Talk:History of writing in Vietnam

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While I am not an expert on the subject, I am pretty sure the statement that written Japanese and Chinese are indistinguishable is not true. In fact, unless by Japanese it means classical Chinese written in Japan, then it is definitely false. Japanese does use chinese characters, but also two separate written scripts for parts of speech which have no equivalent in chinese. the meanings have changed, and pronunciations are also often different. Based on this, I would assume the assertion that one can read the chinese characters by simply replacing them with one's native language is also false. Revision as of 05:22, 10 December 2006 User:Apocalyptic Destroyer

You've misunderstood the article's assertion, I think. In ancient times, Classical Chinese (a language never in fact spoken by anyone, but related to Middle Chinese) was the East Asian equivalent of Latin in Europe. It was the language of the educated, and texts intended for consumption by the intellectual elite of the period were all authored in it, much as Latin was used in the middle ages. In the same way that a text authored in Latin by a French person of the time was not consistently distinguishable from a text authored in Latin by an Italian person, texts authored in classical Chinese by a Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese or Chinese person were all essentially similar -- none was actually writing in his native language, after all.
In those days, Japanese kana did not yet exist and no one wrote Japanese at all -- there was no way to write Japanese. The educated wrote things in Chinese. After a while, people started wanting to write their own language. The Japanese tackled this problem by picking a number of Chinese characters whose sound in Chinese approximated a syllable of their own language, and ignoring their meaning -- that is, using them purely phonetically. This system later developed into Hiragana and Katakana.
The Vietnamese tackled the problem differently. They created new characters, called chữ Nôm, to write native Vietnamese words. This worked well enough because Vietnamese, like Chinese, is basically a monosyllabic language and has a large number of homophones. But, like the Koreans, the Vietnamese resented constantly being invaded by China and thus saw Chinese characters as a sign of China's cultural domination; this is probably one of the chief reasons that the Latin based quốc ngữ script became their national standard (much as the Koreans have almost completely abandoned Hanja and write entirely in Hangul). Of course, the Japanese also created some of their own characters (kokuji) but I won't get into that here.
There is evidence that the use of Kanji is waning in Japan as well; comparisons of documents from 50 years ago and today indicate that the ratio of Kanji to Kana is falling rapidly. This is not particularly surprising, of course -- Chinese characters are an ill-fit for the Japanese language. Japanese is agglutinative, polysyllabic, and non-homophonic, except in Sino-Japanese constructs. Attempting to spell words that aren't at all cognate the same way has resulted in Japanese kanji being a confusing mess, with common characters having dozens of different readings, nothing resembling the Chinese one-character-one-syllable rule... the Japanese themselves are confused by Kanji. According to Japanese estimates, only about 3000 characters are now needed to read a newspaper in Japan, and furigana are common. For comparison, 3000 characters is nowhere near enough to read a newspaper in China.
Hope that helps... Also, please sign your comments with four tildes, thanks 02:31, 13 July 2007 (UTC)


I have rewritten this article because I found that the old article said Chu Nho is a Vietnamese writing system which is not true. Chu Nho is classical Chinese, that was used in Vietnam. Vietnamese could be written in vernacular chinese characters as well, but that is today called Chu nom. - Retval 10:49, 23 May 2005 (UTC)


I think this page should be merged into the Sino-Vietnamese page, although the Chu Nom page should remain sperate. Le Anh-Huy 03:17, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Sino-Vietnamese does not refer to the writing, but to the vocabulary, which can be written in any form. DHN 18:27, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

Requested move 2007[edit]

It was requested that this article be renamed but there was no consensus for it to be moved. --Stemonitis 17:52, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

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.

Hán TựHan Tu — Per WP:NC(UE), articles should be named using the Latin alphabet. This article uses the Vietnamese alphabet. Hong Qi Gong (Talk - Contribs) 02:26, 28 January 2007 (UTC) Hong Qi Gong (Talk - Contribs) 02:26, 28 January 2007 (UTC)


Add  # '''Support'''  or  # '''Oppose'''  on a new line in the appropriate section followed by a brief explanation, then sign your opinion using ~~~~. Please remember that this survey is not a vote, and please provide an explanation for your recommendation.

Survey - in support of the move[edit]

  1. Hong Qi Gong (Talk - Contribs) 02:26, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
  2. Weak support. Article titles should not include diacritics for indicating tone; otherwise we would have article titles like Máo Zédōng and Zhāng Zǐyí. On the other hand, some other diacritics are acceptable; it's not clear whether ư is among them. Wikipedia lacks consistent policies on this subject.—Nat Krause(Talk!·What have I done?) 19:31, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
    The difference is that Máo Zédōng and Zhāng Zǐyí are transliterations and not their names. Hán Tự is the actual name. (And I support using complete correct pinyin [i.e., with tone marks] but I know it would be a losing battle). —  AjaxSmack  19:18, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
    Well, except they are not just transliterations of their names, those are basically their names in English. You'll notice that most English publications do not actually add those tone marks in their names when they are written. I just did a quick search on BBC and CNN, and I noticed they do not add tone marks when their articles mention Vietnamese names. I think we should follow that convention. Hong Qi Gong (Talk - Contribs) 20:10, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Survey - in opposition to the move[edit]

  1. Oppose. WP:UE doesn't apply here since Hán Tự is not English anyway. (The English would be Chinese character which is already taken by a related article). And the Vietnamese alphabet is a form of the Latin alphabet with diacritics (like with French or Hungarian) that Wikipedia freely uses in article titles. —  AjaxSmack  02:03, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
  2. Oppose. The English and Vietnamese alphabets both use the same script: Latin. The title of the article will not be any more English with or without the diacritics. Diacritics hold meaning to some. Others may ignore them without any difficulty. A redirect already exists for Han Tu, so there no difficulty finding the page. Bendono 11:20, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
  3. Weak oppose, but perhaps it should be moved to Chữ Hán (128,000 ghits[1]) or Hán tự (11,200 ghits[2]) instead. Wikipeditor 02:42, 31 January 2007 (UTC)


Just a comment - editors interested in this move request might also be interested in the same move request at Talk:Chữ Nôm. Hong Qi Gong (Talk - Contribs) 19:43, 30 January 2007 (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.

Historical context around replacing hán tự?[edit]

The first discussion on this talk page back from 2007 had some interesting points (unfortunately no links to back that up.) There was an opinion that it was driven by nationalist sentiment (i.e., against perceived Chinese "hegemony.") Well that's what I get, but what about the communist rule (generally, I think it could be said that communists didn't like Han characters, for example, see Four Olds.) And what role has the French colonial rule played? If anyone is more knowledgeable on this subject it would be great to include this in the article, or you could dump links to external sources here and I could do it. Thus far, searching, e.g., "han tu communists" returns a bunch of dictionary definitions and similar irrelevant stuff. Samarkandas valdnieks (talk) 01:24, 20 October 2011 (UTC)

Hán tự? --> chữ Hán![edit]

Please rename this article. Hán tự is not the word Vietnamese people would refer to this. The expression chữ Hán or chữ Nhois used instead. Hán tự is a character by character transliteration, but it's basically not a native expression, just check the title of the Vietnamese version of this article. Nước mắm ngon quá! (talk) 19:37, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

You can propose a move via the steps at WP:Requested moves if you like. -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs email 00:26, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

Undiscussed controversial move counter RM, + redirect lock preventing revert[edit]

  • (cur | prev) 13:53, 18 September 2012‎ Kauffner (talk | contribs)‎ . . (72 bytes) (+52)‎ . . (added Category:Redirects from titles with diacritics using HotCat) (undo)
  • (cur | prev) 17:41, 22 February 2012‎ Kauffner (talk | contribs)‎ . . (20 bytes) (+20)‎ . . (moved Hán tự to Han tu: Remove Vietnamese diacritics as these are rare in published English.)

