's another article for it. 74.15.104.182 (talk) 05:24, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
    • This article is about a unit or denomination of currency. Your idea has merit but current numismatic guidelines say that currency units should be named "<Adjectival country name> <denomination>." — AjaxSmack 05:22, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
      • But, are the paper money also called cash from numismatic sources? The "cash" issue comes about because it was printed on the coin, right? Also, consideration should be given to what archaeologists and sinologists call this. Still "Chinese cash (currency)" is a bad name, it implies "Chinese money". "Cash (Chinese monetary denomination)" is clear. There's also the guideline about naming articles without parenthetical disambiguation when a good name is available... 70.55.88.44 (talk) 05:35, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
        • Yes, the paper money is also called cash (e.g. "Notes of the Hung-wu reign (1368-1398AD) were issued in denominations of 100, 200, 300, 400, 500 and 1000 cash."[17]; though a clear difference between the coin and denomination was not observed a the time.) In addtion to the catalogs I cited above, here are some web-viewable sources:[18] [19] [20] You're right that parenthetical disamb should be avoided "when a good name is available" but the name "Chinese wén" was created for Wikipedia and does not reflect general or numismatic usage. — AjaxSmack 06:08, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
  2. Oppose. The name cash has multiple meanings just in the context of Chinese numismatics, let alone the wider world. Wén, on the other hand, is accurate, clear and unambiguous.
    Dove1950 (talk) 20:58, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
  3. Oppose. Most people nowadays rarely or never hear of a cash as a specific type of coin, and to most people "Chinese cash" would mean "Chinese" plus "cash", i.e. "Chinese money which is held as coins or notes and not in a bank/etc". Anthony Appleyard (talk) 04:45, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
    • Most people nowadays don't use the term cash because the unit hasn't existed for decades (cf. tael and catty). However, nearly all numismatic and encyclopedic sources continue to use cash to describe both the type of coin and the currency unit. If you have sources or evidence to the contrary, please share them. — AjaxSmack 05:22, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
  4. Oppose. I was very much on the fence about this at the beginning because while I believe calling the article wen unambiguously refers to the specific currency rather than any number of currencies that cash may refer to, AjaxSmack also provided several sources that used the term cash. Now that I have uncovered in the discussion below that there is a numismatic source that uses the term Chinese wen and also indicates that there were coins struck with the word wen on it, I am now more inclined to oppose this move. —Umofomia (talk) 04:58, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
Just curious, Umofomia, I haven't been able to find anything below to say that coins were struck with the word wen on them. Were there actually coins that carried the word wen? I'm not referring to the Chinese character 文, by the way, but the Roman letters "wen".

Discussion[edit]

Any additional comments:

See also previous discussion. — AjaxSmack 03:02, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Question: Just curious, were the etymologically cognate Korean mun and Japanese mon called cash too? If so, shouldn't the same reasoning be applied with them?. —Umofomia (talk) 08:29, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Although the Japanese and Korean struck coins themselves are often called cash (cf. Cash (Chinese coin)), the units usually aren't. Part of the reason is likely that, while the Chinese coins had the word "CASH" printed on them in English, the Korean ones, for example, read "MUN." See this image or this image for examples. — AjaxSmack 05:22, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
I'm guessing that the Chinese never wrote wen on their coins because they've historically shied away from romanization before the 1950s due to the fact that there was no standard dialect nor standard romanization to which to transliterate 文. For instance though it's pronounced /uěn/ (Pinyin: wén) in modern Standard Mandarin, it retains the /m/ initial in most of the other Chinese dialects, e.g., Standard Cantonese /mɐ̖n/ (Yale: màhn). So it may be an accident of linguistic history that the Chinese preferred to write cash on the currency rather than wen, unlike the Koreans who, having a much less diverse dialect continuum, wrote mun. —Umofomia (talk) 02:21, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
Well, it's lots of things in Chinese "dialects" (bûn in Minnan, ùng in Minbei, vun in Hakka, &c.) and you may be right about why it's not on coins but the same period saw "yuan" used instead of dollar and even "Chung-hwa Republic" printed on some bank notes. Furthermore, wén wouldn't have been the pronunciation in any type of Chinese 100 years ago. However, what's relevant here is that "cash" was used in English both at that time and now as the predominant (i.e., common) term for the currency both on the coins themselves and by encyclopedic and numismatic sources. — AjaxSmack 07:52, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

