Talk:Earthly Branches

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search


It is possible someone can add the English translations [meanings] for the 24 Directions? I only see four English words North, South, East, West given - 20 more remain without clarity. Thank You In Advance. 01:27, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Looking at the version today, it looks like 8 directions are translated (north, northeast, east, southeast, south, southwest, west, northwest). To the best of my knowledge, English doesn't have specific names for each of the 24 listed directions.

I thought it was interesting to read the paragraph following the table, about a 48-point compass, and adding an additional midpoint (for 96 directions total) by combining the names of the nearest two directions. English does this with the 4 cardinal directions... any compass direction between about 22.5 and 67.5 degrees is referred to as "northeast", but the actual lines between north/northeast/east are sometimes vaguely defined. If we need more than 8 directions, we use terms like "north-northeast" to refer to the area between north and northeast... so you would end up with the following table of names and directions:

Written Spoken Left end
of range
of range
Right end
of range
N north 348.75° 11.25°
NNE north-northeast 11.25° 22.5° 33.75°
NE northeast 33.75° 45° 56.25°
ENE east-northeast 56.25° 67.5° 78.75°
E east 78.75° 90° 101.25°
ESE east-southeast 101.25° 112.5° 123.75°
SE southeast 123.75° 135° 146.25°
SSE south-southeast 146.25° 157.5° 168.75°
S south 168.75° 180° 191.25°
SSW south-southwest 191.25° 202.5° 213.75°
SW southwest 213.75° 225° 236.25°
WSW west-southwest 236.25° 247.5° 258.75°
W west 258.75° 270° 281.25°
WNW west-northwest 281.25° 292.5° 303.75°
NW northwest 303.75° 315° 326.25°
NNW north-northwest 326.25° 337.5° 348.75°

But this table has 16 entries, while the Chinese table has 24. So the systems are not orthogonal... the direction names are a little less specific in the English system, and thus there isn't a single name to correspond to each direction in the Chinese system. I think this is why there aren't translations for each Chinese direction...

Infinoid 15:44, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

Also please note there is a 32-point English system described on the Boxing the compass page. Written by smarter people than me :)

You could find enough names in that system to fill in the blanks on the Earthly Branches page, but the actual angles (in degrees) don't match up exactly. I wouldn't really call them "translations" - they'd be more like "closest equivalents", I think. Also, until today (after reading the Boxing the compass page), I had never heard of things like "SEbE". So I'm hardly an expert in such matters.

Infinoid 18:12, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

Ancient chinese put Zi (South) on the top. I changed the image.--刻意(Kèyì) 18:08, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Kazakh version[edit]

Since the image is of a fountain representing the Kazakh version of the 12 signs, should we not have discussion of the Kazakh version here? Or at least a link to it? LordAmeth (talk) 23:10, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Done. Vmenkov (talk) 03:41, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
Awesome. Thank you. LordAmeth (talk) 11:52, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

Why Turkish?[edit]

Pardon my ignorance, but why is there Turkish in the table? I understand that Japanese and other East Asian languages are included, as they were in the same culture sphere. But that can't be assumed for Turkish. Nowhere else does the article refer to any special association of the Earthly Branches with Turkish culture. Since this has been added by an anonymous user who has not edited since and is therefore not available for comment, I think we should simply revert the change. — Sebastian 22:26, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

A twelve year cycle of animal names was used throughout south-central Asia, including Turkey and Iran, which was derived from the Chinese-Uighur calendar of western China. However, including the Turkish and Farsi names, not to mention Nepalese and equivalent names in lanquages throughout south-central Asia, including Arabic, will overwhelm the table. See Kazakh version above and the image at the head of the article refering to their use in Khazakhstan. — Joe Kress (talk) 04:10, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

Thank you for your support. I'm not surprised that the animal cycle also played an important role in Khazakhstan - which was much closer to China than to regions using other calendars. (Almaty is only 200 km from the modern Chinese border.) But, at least in Islamic times, I would be amazed if Turkey and Iran had used anything but the Hijri calendar. — Sebastian 05:16, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

You misunderstand me. The twelve animal cycle was used in the calendars of all south-central Asian countries, including the calendars of Turkey and Iran. They only use the Islamic calendar for religious purposes, not for official government use. The twelve-animal cycle was not officially abandoned in Turkey until 1927 when it adopted the Gregorian calendar. Similarly, it was not officially abandoned in Iran until 1925 when the Iranian calendar adopted Zoroastrian month names. Despite these official decisions, the twelve-animal cycle is still known and used in both Turkey and Iran. Please see Chinese-Uighur calendar and Iranian calendar. — Joe Kress (talk) 06:34, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

Interesting! That's what I love about working on Wikipedia: You always learn something new. I think this information would be a great addition to the article. Would you have sources for it? — Sebastian 16:30, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

Unfortunately, I can't remember where I read about the Turkish cycle. I am currently researching the Iranian calendar because some of the information in the article is wrong. But the sources (principally long articles in Iranian encyclopedias) sometimes disagree and are not precise enough. But more info on the 1925 law is no doubt within them. — Joe Kress (talk) 16:32, 3 August 2009 (UTC)


Is there a reason why this page is linked to Jupiter?

Joeygbh (talk) 04:22, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

The article explains why. Jupiter takes about 12 years to move around the ecliptic, which corresponds to the 12 earthly branches when they are applied to years. This link was made in China as early as the Han dynasty. — Joe Kress (talk) 06:23, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

Correct translations?[edit]

Are the latin-alphabet names for dragon and horse correct?
Although I don't understand Chinese myself, a native speaker tells me the Chinese word for dragon is "long" and horse should be something like "ma". — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:04, 4 January 2013 (UTC)

Archaic vs modern words, perhaps? —Tamfang (talk) 21:49, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

Dragon Pin Yin[edit]

on my traslater dragon is Long, not Chen.

--Iching4096 (talk) 12:51, 25 April 2016 (UTC)