The same happened to Talk:Chữ Nôm. The result of a RM was overturned by undiscussed move and the move locked by redirect edit so that it could not be reversed. In ictu oculi (talk) 23:45, 24 October 2012 (UTC)


Why is the title of this article not mentioned in the opening sentence? Chữ Hán is by far the most common name for this subject in Vietnamese. WP:UNDUE emphasis is being placed on explaining non-English terminology that is quite obscure even in Vietnamese. Kauffner (talk) 19:41, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

Because the article is mistitled. Chữ Hán is the most common name in Vietnamese, but Chữ nho is almost as common in Vietnamese and used more in English sources, even popular sources such as Lonely Planet. And Chữ nho was the first stub-form:

Chữ nho (字儒) is one of the Chinese based scripts used for zriting Vietnamese language. Other scripts, like hán tư – which was more sinicized – and chữ nôm – which was more vernacular – have been used over the centuries. Nowadays only quốc ngữ is still in use.

Then on 03:55, 9 April 2006‎ Le Anh-Huy (moved Chữ nho to Hán Tự: the other article has more information on the same topic, so this one is redundant) (undo)
Then on 17:41, 22 February 2012‎ Kauffner (moved Hán tự to Han tu: Remove Vietnamese diacritics as these are rare in published English.) ...another of a series of moves counter RM results.
Evidently the article needs to either go back to Chữ nho or Chữ Hán. In the meantime actual improvement of the article is more important. In ictu oculi (talk) 00:53, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
The usual meaning of chữ nho in modern Vietnamese is "small letters." The meaning that is being attributed to the word here is quite obscure. I had to check several dictionaries before I found it. Most Vietnamese do not associate this word with Chinese. It would be an "actual improvement" if we got rid of it. Kauffner (talk) 03:03, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
The Vietnamese for miniscule font, "small letters," is wikt:chữ nhỏ; wheras chữ nho, often but not always capitalized as wikt:chữ Nho does not mean small letters, it means Confucian letters.
In any case,
First, before doing anything else you need to please restore this article to consistency with RM result.
Then, when you've done that, maybe we can gather a forum of editors to discuss whether Chữ nho (more common in English sources) or chữ Hán (more common in Vietnamese sources) is appropriate to the subject of Chữ nho/chữ Hán.
So, will you please undo your move and restore the article to previous RM result, or do we need admin assistance? In ictu oculi (talk) 04:48, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
Vietnamese all know what chữ Hán is, but they don't necessarily know what chữ Nho or Hán tự is. So the article should obviously be at Chu Han. But it seems that your only interest is point scoring. Kauffner (talk) 05:15, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
No Kauffner, my interest is in providing sourced accurate articles and growing the encyclopedia. As far as I can see all you have done for this article is stripped the Vietnamese name contrary to an RM result. According to the edit history you have not contributed 1 byte to this article.
Now, again, will you please undo your undiscussed move and restore the article to previous RM result, or do we need admin assistance? In ictu oculi (talk) 05:51, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
Lord Buddha on a motor scooter! Every step of how we got to this point suggests malicious intent. OK, there is a slim chance you got interested in this article for some reason other than the fact that you knew I didn't like the title. But why push for chữ Nho? It is neither the most common name, nor was it suggested by anyone else. And if you sincerely think chữ Nho should be the title, why fixate on the Hán tự/Han tu issue? We's gone around this dog track many times now, so don't think I don't know what you are doing. Perhaps I should feel flattered that you can spend so much time and energy on making trouble for me. Kauffner (talk) 10:22, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Please restore the article according to RM result. In ictu oculi (talk) 10:34, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

Requested move 2013[edit]

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

The result of the move request was: pages moved (majority after 38 days; Chu Nom to Chữ nôm needed history-merge). Anthony Appleyard (talk) 09:33, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

– Restore to original article titles. For background chữ nho and the expanded chữ nôm character sets are two kinds of Chinese characters in use in Vietnam until the French colonial period. They are today studied only by Vietnamese historians, or calligraphers. A third term Hán tự (=Kanji in Japanese) today includes Vietnamese students learning modern Japanese or modern Chinese and is covered by our umbrella article Chinese characters. The term chữ nho is used by Lonely Planet's Vietnam, Routledge's Colloquial Vietnamese course, Thompson's Vietnamese Reference Grammar. The second article chữ nôm needs to be restored to previous RM result after undiscussed move. The term nôm Vietnamese script needs to be distinguished from nộm, Vietnamese salad. (Any other issues see article sources) Relisted. BDD (talk) 18:09, 22 February 2013 (UTC) In ictu oculi (talk) 03:04, 2 February 2013 (UTC)