Complaint: It is disingenuous to claim (as is done above) that "wén" does not appear on any Chinese coins. As is clearly set out in this article, wén is a transliteration of 文, which appears on literally millions of coins.
Dove1950 (talk) 21:02, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

I said there are no examples of the word wén ever being used in English on any cash coin. However, a number of coins were inscribed with "CASH" in English. And the same name is used in numismatic literature and this is English Wikipedia, so there is no reason to transliterate. — AjaxSmack 05:22, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
As I said, you are being disingenuous. First you claim that wén doesn't appear, then you have to admit that it does appear and start changing your argument to one about transliteration. You're trying the same trick with the notes. Ancient Chinese notes were denominated in wén, the word cash was not applied by foreigners until centuries later. As for an example in the numismatic literature, why not Krause and Mishler, who use it on several occasions. You still haven't answered my other point, which is how "cash" is more accurate, clearer or less ambiguous that wén.
Dove1950 (talk) 15:34, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
I still say "wén" doesn't appear on any coin. If you can find one, please scan it or link to it and I will retract what I said. "Cash" is more accurate because that's the English name for it used by the Chinese at the time and by encyclopedias and numismatic sources now. If you disagree and believe that most English sources use "wén", please present your evidence and I will withdraw this proposal. "Cash" clearer because it's the common English name for the currency and this is English Wikipedia. In this case, "cash" is made unambiguous with the addition of a parenthetical disambiguator ("(currency)"). As a user pointed out above, wén is also an ambiguous word that has many meanings in Chinese, only one of which is a currency (see zh:文 if you read Chinese). "Chinese lkjhgfdsa" is not ambiguous either but it's not the English name of this currency. — AjaxSmack 04:29, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
The character 文 and wén are synonymous, since one is the transliteration of the other. Therefore, saying that wén doesn't appear on coins which clearly bear the character 文 is highly misleading. It is absolutely true that, as with many Chinese characters, 文 has more than one meaning. However, that does not mean that wén wasn't the name of this currency. One of the many problems with "cash" is that, in the context of numismatics it has more than one meaning. Wén has other meanings outside of numismatics but only one in this field, making it unambiguous. You quote WP:UCN (Use the most common name of a person or thing that does not conflict with the names of other people or things.) and WP:UE (Use the most commonly used English version of the name of the subject as the title of the article). Clearly, these are in opposition over the naming of this article, since wén is by far the commonest name. We cannot rely upon contradictory guidelines to decide this matter. Having dealt with the question of ambiguity, what about clarity and accuracy?
Dove1950 (talk) 22:02, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
Please cite sources that wén or even wen are that most common name. — AjaxSmack 07:55, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
BTW, I found a source in English that uses wen to refer to the currency (emphasis mine):

...has been used as a value on paper money since the ninth century, and some of the coins of Hsien Feng (1850-1862) have the word Wen on them.

— Frey, Albert R. (1919). A dictionary of numismatic names: their official and popular designations. New York: The American Numismatic Society.
Umofomia (talk) 04:16, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
Reading further, the source appears to consistently use "Chinese Wen" to refer to the currency (emphasis mine):

Mun, or Mon. The Korean name for the Chinese Wen (q.v.).

Van. The Annamese [Vietnamese] for the Chinese Wen (q.v.).