  • Oppose. Chữ Nho is a Vietnamese word for Classical Chinese. I assume the idea of this article is that it should be something equivalent to the kanji article for Japan, or the hanja article for Korea. As there no word equivalent to kanji that applies to Vietnam, the article should have a descriptive title, something like Chinese characters in Vietnam. Kauffner (talk) 12:13, 3 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. let's restore the diacritics, also Chữ nho is somewhat a Vietnamization of the term "chữ Hán". ༆ (talk) 21:21, 3 February 2013 (UTC)
On Vietnamese Wiki, this subject is dealt with in the Vietnam section of their vi:Chữ Hán (Chinese character) article. There is no specific name for it in Vietnamese. To give this article a Vietnamese title not only goes against use English, but also also misleads the reader as to Vietnamese usage. Kauffner (talk) 01:10, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
Of course, as User:Yigmgo says above: "also Chữ nho is somewhat a Vietnamization of the term "chữ Hán"." and we can see in the sections of the vi:Chữ Hán (Chinese character) article the national sections:
4. Chữ Hán ở các nước = chữ Hán in each country
  • 4.1 Việt Nam = chữ Hán in Vietnam ... tiếng Việt bị ảnh hưởng mạnh mẽ của chữ Hán (hay còn gọi là chữ Nho).
  • 4.2 Trung Quốc = chữ Hán (or Han zi) in Zhongguo (China)
  • 4.3 Triều Tiên = chữ Hán (or Han ja) in Chosun (Korea)
  • 4.4 Nhật Bản = chữ Hán (or Kan ji) in Nippon (Japan)
In en.wp however we do not need to cover chữ Hán in China, Chosun, Nippon because we already have articles for Hanzi, Hanja and Kanji. And this article is (and always has been) about, as User:Yigmgo says above, Chữ nho. This chữ nho article has never contained information about Chinese characters in China, Chinese characters in Korea, Chinese characters in Japan, this is specifically about chữ nho. In ictu oculi (talk) 02:18, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
BTW: I should however note that there's nothing too wrong about chữ Hán as a second choice and chữ Hán already redirects here, and chữ Hán still could/should replace the totally incorrect Hán tự in some article lead headings, but this RM was preceded by discussions about actually improving the article content over 2 months and on balance 3 out of 3 vi.wp editors who commented concluded that chữ nho was more specific to Vietnamese than chữ Hán and more inline with English sources (such as Lonely Planet the Vietnamese grammars and Vietnamese course). So in this case (1) original stub title and (2) English sources and (3) editor preference happily coincide. In ictu oculi (talk) 02:34, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
For the benefit of those who don't read Vietnamese, I will translate the passage quoted above: The Vietnamese language was strongly influenced by chữ Hán (also called chữ Nho). From the context, this is clearly a reference to Classical Chinese. Judging from the references to "Chosun" and "Nippon" above, the use of terminology is getting quite creative here. The article itself has been rewritten along the same lines, as if the idea was to create some sort of new language. English-language books on this subject don't use any of the Vietnamese terms. David Marr's Vietnamese Tradition on Trial, 1920-1945 (1984) uses "Chinese characters" and "Classical Chinese" all the way through the book. There is no mention of chữ Nho, hán tự or chữ Hán.
The dictionary meanings of chữ Nho and chữ Hán are the same. But the literal meaning of chữ Hán is "Chinese character", so it is occasionally applied to modern Chinese writing as well. I don't know the "vi.wp editors" told you, but neither one is more "Vietnamese" than the other. Kauffner (talk) 05:54, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
As above. In ictu oculi (talk) 06:48, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
If anyone wants know what I think of the title for the chu Nom article, it should be just Nom, which is what Marr calls it. It's the Vietnamese Nôm Preservation Foundation, not the "Chữ Nôm Foundation." Kauffner (talk) 03:34, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
As User ༆ YigMgo above. All we need do is restore the original RM result. In ictu oculi (talk) 07:04, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
The last RM was 3-2 in favor of the current title. Why are we talking about an RM from six years ago? Kauffner (talk) 07:19, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
An RM result is still an RM result. You shouldn't be moving articles counter RM results. In ictu oculi (talk) 07:52, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
What result? It was "no consensus." Did you propose this RM to move something or other, or to hash over obscure grievances from years ago? Kauffner (talk) 08:28, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
Kauffner, please take it up with admin Stemonitis if you believe the original RM close was incorrect. In ictu oculi (talk) 09:09, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
Is there a point to all this? It's you own RM, you know. Why use disruptive tactics? Kauffner (talk) 10:19, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
Please see nom for rationale. [3] [4]. In ictu oculi (talk) 11:14, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
It's nice to see that you're maintaining focus. I wouldn't want you to be sidetracked into a discussion as to the merits of the titles. Eight years ago, some random editor who clearly didn't understand this subject picked out the proposed title. What's not to like? Kauffner (talk) 12:23, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
Chữ nho means Classical Chinese, so it's not quite the right word. The Vietnamese media calls this subject "Han-Nom", as you can see here and here. This corresponds to our template {{Vietnamese name}}. Here is a story in Vietnamese about Han-Nom classes. It explains that students take the classes to be able to read their clan genealogies, as well as the old temple inscriptions. There is also a Han-Nom Research Institute in Hanoi, so I take this is the state-approved terminology. Kauffner (talk) 23:51, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
Kauffner, sorry but this new opinion (original research?) of yours as incorrect as your mistaking nho ("Confucian") for nhỏ ("small") above. Here I am not clear if you have mistaken "Hán-Nôm" for "Hán equals Nôm," which isn't what the hyphen Hán-Nôm means; the name of the institute is because it studies both "Hán & Nôm" just as people study "Hán & Nôm" together. You cannot even start learning the 5,000 Nôm characters without the basic 3,000 Hán characters under the belt. So of course they are taught together. The phrase is never "Nho-Nôm" for a very simple reason - they don't just study Chữ nho texts, they also study original Chinese-written Chinese texts, hence "Hán" not just "Nho."
Back to English, in the majority of English printed sources (not just Lonely Planet, Thompson, Routledge) chữ nho vs chữ nôm are used to distinguish the two types of Vietnamese-written writings in Vietnamese history. These English sources avoid Hán for the same reason the Hán-Nôm Institute includes it, because chữ Hán includes both Chinese-written and Vietnamese-written texts. But this article doesn't include Chinese literature it is about the script for Vietnamese-written Chinese literature written in Vietnam.
And also you shouldn't be generating so many bytes of text in reply to Yig Mgo's support. Yig Mgo is a native Vietnamese speaker, and is one of the 3 editors I discussed the lead of this article with 2 months ago when the problem was first raised. No User gets more than a single !vote no matter how many bytes they generate (and yes I know I've just expended even more bytes in explaining what "Hán-Nôm Institute" means). In ictu oculi (talk) 06:57, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Let me get this straight: "Chữ nho" is English, but "Han-Nom" is not?? This is your actual argument? Thompson and Routledge don't "get us back to English". Both of them are books for learning Vietnamese. Since you refuse to click on the links I gave above, I guess I will have to copy out some quotes:
    • "Each woodblock has two sides, carving reverse Han Nom scripts of various contents: medicine, literature, spells, Buddhist rules, etc." (Vietnam Net)
    • "The text, written in Han Nom (a script combining Han Chinese with Vietnamese ideography), chronicles the folklore of ancient Hanoi," (Thanh Nien)
    • "Additionally, being a “Truyen Kieu” enthusiast he has spent much time collecting ancient copies of “Truyen Kieu” as a hobby and to research Han-Nom scripts to read medicinal books." (Vietnam Net)
    • "Pham Thuc Hong, a Hoi An native who will teach the art said he wanted to pass on to younger generations a passion for Han-Nom writings and introduce to tourists a cultural trait of the city." (Tuoi Tre)
    • "The Han-Nom carved scripts are reported at relics throughout Vietnam" (VietnamPlus) Kauffner (talk) 09:20, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
Kauffner, I'm not going to respond to this (since it is covered above). You get 1 !vote. If anyone wants to read up in English books, great. In ictu oculi (talk) 10:44, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
  • This has been a rather complex discussion and I suspect that many readers will be quite confused by it, so let me see if I can sort it out. Wiki has what I understand to be the parent article on this subject at Chinese character. There are subarticles on the use of Chinese characters in Korea at hanja, and in Japan at kanji. On {{Table Hanzi}}, this article is linked to as the corresponding article for Vietnam. In Chinese, these characters are called , which Romanizes as hanzi in pinyin, hanja in the Korean system, kanji in the Japanese system, and Hán tự in Vietnamese. But unlike "hanja" and "kanji", "Hán tự" is not a word in common use. It's more like a pronunciation guide to show Vietnamese how the Chinese word should be spoken. At least before all the recent edits by IIO, this was the subarticle on the use of Chinese characters in Vietnam. As you can see in the examples I gave above, the Vietnamese English-language press refers to this subject as "Han-Nom." Modern Vietnamese is written in alphabetic script, but you can still see these characters on temple carvings, genealogies, and manuscripts such as those archived at the Han-Nom Research Institute. They may be used to write either Classical Chinese (Han) or Vietnamese (Nom). Chữ Nho is a Vietnamese word for Classical Chinese, and thus a subset of Han-Nom. Kauffner (talk) 23:44, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
Kauffner, I would like to ask three questions please:
(1) is the Lonely Planet summary Page 522 cited in the move proposal factually incorrect?