Umofomia (talk) 04:31, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps you should have also quoted the first line of the entry: "Wen: The modern Chinese word for cash (q.v.)" and if you quod vide up to page 41 of this source you will see the entry for Chinese cash (2nd of 3 "cashes"). This book includes many transliterations of Chinese terms with their English equivalents (e.g., chin or kin for catty, liang for tael) given with a q.v." to the English name much like Wikipedia has redirects. I have never denied that wen is the transliteration of the Chinese word for cash. However, WP:UE+WP:CN say use common English names and just as with catty and tael, cash fits the bill (pun not entirely intended). "Wen" is rare in English and, "wén", the current title here is never used and is an example of Wikipedia original research. I renew my call for evidence otherwise. — AjaxSmack 07:52, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
I'm glad to see further corroboration of the name of this currency. However, I frankly despair at the continued attempts to deny the existence of the term wén. I've already added a link to a Chinese-English dictionary which clearly indicates that wén is the transliteration of 文 ([21]) so why is this being questioned as original research?
Dove1950 (talk) 22:16, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
I've never denied that wén is a transliteration of 文 either. However, WP:UE, WP:CN, and Wikipedia numismatics style guidelines do not say "use a transliteration of a foreign term that is rarely or never used in English." The English name is "cash" and all the relevant guidelines prescribe that. — AjaxSmack 04:04, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
The link that Dove1950 gives does indeed prove that wén is the transliteration of 文. But if you look at the meanings given, you'll see that the meaning of 文 is "language; culture; writing; formal; literary; gentle". No mention of monetary units there.
The problem is the assertion that "the character 文 and wén are synonymous, since one is the transliteration of the other." This is not at all correct. For instance, Hong Kong coins have the name 圓 in Chinese and DOLLAR in English. According to Dove1950's criterion, the appearance of the character 圓 on the coin implies that it should be called the yuán, since the character 圓 and yuán are synonymous, one being a transliteration of the other. (Actually, it should be the Cantonese transliteration since Cantonese, not Mandarin, is the language of Hong Kong). This is manifestly incorrect. The English name, as given on the currency, is DOLLAR, which overrides any Chinese name that might be given. A transliteration from a foreign language is NOT automatically the English equivalent of the foreign language expression.
Bathrobe (talk) 08:23, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

First Bathrobe agrees that wén is the transliteration of 文, then s/he claims "This is not at all correct." Which is it? The fact that the particular meaning of wén discussed in this article is rare in modern Chinese is just one of a multitude of reasons why it must be preserved in this encyclopaedia. Otherwise, it will get lost along with all the other facts dumbed down by those intent on "translating" everything into English. To return once more to the guidelines, they disagree with one another and cannot be used to remove wén from this encyclopaedia. I have still to see any assertion as to how "Chinese cash (currency)" is either a clearer or more accurate name for this article.
Dove1950 (talk) 20:44, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

I am totally in the dark as to why Dove1950 cannot understand the point I am making. Wén is indeed the official pinyin transliteration of the Chinese character 文, but that does not make it the correct or most widely used name in English. The HK dollar example is a very clear example where the pinyin transliteration, contrary to Dove1950s assertion, is NOT the correct English name. I'm not quite sure why Dove1950 can't see the relevance of this as a counterexample to the quite false and misleading claim that the pinyin transliteration can automatically be taken as the correct English name.
Bathrobe (talk) 01:27, 30 June 2008 (UTC)