"For centuries, the Vietnamese language was written in standard Chinese characters (chữ nho). Around the 13th century, the Vietnamese devised their own writing system called chữ nôm (or just nôm), which was created by combining two Chinese words or by using single Chinese characters for their phonetic value. Both writing systems were in use until the 20th century – official business and scholarship was conducted in chữ nho, while chữ nôm was used for popular literature. The Latin-based quốc ngữ script, widely used since WWI, was developed in the 17th century by Alexandre de Rhodes (see the boxed text, right). Quốc ngữ served to undermine the position of Mandarin officials, whose power was based on traditional scholarship in chữ nho and chữ nôm, scripts that were largely inaccessible to the masses." Lonely Planet Vietnam 10th Edition Nick Ray, Yu-Mei Balasingamchow, Iain Stewart - 2009 p522

(2) the three editors I discussed this with when working on the article (one of whom is YigMgo above) all were happy with chữ Hán as a second choice, would you accept chữ Hán?
(3) If this RM continues 2:1 will you accept an admin restoring the two articles to the previous RM results? In ictu oculi (talk) 01:41, 14 February 2013 (UTC)
You could try arguing for whatever result you want based strictly on the merits, guidelines, RS, or whatever. This has been a lot of playing prosecutor and other disruptive tactics. You must have gotten involved in this issue because you knew I didn't the title and article and wanted to changed them. You want this to be an article about Classical Chinese? We already have an article on that. Kauffner (talk) 15:51, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
As above. In ictu oculi (talk) 08:39, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Support the second proposal (Chu NomChữ nôm) per nom. (No need for the caps or the orthographic bowdlerization). I'm fine with the first proposal (Han tuChữ nho) as chữ nho seems more common but would also entertain the idea of a descriptive title as proposed by User:Kauffner along the lines of "Chinese characters in Vietnamese". —  AjaxSmack  02:40, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Support the second proposal and, like AjaxSmack, either one or the other for the first. Diacritics please. By the way there is no such thing as Han-Nom characters. There are people who study Han-AND-Nom. Itsmejudith (talk) 21:59, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
    • Vietnamese certainly know what Hán-Nôm is. Tuổi Trẻ, Vietnam's top newspaper, has far more examples of this term than of either Hán tự or chữ Nho. (See "Hán - Nôm" There is a journal called Han-Nom Review. Langenscheidt's defines Hán-Nôm as "Sino-Vietnamese characters". Not only is chữ Nho less common, but the meaning is different. Is the idea that this article should be about Classical Chinese? In that case, we would need to create another article about the characters. Kauffner (talk) 05:49, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
But that's how Vietnamese works! Your argument is like saying that because we find references to "Franco-British understanding" everyone in England knows what "Franco-Britain" is. The meaning of Han-Nom is Han And Nom. Itsmejudith (talk) 07:02, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
VOV has hundreds of English-language examples of "Han-Nom". Here is one: "France helps preserve Han-Nom literary work". You don't think they know how to translate? No, they don't have any English-language examples of of "chu Nho": "chu Nho" Kauffner (talk) 07:58, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
Kauffner, you speak no Vietnamese at all and are totally out of your depth. You probably think that references to the Jiaoliu Railway prove that there is a place called Jiaoliu. Itsmejudith (talk) 14:15, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
I gave a dictionary definition for Han-Nom just above. That should have resolved this issue. But apparently you've convinced yourself that you know better than Langenscheidt's and VOV. I guess when someone can tell you trivia about railways in China, their Vietnamese must be just that good. Kauffner (talk) 22:08, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Support exactly as AjaxSmack and Itsmejudith, basically. The capitalization is wrong, there is no reason to remove diacritics especially when they're actually used in English-language sources, as has been shown to be the case here, and either of the Han tu options is okay, though I prefer just reverting it back to Chữ nho, I think, along with Chu NomChữ nôm. — SMcCandlish  Talk⇒ ɖכþ Contrib. 21:22, 2 March 2013 (UTC)


Which articles do you think we are misnaming -when we agree with you? Itsmejudith (talk) 23:17, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
Oh I see. That certainly puts personal grievances first. Any Vietnamese dictionary will tell you that chữ Nho is just another word for chữ Hán. Take a look vi:chữ Hán. It's all about the use of literary Chinese in various countries. Kauffner (talk) 04:07, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
Kauffner, please consider this (1) you appear to be the only one going round in circles in this (2) you have a conflict of interest since you are trying to prevent your own diacritic-stripping moves counter RM results being reverted.
Judith, as per above I originally thought chữ Hán would be equally good, and it's still okay as second choice. However in the process of sourcing the article over the past 3 months I discussed with 3 Vietnamese editors who all 3 came to the same conclusion as Lonely Planet. "Chinese characters" (chữ Hán) in Vietnamese includes modern Chinese-Japanese-older Korean as well as pre-French chữ nho was already raised above and explained above, twice already. "Confucian characters" (chữ nho) in Vietnamese is a more specific term which focuses on the Confucian context of those texts in Vietnamese, a layer of Confucian bureaucracy and culture above the vernacular Chữ nôm. In ictu oculi (talk) 05:32, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
Haven't I debunked this one already? Chữ nho and chữ Hán are exactly the same thing. Here is Stratu, a Vietnamese-language dictionary: Chữ nho Danh từ, chữ Hán, theo cách gọi thông thường của người Việt Nam thời trước/"Chữ nho, noun, chữ Hán, a method of writing used by Vietnamese long ago." I have also checked several printed dictionaries. They all say that chữ nho is equivalent to chữ Hán, i.e. Classical Chinese. Kauffner (talk) 11:49, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
So what is the Vietnamese term for the simplified characters used in PRC? Remember, while it is true to say "roses are flowers", it is not true to say "flowers are roses". Itsmejudith (talk) 11:59, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
Simplified characters is chữ giản thể. If you say, chữ Trung Quốc (Chinese characters), the modern form of the language is implied. Kauffner (talk) 13:18, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
Kauffner, as Judith said you are out of your depth, ask your language teacher. It is possible to say chữ giản thể "simplified characters" without "Hán" meaning Chinese if the context "Hán" is established, but normally as per vi.wp vi:Chữ Hán giản thể = Simplified Chinese characters and vi:Chữ Hán phồn thể = Traditional Chinese characters.

"Chữ Hán được du nhập vào nước ta từ thời Bắc thuộc và phổ biến nhất từ thế kỷ X đến đẩu thế kỷ XX. Phổ biến chữ Hán ở Việt Nam gắn liên với phổ biến của Nho học nên ở đây nó được gọi là chữ Nho, chữ thánh hiên." Phạm Văn Khoái Một số vấn đề chữ Hán: thế kỹ XX (Some Issues concerning Chinese Characters in the 20th Century) Viện nghiên cứu Hán nôm 2001 Page 21 Translation: "Chinese characters were introduced into the country during the Northern Domination, and became commonly used from the tenth century to the early twentieth century. The popular use of Chinese characters in Vietnam was tied to the popularity of Confucianism so here it is called the Confucian characters, or sacred characters."