What parts of WP:UE, WP:CN, and numismatic guidelines do you not understand? "Cash" is the English name and the common name, both of which fulfill the numismatic guidelines. "Chinese wén" is "original research found only at this article in Wikipedia. I certainly would never argue that the Chinese name should be eleminated from the article entirely, but this is an English encyclopedia and the title should be in English. Two different Chinese regimes (Qing & ROC) printed the name "cash" on their coins over 100 years ago so this is hardly a case of non-Chinese agenda pushing. Article titles are not the place for Chinese linguistic preservation or any other such exercises, no matter how noble the cause. Hong Kong dollar is not located at Hong Kong man and New Taiwan dollar is not at Xīntáibì because those are not the common English names. The same is true for Chinese cash.
If you find my reasoning faulty, please show evidence that "cash" is not the English name or the common name or that it violates Wikipedia numismatic guidelines and show that "wén" is the English name or the common name for the currency. (A number of numismatic or encyclopedic sources are available at libraries or bookshops that would cover this topic.) Otherwise, no matter how principled your arguments, they are out of line with how Wikipedia articles should be titled. — AjaxSmack 07:45, 29 June 2008 (UTC)
Specifically, numismatic guidelines was changed without concensus, having previously stated that the local name should be used, whilst WP:UE and WP:CN directly contradict each other, as I pointed out earlier. Hence, these guideline can in no way be used to resolve this issue. You keep on bringing up Hong Kong as an example, as if you are unaware of English's far more significant role in that former British colony. I'm not sure how many times I've explained this, but, again, wén is the commonest name for this denomination (thus complying fully with WP:CN). In addition to its appearance on far more coins and banknotes, it appears in English language books, including both Krause & Mishler and Pick, by far the commonest catalogues for coins and paper money. By the by, AjaxSmack says that "no matter how principled your arguments...". Does that mean that you accept I'm right but you think blindly following guidelines is more important that being correct? If so, we've been having the wrong argument.
Dove1950 (talk) 21:40, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
"You keep on bringing up Hong Kong as an example." I would appreciate it if you could use the English language correctly. I did not "keep on" bringing up Hong Kong as an example. I mentioned it as counterexample to your unproved assertion that the pinyin transliteration is ipso facto the standard English equivalent. I then reiterated the argument when you rather disingenuously said: "First Bathrobe agrees that wén is the transliteration of 文, then s/he claims "This is not at all correct." Which is it? "
Indeed, you seem totally impervious to reason, because you just repeat the same assumption again when you say: "In addition to its appearance on far more coins and banknotes, it appears in English language books..."
As we have demonstrated above, wén does NOT appear on coins and banknotes. 文 does. Quite simply, the appearance of the Chinese character 文 on a coin or note does NOT mean that the word wén appears on that coin or banknote. 文 could just as easily be read mon (Japanese) as it could wén (Chinese). The Japanese actually had coins called mon, as I'm sure you realise, as did the Koreans (mun) and Vietnamese (van). At the time these coins and notes were in circulation, it is quite likely that even many Chinese users did not use the pronunciation wén. Cantonese users would have used the Cantonese pronunciation, Hokkienese users would have used the Hokkienese pronunciation, etc.
In fact it is palpably false to say that these coins carried the word wén because the transliteration wén DID NOT EXIST when the currency was in circulation. Pinyin is a product of the second half of the 20th century. How can you claim that these coins carried the word wén when it didn't even exist at the time?
I am aware that there are arguments for using wén as the name of the currency, but the simplistic notion that 文 = wén is not one of them.
Bathrobe (talk) 02:20, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