In any case this article should be restored to the original title because it agrees with Lonely Planet's Vietnam, Routledge's Colloquial Vietnamese course, Thompson's Vietnamese Reference Grammar etc. not because it agrees with the Hán-Nôm Institute publication above. In ictu oculi (talk) 15:02, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
Your own quote says that chữ Nho is another name for chữ Hán. Is there any point here beyond "last wordism"? If the word chữ Nho has to be explained to Vietnamese, it obviously isn't the most common name in modern times. Just because someone wrote an article entitled "Chữ Hán giản thể" on Vietnamese Wiki does not mean that this is a common expression. Kauffner (talk) 21:02, 6 March 2013 (UTC)
Kauffner, please answer the following question:
(1) Does the term chữ nho in modern Vietnamese usage include modern Chinese hanzi and Japanese kanji?
(2) Does the term chữ Hán in modern Vietnamese usage include modern Chinese hanzi and Japanese kanji?
(btw for Judith ). In ictu oculi (talk) 02:06, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
See Tuổi Trẻ ("Hán giản thể" [zero results] vs. "Trung giản thể" OR "Trung Quốc giản thể" [5 results]), or VNExpress ("Hán giản thể" [nine results] vs. "Trung giản thể" OR "Trung Quốc giản thể" [40 results]). The nine examples where Hán is used to mean modern Chinese are all user feedback, not published or copy edited. Kauffner (talk) 06:39, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
Kauffner, that does not address the question. Please answer the question:
(1) Does the term chữ nho in modern Vietnamese usage include modern Chinese hanzi and Japanese kanji?
(2) Does the term chữ Hán in modern Vietnamese usage include modern Chinese hanzi and Japanese kanji?
In ictu oculi (talk) 06:53, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
I think the numbers I gave speak for themselves. A significant number of Vietnamese do use Hán to mean modern Chinese. But this usage is not supported by the dictionaries, and a copy editor would correct it. Kauffner (talk) 01:54, 8 March 2013 (UTC)
Thank you. So the answers are:
(1) No.
(2) Yes.
In ictu oculi (talk) 03:14, 8 March 2013 (UTC)

Focus for the RM[edit]

Our discussion should come to a close soon because it is a waste of our time to spend so long discussing such a minor issue. To this end would Kauffner please suggest what he thinks the two articles should be named. We have a clear RM proposal from In ictu oculi, to move both the articles to new names. What else do we have on the table? A proposal to keep them where they are? Or alternative move proposals? We need to be clear on this otherwise the discussion will run on and on forever. Itsmejudith (talk) 08:07, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

Move to close. Kauffner proposed Chinese characters in Vietnam immediately the RM was opened on 12:13, 3 February 2013 (UTC), but the problem remains that Chinese characters in Vietnam includes both chữ nho and chữ nôm. We have 5:1, normally that's enough, even when it's not restoring an undiscussed move against a previous RM decision as chữ nôm. In ictu oculi (talk) 08:37, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
So what's this article supposed to be about? Right now, it's a glossary of language-related Vietnamese terminology, a lot of it quite obscure. It doesn't explain what Classical Chinese is, or even mention the civil service exams. So it's not talking about the the things you would expect a chữ Nho article to talk about. IIO knew I planning to RM this article, so this was all been motivated by spite from the beginning. This RM is designed to return this article to the status and title it had as stub. IIO has reasons to propose this type multi-year revert that relate to other articles. So there is a lot procedural wiki-lawyering going on. Chữ Nho is not the way any subject is most commonly referred to, either in English or Vietnamese. I asked some Vietnamese, "What does Chữ Nho mean?" and several answered "small letters." So Chinese characters is not necessarily what comes to mind first. Chữ Hán and Hán-Nôm -- these are Vietnamese words that Vietnamese actually know and use. Kauffner (talk) 12:53, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
I don't care much about this discussion, so I'll leave you guys to it. I just want to remark that "small letters" is "chữ nhở", and never "chữ nho", so if Vietnamese people tell you "chữ nho" means small letters, you probably did not ask it right. MuDavid (talk) 13:24, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
I know about the accent, yes. We discussed it just above. But Vietnamese don't generally notice this when they read the word, at least not unless it is pointed out. Kauffner (talk) 14:25, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
When you say "this article", Kauffner, which one? We are discussing two related RM simultaneously. Itsmejudith (talk) 14:18, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
I meant the article that this is the talk page of, the one whose title is "Han tu", but which curiously does not mention "Han tu" anywhere in the lead section. Kauffner (talk) 14:25, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
In which case I agree with everyone. First choice chữ nho, second choice chữ hán, third choice Chinese characters in Vietnam. Done and dusted, move to close. The other article goes to chữ nôm. Itsmejudith (talk) 14:30, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Well, if this is the article and IIO is not going to let anyone revise it, then it should be titled, "Chinese characters in Vietnam". It does not focus on chữ Nho in particular. As for Chu Nom, it should be moved to Nôm. Kauffner (talk) 15:15, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
Er how exactly will in ictu stop anyone revising it? I agree that at present the article explains the use of both kinds of character. The following solutions are open to us: One article covering both nho and nôm; two articles, one on nho and one on nôm; or three articles, an overview (either chữ hán or Chinese characters in VN, I really don't mind which) and two daughter articles, one on nho and one on nôm. The important thing is getting the content right. We put redirects in so that readers can find their way to the article(s). All that's about scope. Let's put the RMs through first and then discuss the scope. Itsmejudith (talk) 15:33, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.


Now that we don't have a "Han tu" article any more, it seems unnecessary to discuss merging it with anything. Han-Nom is the traditional character set, and chữ nho is the Vietnamese word for Classical Chinese. There are both words with real-world usage and meanings, not Wiki-jargon that we can define ourselves like "Han tu". Kauffner (talk) 10:34, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

Did you want to phrase this in terms of my post above, i.e. whether we need 1, 2 or 3 articles? Depending on what you are saying, this may not be the right place for the merger discussion. Itsmejudith (talk) 12:29, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
I think the next step to cut the extraneous material and one upmanship and make this an article that is actually about Nho. After all, Nom is a separate article. Kauffner (talk) 11:07, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
I agree that we should keep the discussion of Nom to a minimum, given that it has its own linked article. Would you like to action that? Itsmejudith (talk) 13:24, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

Period of coexistence of two languages and two scripts

Main article: Vietnamese literature

From the 13th Century the dominance of Chinese writing - chữ nho - began to be challenged by a system of modified and invented characters modeled loosely on Chinese characters called chữ nôm, which, unlike the system of chữ nho (or chữ Hán), allowed for the expression of purely Vietnamese words, was created in Vietnam at least as early as the 13th century.[19] During the Ming dynasty occupation of Vietnam chữ nôm printing blocks, texts and inscriptions were destroyed, so that the earliest surviving texts are from after the period.[20] While designed for native Vietnamese speakers, chữ nôm required the user to have a fair knowledge of chữ Hán, and thus chữ nôm was used primarily for literary writings by cultural elites (such as the poetry of Nguyễn Du and Hồ Xuân Hương), while almost all other official writings and documents continued to be written in chữ nho (or chữ Hán) as Hán Văn (classical Chinese) until the 20th century.[21][22]

Hi Judith, no problem, which specific sentences in relation to nôm do you think should go? In ictu oculi (talk) 02:08, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

Proposed merge from Han-Nom[edit]

I restored User:BabelStone's merger tag which he applied to Han-Nom 9 March 2013‎ article creation. For three reasons. (1) we don't remove such tags without discussion, (2) BabelStone's user page indicates he is a published expert on Asian scripts so it was an informed merge tag, (3) the tag was still on this target article, (4) discussion above was that Han-Nom means Both Han system and Nom system so it isn't yet clear that we need a 3rd umbrella article above the two?

Maybe we do, but it seems to me to be overkill per WP:TWODABS when the most that Han-Nom can say is Han and Nom are two systems and we have two articles about Han and Nom which both already mention the other. Plus we have Vietnamese literature which also mentions both Han and Nom. How many umbrellas do we need? Yes theres some interesting content been added in that creation but the one thing it doesn't have, which is very odd, is Quốc Ngữ, which would lead us to Nho and Nôm and Quốc Ngữ, in which case why not just call it Vietnamese writing systems... ?

The problem is that we can't really discuss this. Kauffner doesn't know or understand the subject. BabelStone is obviously very busy. Are we actually in a position to even talk about BabelStone's merge of the new article? In ictu oculi (talk) 05:07, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

The was proposal was to merge with Han tu. Since we don't have a Han tu article anymore, it is not obvious what it might imply at this point. For the most part, the material at Han-Nom would not be appropriate to add to an article about Nho. Han-Nom translates as "Sino-Vietnamese characters," while Nho is "Classical Chinese." Han and Nom may be different languages, but in modern times very few people can read either one or tell the difference. So grouping them together is convenient. The Vietnamese government certainly uses this terminology with "Han-Nom Research Institute", the "Han-Nom Collection" at the National Library, as well as many usage examples in the English-language state media. If you google "Han-Nom" -wikipedia, you get relevant hits, many in English. If you google "chữ nho" -wikipedia, you get only Vietnamese-language results. It is not a term that English speakers are seeking information about. TWODABS is about primary topics and DAB pages. I don't think it is relevant here. Kauffner (talk) 12:22, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
Kauffner, before going further, can we check there is a common starting point here:
(1) Do you agree that the meaning of "Hán-Nôm" = "chữ Hán và chữ Nôm"?
(2) Do you agree that Bình Ngô đại cáo is written in Hán and Truyện Kiều is written in Nôm?
In ictu oculi (talk) 14:38, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
Let me ask you ask you this: What is the point of discussion tags if, by your own admission, "We can't really discuss this"? It does not seem that you support a merger yourself, and least not in the sense of a merger between this article and something else. If you don't like my Han-Nom article, take it to AFD. Kauffner (talk) 19:44, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
I didn't place the merge-discussion tag, but now it's there we should at least attempt a discussion. Could you please answer the two questions (1) and (2). Thanks. In ictu oculi (talk) 01:20, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
Restored BabelStone's merger tag from Han-Nom 9 March 2013‎ article creation again. In ictu oculi (talk) 15:22, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
I've been alerted to the removal of a merge tag. This is quite incorrect. When a merge has been proposed it has to be discussed. Please do not remove again. Itsmejudith (talk) 09:19, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

This what I think. It is adequate to have two articles: chu nho and chu Nom (each with diacritics of course). Han-Nom is a plausible search string so should exist as a redirect. To chu nho, I think, but it is not very important. Each of the two articles should link to the other so that people can quickly grasp what the distinction is. There will always be more that needs saying about Nom, because it is the lesser known of the two. The content presently in this article needs to be selectively merged between the two. To sum up: I !vote support merge. Itsmejudith (talk) 09:30, 21 March 2013 (UTC)

  • Han-Nom is Sino-Vietnamese characters, formerly used by Vietnamese to write either Chinese or Vietnamese. "Chu Nho" means Classical Chinese. They mean different things. Try googling "Han-Nom" -wikipedia. You get relevant English-language results. In other words, there are English-speaking readers who know what this word means and are looking it up. If you google "chu Nho" -wikipedia, you get only Vietnamese-language results. So our target readership has no idea what this word means, and they are not seeking information about it. Nho is at most the "Han" aspect of Han-Nom. So it is not logical to merge Han-Nom into Nho. There is obvious need for an article about the characters themselves, as there is a place reserved for such an article on several high-profile templates. My sense is that this is more about an article deletion than a merger. That's something that something that should be discussed at AFD. This a rather large issue to be decided at the talk page of an article that has gotten practically no traffic since the move. Kauffner (talk) 17:41, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
Kauffner, I think you need to take a course at the Han-Nom institute, immediately. Either that or stand back from this topic. I will try and spell it out. This is not a personal attack on you. It is simply working on the encyclopedia to get it right, not wrong.
In the beginning were Chinese characters. In China, in fact northern China. Characters, starting off as ideograms. For writing the Chinese language, as it was at the time, a Tibeto-Burman language. You can read on Wikipedia how they developed.
Then came a lot of history and contact between the Chinese polity and neighbouring ethnic groups. There was a kingdom of Yue. Eventually there is a kingdom Nam Viet, where the dominant language was a precursor of modern Vietnamese, although doubtless many people spoke Tai-Kadai languages, Khmer-related languages, Austronesian and others.
This kingdom adopted much of Chinese culture: Taoism, Buddhism, Confucianism. The court was organised on pure Confucian lines so all official documents were written in Chinese characters. Written correctly by mandarins who had taken competitive exams in order to be allowed to write them.
Fast-forward a few centuries. Independent Vietnam is more self-aware and self-confident. It is expanding to the south. At some point, we don't know exactly when, writers start to adapt Chinese characters in order to write in Vietnamese. A parallel is when in the 1370s the English start to write in English rather than in Latin or French, but there is also a difference because English is written in the same script as Latin and French, whereas Chinese characters are tied to the Chinese language unless they are modified. The Vietnamese writers did modify the Chinese characters. They called them Nom characters, possibly meaning southern. Now there are two separate systems of writing: 1) nho/Han (Confucian/Chinese) and 2) nom (adapted). By the way, in nom writing, not all characters are modified, but enough are to make it a very different system of writing, incomprehensible to Chinese readers who know no Vietnamese. Texts are written either in nho or in nom, never in both.
In fact by this stage or soon after there are three systems, because the very different quoc ngu has arrived.
Both Chinese writing and its modified form went out of use in the twentieth century and now a Han-Nom institute (= Han and Nom) tries to keep the history of both of them alive.
That is what happened. Please immediately let us know if you don't understand it. Now let's explain it to new readers. Itsmejudith (talk) 21:36, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
Thank you Judith, a clear statement. I presume BabelStone will confer with that when he's back online.
Kauffner, can you confirm Judith's statement please.
BTW - can you please cease editing incoming links to the existing article to go to your new page or at least discuss it here. In ictu oculi (talk) 12:21, 22 March 2013 (UTC)
  • The Han-Nom article has unique content, but the distinction between a script and its characters seems rather delicate, so I'd support merging that article into the Chữ nôm article. On the other hand the present article seems to offer little scope for unique content. How much can one say about writing in Literary Chinese in Vietnam, when the whole point was that it was much the same as writing in Literary Chinese anywhere else? Perhaps a bit about the local reading and calligraphic traditions. Instead this article seems to duplicate much of the Chữ nôm article; that duplication should be removed, even if it does leave this article as a stub. Kanguole 00:37, 23 March 2013 (UTC)
Kanguole, I'd agree with all these comments. In ictu oculi (talk) 02:44, 23 March 2013 (UTC)
I agree too. Itsmejudith (talk) 06:45, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
Judith, Kanguole, Kauffner: BabelStone has returned and replied. In ictu oculi (talk) 04:35, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Do you agree that Japanese writing system=Kanji+Kana? The relation here can be Japanese text : Kanji = Han Nom text : Han tu. The scope of "Han Nom Van" is not only a collection of Han tu + Chu Nom, but also a writing system of Vietnamese. -- (talk) 13:56, 31 March 2013 (UTC)
    Isn't that writing system for Vietnamese the subject of the Chu Nom article? Kanguole 14:49, 31 March 2013 (UTC)
    Per Kanguole my understanding is that Japanese writing system equates to Chữ nôm article, while Chinese-written-in-Japan Kanbun equates to Chữ Hán (nho). We don't have a Kanbun AND Kanji-Kana article equivalent to Han-Nom for Japanese that covers writing of Chinese in Japan AND writing of Japanese together. In ictu oculi (talk) 06:35, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
    Analogies with Japanese are not helpful, as the systems developed so differently. Kanguole 14:23, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
    True, but in the context of the merger discussion, I'm stating to the IP that don't have a Kanbun AND Kanji-Kana article equivalent (very broad brush equivalent) to Han-Nom. In ictu oculi (talk) 03:16, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
    Chinese characters can called be "kanji" whatever language they are used to write. But if you call them "Nom", that implies the primary source was written in Vietnamese. Vietnam's official histories were written in Chinese, so the Chinese character names of historical figures are Han-Nom, and not Nom. Unless we want to explain this in a thousand Vietnamese history articles, we need a Han-Nom article to link to. Kauffner (talk) 10:22, 10 April 2013 (UTC)
    My opinion is that Japanese kana equates to Chữ nôm article. The only difference is that you can not write Vietnamese with Chữ nôm only (while you can write Japanese with kana only) - you have to use Chu nom together with Han tu to record Vietnamese, and that's called "Han-Nom".
    Below are East Asian correspondence relations:
    1. Kanji - Han tu/Chu Nho - Hanja
    2. Kana - Chữ nôm - Hangul/Chosongulja
    3. Japanese writing system - Han-Nom - Korean mixed script
    4. (Jun-)Kanbun - Han Van - Hanmun
    5. Written Japanese with Kana only - "Nom Van" (impossible) - Korean text
    6. Manyogana - (early Viernamese developement) - Idu script
    -- (talk) 11:59, 8 April 2013 (UTC)
Hán tự translates as "Chinese words". The Confucian scholars used it to refer to Classical Chinese. But this usage is not common in modern times. Some editor years ago who didn't know any Vietnamese somehow turned the term into Wiki-jargon. Nom is Vietnamese written in Chinese characters, equivalent to kanji or hanja. The Vietnamese equivalent to kana or hangul is alphabetic Vietnamese (quốc ngữ). Kauffner (talk) 12:58, 8 April 2013 (UTC)
Hi can you clarify please: in the context of this merge discussion, are you saying we need the new article Han and Nom in addition to the 2 old articles Hán and Nôm? Or are you saying that Han-Nom should be merged into Nôm? If Han-Nom stays, how is it different from Nôm? (see Judith's comments above). In ictu oculi (talk) 03:16, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
Han-Nom should be preserved, writting in a mannor that how Vietnamese is writting with this mixed writting system and why any one of these writing systems cannot be used to record Vietnamese solely (for instance the word "Viet Nam" and other Sino-Vietnamese vocabularyies can not be written in Chu Nom while words like "chữ" can not be written in Chu Nho). -- (talk) 02:59, 12 April 2013 (UTC),
No, that's not the case. In fact Việt Nam can be and is written in both Nôm and Hán:
  • Nôm: 越南羅國家洲亞. Việt Nam là quốc gia châu Á (Vietnam is an Asian nation in Nôm).
  • Hán: 越南是亞洲國家. Yuenan shi Yazhou guojia (Vietnam is an Asian nation - in modern Hán, pinyinized for convenience).
Anyway, that's not the question. The question is why we need two articles on Nôm, both Nôm and Han-Nom?
In ictu oculi (talk) 10:07, 12 April 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── No, you're extending the concept of chu Nom. "越南羅國家洲亞" is not Nôm (it is Han Nom). "  羅    " is Nôm and "越南 國家洲亞" is Hán.