I'm not going to move this article on the basis of the debate above, as there is clearly some groundwork to be done on the names of a series of articles, at least all of which are named in a way that is not optimally-clear. There is also much disagreement about how best to resolve this. I would suggest that the necessary working-out is done before re-requesting the move. Splash - tk 00:11, 13 July 2008 (UTC) 00:09, 13 July 2008 (UTC) (PS. A non-numismatist's view is that the articles are extremely confusingly named, even if they might be technically accurate. "Chinese cash" is not about Chinese cash, "Chinese cash (currency)" is a redirect to an article that is not about "Cash (chinese coin)"... )

Close?[edit]

Shouldn't this section be closed, now that there's another section below, for a requested move? 70.55.85.40 (talk) 13:52, 10 August 2008 (UTC)

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

Word meaning[edit]

Should the article mention that the word 'wen' means literature or language in Chinese? I can't type Chinese to add it to the article myself. 74.211.177.2 (talk) 19:50, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Yes, it probably should. I'll add something appropriate.
Dove1950 (talk) 22:03, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Redirects[edit]

Now that it has been confrimed that this article should not be be moved, does anyone have any comments as to the questions raised by Splash? I myself would prefer Chinese cash (currency) to redirect here (as it presently does) since this is about the currency rather than the coins.
Dove1950 (talk) 21:32, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

Requested move - July 2008[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was Moved. Consensus is fairly strong, with a couple vocal dissenters. However, this being the English wikipedia, WP:UE comes out on top of WP:CN. -- SatyrTN (talk / contribs) 18:47, 11 August 2008 (UTC)

This is a continuation of discussions above.

Move request
Chinese wénChinese cash (currency unit) or something else — per WP:UE (use English for article titles), WP:UCN (use the most common name for article titles), WP:OR (no original research), and Numismatics Style guidelines (use the term for the currency that is most commonly used by standard English language sources.). The use of the romanization of the Chinese in this case appears to be largely a creation of Wikipedia and this particular version appears to be unique. The title should reflect the common English name for the currency unit, but the English name, "cash", has other uses in this context (see Chinese cash). A similar request above was closed due to admin confusion over terminology but underlying multiple guideline violations were not addressed. Relisting with wider notice to try and get more input.