  • "越南是亞洲國家" is not chữ Hán (Chinese characters to write Vietnamese) but Hanzi (Chinese characters to write Chinese). -- (talk) 15:52, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Another example: in Japanese,
    • "之乎路可良 多太古要久礼婆 波久比能海 安佐奈藝思多理 船梶母我毛" is Man'yōgana
    • "志雄路から ただ越え来れば 羽咋の海 朝凪したり 船梶もがも" is Japanese (Kanji-Kana)
    • "志雄路     越 来   羽咋 海 朝凪    船梶   " is Kanji
    • "志雄路可良 多太礼婆 羽咋海 朝凪思多理 船梶母我毛" is Kanji-Man'yōgana
    • Now Han-Nom is comparable with "Kanji-Man'yōgana", albeit in Japanese Kanji-Man'yōgana is never used together. -- (talk) 16:00, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
    • Calling Han-Nom "越南國家洲亞" a Nôm text is a same mistake as calling Kanji-Man'yōgana "朝凪思多理" a Man'yōgana text. -- (talk) 16:03, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
It's not an extension: Chu nom commonly refers to the script formerly used for writing Vietnamese. (The digression about Japanese is irrelevant.) Kanguole 18:01, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
It clearly is. Chữ nôm commonly refers to the characters to write native Vietnamese words. -- (talk) 19:25, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
The use of "Chu nom" as the name of the script is widespread, e.g. Britannica, Vietnamese Nôm Preservation Foundation, Coulmas The writing systems of the world, DeFrancis Colonialism and language policy in Viet Nam, and the other books on the subject. Kanguole 00:07, 21 April 2013 (UTC)
Hmm... It seems you are right. If Nom refers to the whole writing system, I agree to make Han-Nom a redirection to chu Nom or a disambiguation page. -- (talk) 12:36, 21 April 2013 (UTC)

Here's a proposal, to try and move things forward. We need an article on quốc ngữ, and we've got one. We need an article on nôm, and we've got one. So far, so good, everyone happy, two important cultural topics covered. We don't need an article on "Han tu" because it is the same as Classical Chinese. So we shouldn't have one. But it would be good to have an article on History of writing in Vietnam, to cover the story of when - and why - the different kinds of writing came and went. "Han-Nom" is a plausible search string, so it should redirect somewhere, either to Chữ nôm or to History of writing in Vietnam, I don't really mind. Itsmejudith (talk) 15:21, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

Again, sounds reasonable to, avoids duplicate articles. In ictu oculi (talk) 10:07, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
Sounds good. Maybe "Han tu" is the same as Chinese character rather than Classical Chinese, but we have articles on both, so your argument still stands. (I note that the cross-wiki link for this article goes to a short subsection of the vi-wiki version of Chinese character.) The current content of this article could be appropriately titled History of writing in Vietnam. Kanguole 15:22, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
So Kauffner, do you accept Judith and Kanguole's alternative proposal to rename/reshape Han Nom into History of writing in Vietnam? Missing material can be sourced from Chữ nho and Chữ Nôm and Vietnamese literature. In ictu oculi (talk) 05:26, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
I understood Itsmejudith's proposal differently. I thought it was (1) merge the Han Nom article into Chữ nôm, and (2) rename the Chữ nho article as History of writing in Vietnam. That's what I was supporting, anyway. Kanguole 07:52, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
Kanguole has summarised well what I was proposing. Itsmejudith (talk) 13:47, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
Ah, then I misunderstood, in which case I'm completely in support of what Itsmejudith and Kanguole are proposing. In ictu oculi (talk) 06:24, 20 April 2013 (UTC)

We need to move to close this merge discussion. We can't let the current Han-Nom article stay in place, because it is misleading. Compare it's statement that there is one script called Han-Nom with those in its sources that make it clear that there are two scripts. Itsmejudith (talk) 07:48, 20 April 2013 (UTC)