Numismatic sources such as the definitive Chinese Currency (Schjöth) or the general World Coin Catalog: Twentieth Century (Schön and Günter) use "cash." Please see "Chinese Cash Overview" for typical English usage of "cash" as both a type of coin and the unit of currency. More importantly, two successive Chinese regimes themselves used the English name "cash" frequently on the coins themselves. The following are examples of coins from bothe the Qing and Republican periods that use "cash" on the coin: [22] [23][24] [25] [26] [27] [28] [29] [30]. The word "cash" was also used in English on postage stamps such as this. There are no examples of the word wén ever being used in English on any cash coin. — AjaxSmack 01:20, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

Discussion[edit]

Feel state your position on the renaming proposal including a preferred title by beginning a new line in one of the sections below 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 naming conventions.
  • Support a move to Chinese cash (currency unit) or Chinese cash (currency). Although "cash" has other meanings, the current title is a Wikipedia creation (OR) and is not the English name (UE) or the common name (CN). — AjaxSmack 01:20, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Has Ajax left anything to say? Septentrionalis PMAnderson 01:39, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Cash has the distinction of being NPOV as well. "wen" is biased towards Mandarin speakers, the currency name was probably pronounced differently in the other local Chinese languages (e.g. Cantonese in the south). --Novelty (talk) 03:27, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Support. Much of the argumentation for wén given earlier is flawed. is a Chinese character. Wén is a late 20th century romanisation (pin'yin) of the Mandarin Chinese pronunciation of that character. Claiming that the coins themselves physically show wén on the basis of a modern romanisation is anachronistic and simplistic in the extreme.Bathrobe (talk) 03:34, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Maybe support. But I'd like to hear the other side. Anyway, the title should be Cash (Chinese monetary unit). Currency to the average person often means paper money, not coins. Yours, GeorgeLouis (talk) 04:41, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Move to Wén (Chinese money) or similar? Part of this discussion seems to be: "Do we use the native Chinese name or an exonym?". As regards saying that transcription as "wen" or similar is OR or NPOV: well, the same could be said about Roman-alphabet transriptions of any Chinese word or name. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 04:44, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
I don't get it, Anthony. Of course we use an exonym, if that's what you call it. We use the name which is used in the English language. Are you arguing against this principle? Questioningly, GeorgeLouis (talk) 05:47, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose We've been through this very recently so why are we going through it all over again? You can't just keep on trying by making comments like "A similar request above was closed due to admin confusion over terminology" and hope no one will bother to read what was actually written last time. I could quite easily cut and paste all the opposing comments of the previous two discussions, just to make it clear how much opposition there is to such a move. Instead, I'll urge all participants to read these discussions. To begin with, let's try and bury once and for all the idea that WP:UE, WP:UCN, WP:OR and Numismatics Style guidelines are universal in their opposition to wén. In fact, WP:UCN favours wén since this is the most common name, WP:OR has nothing to say on the subject since there is nothing new about the name wén and the Numismatics Style guidelines were changed earlier this year from "use the local name" without consensus. Thus, only WP:UE would suggest "cash" and it is flatly contradicted by WP:UCN. I know I've said this before, but it's been consistently ignored and we seem to be in the mood for repetition.
    Dove1950 (talk) 19:57, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
What do you say to refute AjaxSmack's argument above, which seems persuasive? Sincerely, GeorgeLouis (talk) 08:03, 2 August 2008 (UTC)
The problem is that Dove1950 has not produced any convincing arguments. Dove1950's single, simplistic argument, which he clings to like a dog clings to a bone, is this: the only valid currency name is that which physically appears on the coin/note. Therefore, in the case of Dutch, gulden is correct; guilder is incorrect. This simplistic principle, which denies the reality of any other names, whether in common usage, in usage in historical documents, or materials produced by central banks issuing the currency, was eventually overturned at the numismatic style guidelines despite strenuous opposition from Dove1950, who based his argument entirely on this one point -- sorry to repeat it -- that "the only name that has any verifiable reality is that which is printed on the coin/note". Dove1950's argument here at Wén is exactly the same. He has reiterated ad nauseum that wén [sic] appeared on all coins, therefore we should use it as the only acceptable name. The problem is that he is on even shakier ground than he was with "guilder". What actually appeared on the coins was the character 文. Because 文 is conventionally rendered as wén in 20th century pinyin, Dove1950 maintains that 文 is tantamount to the ancients writing wén on the currency. That is his grounds for insisting that wén (including the tone mark) MUST be used in English.
The problem is that a Chinese character is not the same as a romanisation. Wén is merely one particular way of rendering the Chinese word 文 in romanisation. 文 can also be read もん mon (Japanese), among other things. The physical appearance of 文 on the coins is not a valid reason for insisting that the article should be named wén. The rigid application of this principle ("use the name shown on the coin/note") leads to OR. Following Dove1950's dogged insistence on this single principle results in names and usages (like wén, gulden) that are not generally followed in the English-speaking world. That is the nub of the problem.
Bathrobe (talk) 09:35, 2 August 2008 (UTC)
I would just add that, in this case, the word "wén" does not appear on any coin while the English "cash" does appear on a number of them (see links in nomination). — AjaxSmack 22:46, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
The position taken by Dove1950 and others is similar to that in many other parts of Wikipedia — native names must be used, and the English equivalents are not satisfactory. I have seen it elsewhere in WP. With all due respect, I think it is somewhat snobbish. Getting back to the precedent for titles of coins, look at the title Nickel (United States coin), and then at a U.S five-cent piece. Nickel appears nowhere on the coin: It is common usage that sets the title for Wikipedia. Again, can AjaxSmack's argument be refuted? If not, I will change my opinion to Support if an acceptable title using the word cash can be found. I invite AjaxSmack to make the change and see what happens. Sincerely, GeorgeLouis (talk) 16:03, 2 August 2008 (UTC)
Support so in that case in Cantonese the character is man4, so does that mean we can change it to Chinese man? I assume that cash is the most common English equivalent for this coin? Enlil Ninlil (talk) 04:48, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
Support -- this should be decided for the name that most people will recognize. It has been discussed for very long. (I supported this before also) TrinityExchange (talk) 19:01, 8 August 2008 (UTC)

Further Discussion[edit]

Is Bathrobe seriously suggesting that a Japanese romanization is as appropriate for an article on a Chinese topic as the Chinese romanization? That is patently nonsense, as is the by now well-refuted claim that wén is not used in the English-speaking world. Do I need to copy the relevant parts of the earlier discussion here or can I rely upon all participants to scroll up and read them? Let us give this discussion some historical context. The word cash appears on some of the coins and banknotes issued in the last few decades of production, whilst the character wén appeared on coins and banknotes for many centuries before and continued to be used on pieces which also bore the word cash. This unquestionably qualifies wén as the most common name, despite the disinformation of some of the participants in these discussions. There is nothing snobbish about wishing to use the correct name in an encyclopaedia. Wikipedia cannot allow itself to be dumbed down by the kind of argument given by GeorgeLouis. Accuracy is what matters.
Dove1950 (talk) 15:57, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

"Wén" does not appear on the notes. The character 文 does. "Wén" is the pronounciation of that character in one of the languages of China. There are probably hundreds of different ways to pronounce that character in the other "Han chinese" languages (e.g. "Maan" in Cantonese, "Boon" in Min nan, "Wun" in Hakka, "Mun" in Toishan, etc.), and Han is only one of the more than 50 ethnic groups of China (and I'm not even including places like Mongolia, Taiwan or North Vietnam which were at times part of the Chinese empire). The pinyin word "wén" is a recent creation - WP:OR, biased towards one of the hundreds (and maybe thousands) of Chinese languages - WP:POV, not English - WP:UE) and does not describe the name of the currency correctly (which is printed as 文 on the currencly). The English word "cash" is accurate, NPOV, and ultimately English, which should be its name on an English encyclopaedia. The "Father of Modern China" is not listed in pinyin as Sūn Yìxiān here on wikipedia, but as Sun Yat-Sen, which is the name he is most commonly known in English. The former British colony which reverted to China in 1997 is not listed in pinyin as xiānggǎng, or in Cantonese, the language most commonly spoken in the former colony, as heung1 gong2, but as Hong Kong instead, which was the name the British called it in English. Likewise, the currency 文 should use its common English name, in this English encyclopaedia. --Novelty (talk) 15:59, 10 August 2008 (UTC)
I don't believe that I suggested giving the Japanese romanisation. So Dove1950, please don't put words in my mouth.
If we're going to talk about dumbing down, I'm sorry, considering 文 to be the same as wén is the kind of thinking typical of a person who knows nothing about Chinese and Chinese characters. Dove1950 wants to be hip and authentic by calling the currency by its real Chinese name. Well, that name was 文, simple as that. For Chinese speakers, the character 文 exists in its own right and is the only valid name. A romanisation is no more than that -- a romanisation. It is not a substitute for the Chinese character. This is such an elementary point that Dove1950 seems to miss it.
It is one thing to suggest that the pinyin romanisation is the best English-language name for the currency. This is an argument worth considering on its merits. But to insist that the three letters w é n appeared on ancient Chinese coins, based on some modern Chinese-English dictionary, and to present this as an ironclad argument for the absolute authenticity of the name wén is just nonsense. is a Chinese character. It's written with four strokes: 丶, 一, 丿, and a fourth stroke I can't reproduce here. Wén is a romanisation. It's written with three letters: W, É and N. I'm sorry, Dove1950, but they are not the same thing. So stop presenting this dishonest and specious argument in support of your pet position and start talking sense.
Bathrobe (talk) 04:20, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
Please don't class Doves arguements as dishonest when s/he believe it to be true. Also the fact that the chinese language has changes so a 1000 years ago what would 文 have been pronounced as? Enlil Ninlil (talk) 05:50, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
It's dishonest when he presents his argument as gospel truth, pretends not to understand the proof to the contrary that his opponents present, and belittles and distorts their arguments to boot. What Chinese speakers pronounced this as 1000 years ago is not relevant. The point is that 文 should not be presented as identical to wén. It's that simple. As I said, you could argue that wén is the best name for the currency because that is the standard romanisation under the currently accepted pinyin system. But Dove1950 is not arguing that. Dove1950 is arguing that "the character wén" (his words, see above) appeared on the coins. This is a wilful distortion of the facts and I'm sick of hearing it presented as a serious argument.
We can debate the merits of using the pinyin romanisation as against the historic English name for the currency (cash). That is how the argument should be running. But we keep getting Dove1950 with his totally false assertion, which he believes to be true, that the character wén appeared on the ancient currency. When Dove1950 stops his stonewalling and starts arguing from a reasonable position he will be worth taking seriously. Until then, he is, I'm sorry, being dishonest.
Bathrobe (talk) 06:16, 11 August 2008 (UTC)
Please, let's all keep this discussions civil as defined in WP:CIVIL. I don't think Dove1950 is being dishonest eventhough he may appear that way. I think he is just confused and ignorant since he is involved in this case with a script (a logogram) that he probably knows nothing of. To reach concensus, we need to show him with our words why we know he is on the wrong path. You suggestion that we should "debate the merits of using the pinyin romanisation as against the historic English name for the currency (cash)" is a good one, and I'll start a section below regarding the issue.--Novelty (talk) 07:56, 11 August 2008 (UTC)

Pinyin vs Historical English Name[edit]

Discuss the merits of using the pinyin romanisation as against the historic English name for the currency (cash) as the wikipedia title/name. Note that both the pinyin and the historical English name should be in the leading line for this article and this is not being debated.

I will reiterate my position that we should use the historical english name, "cash", as opposed to the pinyin name. The reasons for not using the pinyin name is because:
  • wén is a transliteration of the character 文. The name of the currency is not wén but is instead 文.
  • 文 can be pronounced in a variety of ways depending on which part of the Chinese empire one is from and what language that person speaks, and which period in Chinese history the language was spoken. It is thus inaccurate to say that 文 = wén.
  • wén is one of the ways the character 文 can be pronounced and is biased towards a particular language and contradicts WP:NPOV
  • wén is not the English term for the currency and contradicts WP:UE

--Novelty (talk) 07:56, 11 August 2008 (UTC)

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

Revise the lead sentence[edit]

Ok... now that that's over with... Somebody please suggest a rewrite of the lead sentence so it doesn't say:

The cash (Chinese: 文 wén) was a currency denomination used in China between 621 and 1948.

I would do it myself but I have no good idea for it. Hong Qi Gong (Talk - Contribs) 18:39, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Why? While the dates are contested, it is otherwise true. The coin called the "cash" in English is called 文 in Chinese, which is officially transliterated "wén". The only thing I can think to change is to put the word "Chinese" in front of "cash". I'll check other currency articles to see if that is the norm. — trlkly 00:02, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
  1. ^ Douglas Harper (2001). "Online Etymology Dictionary". Retrieved 2007-04-11. Check date values in: |date= (help)