Oic. So all along this has all been about one-upping me on this rather obscure point. Did it ever occur to you that the people who write bilingual dictionaries might understand "how Vietnamese works" better than you do? Kauffner (talk) 03:25, 21 April 2013 (UTC)
Kauffner Wikipedia:Civility includes not making snark noises like "Oic". Please show some respect for other editors. In ictu oculi (talk) 02:27, 22 April 2013 (UTC)
If I had to define Han-Nom and had only two words in which to do so, I would do the same as Langenscheidt. But look here at the source you found. See how it says "scripts", plural. Why do you think it does that? Itsmejudith (talk) 07:18, 21 April 2013 (UTC)
Actually, you know that already. You said at the top of this thread "Han and Nom may be different languages, but in modern times very few people can read either one or tell the difference. So grouping them together is convenient." Right, they are, literally, different languages. "In modern times very few people can read either one or tell the difference", well what can we say? Hundreds of millions of people can read Chinese (Han), but if presented with a Nom text they will know straight away that there is something very different about it. So grouping them together is convenient if you are talking to people in Vietnam who might be interested in knowing more about their two heritage scripts: Han-Nom = Han and Nom. It isn't convenient for an encylopedia that has a mission to clarify. Hope this helps. Itsmejudith (talk) 07:29, 21 April 2013 (UTC)
No, modern Chinese is not "Han." I think I must have explained this three or four times by now. The Chinese do study Han in high school. It has no practical value after they take the college entrance exam, so most forget it within a few years. Those who do recall it can read "zh-classical" Wikipedia. None of this stuff about China has anything to the usage of the phrase "Han-Nom". This is a classification created for the benefit of modern day Vietnamese, who generally can't tell the difference between Han and Nom. Kauffner (talk) 16:42, 21 April 2013 (UTC)
Is it just me or does this paragraph sound rather unpleasant? Whatever it is it is WP:OR and conflicts with printed sources.

International Book Publishing: An Encyclopedia Philip Gabriel Altbach, Edith S. Hoshino - 1995 -p440 "The romanized script became official during the French colonization in the nineteenth century, although traditional scholars still preferred the old Chinese styles of writing, known as Han and Nom,

Asian Research Trends: A Humanities and Social Science Review 3Q 1998 p140 "Most of the source materials from premodern Vietnam are written in Chinese, obviously using Chinese characters; however, a portion of the literary genre is written in Vietnamese, using chu nom. Therefore, han nom is the term designating the whole body of premodern written materials."

In ictu oculi (talk) 02:49, 22 April 2013 (UTC)
support merger for what its worth. Gaijin42 (talk) 19:14, 31 May 2013 (UTC)


We have as much consensus as we are ever going to get, 4 editors agree, the article creator isn't listening. Per WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT, WP:FORK and WP:NOR we need to move on. Babelstone as proposer, Kanguole or Itsmejudith, are you ready to start? In ictu oculi (talk) 02:27, 22 April 2013 (UTC)

FYI Another fork has appeared at Han-Viet (previous a redirect to Sino-Vietnamese) a merge to Talk:Sino-Vietnamese vocabulary has been mentioned by User:DHN. In ictu oculi (talk) 02:37, 22 April 2013 (UTC)


Kanguole has moved Chữ nho to History of writing in Vietnam, but redirects Chữ Hán / Chu Han and Chữ nho, Chữ Nho, Chu nho, Chu Nho ‎should continue to direct here History of writing in Vietnam, not to articles about China. In ictu oculi (talk) 03:10, 24 May 2013 (UTC)

I redirected Hán văn and Chữ nho to Classical Chinese, and Chữ Hán and Hán Tự to Chinese character. Aren't these Vietnamese names for these topics? (cf vi:Hán văn and vi:Chữ Hán) Kanguole 09:23, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
Kanguole. No, as the vi.wp articles show, and Vietnamese texts on vi.Google Books also show, these terms are primarily used in Vietnamese texts about History of writing in Vietnam. But in any case the issue is how Hán văn and Chữ nho Chữ Hán and Hán Tự are used in English language sources, and these terms are never used in English sources for non-Vietnamese contexts. Also these redirects have been pointing at this article for many years. In ictu oculi (talk) 09:53, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
Since you ask, I don't read Vietnamese, but even so it is obvious that your claim that those two vi.wp articles are primarily about the History of writing in Vietnam is false. As for English-language usage, those Vietnamese terms are usually mentioned and given translations only in passing. The argument from the history of the redirects is weak, as this article has been through many changes in name and content, and was described at different times as "Vietnamese term for classical Chinese writing" or "Vietnamese term for Chinese characters" before it was renamed and remodelled as a historical survey earlier this year. Kanguole 10:35, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
I can see arguments on both sides. All these terms actually denote "classical Chinese" or "Chinese characters". But they aren't search strings that someone would use unless they were starting from texts relating to Vietnam. So on balance I think it is most helpful for readers to be brought here. If they really are looking for information about Chinese writing in general, they can find that quickly from links. Whereas if they are sent to the generic articles, then they will find it more difficult to find out about use of characters in VN. Itsmejudith (talk) 14:29, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
Kanguole, you are correct, the vi.wp article about Hán văn actually is mainly about China, I should have looked at it, and I have made a false claim there. Whatever, results for Hán văn from Google Books are primarily to Hán văn Việt Nam, as you'd expect given that Vietnamese publishers are generally more interested in their own history than their northern neighbor. As for English-language usage, yes those Vietnamese terms are usually mentioned and given translations only in passing but given in reference to Vietnam in passing, which is the point. Cheers. In ictu oculi (talk) 16:20, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
  • IIO has created dozens of links to chữ Hán in the last few months. He uses it to tag Chinese characters given in Vietnam-oriented article. We have language templates to keep this kind of thing out of the running text. It's just clutter to most readers. Kauffner (talk) 16:25, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
I have created created many more than "dozens" of Vietnam bios.
If you look at en.Wp's Vietnam bio stock you will find we normally include chữ Hán in a lead for a non-modern bio where Chinese can be provided. And I at least bluelink the term. Most recent creation was today Nguyễn Dữ, but I see I forgot to bluelink it, and thanks for the reminder have now done so.
Now what exactly is your problem? Are you objecting to editors creating bios, or objecting to using the term chữ Hán, or objecting to bluelinking it? Take a look - this is standard format. It also is the format for China bios, see Zhang Lin (swimmer) picked at total random. In ictu oculi (talk) 17:04, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
Oh, so you're the victim now. Have I tried to get rid of any of your articles? As for the other articles involved, they originally described Chinese characters as "Hán tự". I went through and took this out. Later, the descriptor "chữ Hán" was added. "Chữ Hán" is obviously better than "Hán tự". But in general, I don't think non-English descriptors are helpful. Kauffner (talk) 08:09, 25 May 2013 (UTC)
The practice of such Chinese bios, introducing the Chinese characters with an English label, might also be better for bios of historical Vietnamese figures, instead of arguing about which Vietnamese term to use. Kanguole 14:09, 25 May 2013 (UTC)
Kauffner, I'm sorry but too many of your communications begin with "Oh,..." followed by [snarky statement]? You would probably find more receptiveness for your editing behaviour if you didn't adopt this kind of communication style.
Kanguole, another style to be found on WP VN bios is straightforward bracketing without saying (chữ Hán:..)
  • Nguyễn Gia Thiều (阮嘉韶, 1741-1798), also Ôn Như Hầu was a Vietnamese poet during the reign of emperor Lê Hiển Tông.
I think you understand that the lead "Nguyễn Gia Thiều (Chinese 阮嘉韶,.." would cause a minor nuclear explosion. In ictu oculi (talk) 01:29, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
  • If my mannerism annoy you, you always stalk somebody else, you know. Kauffner (talk) 03:42, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
Kauffner, I have been contributing content and references to this article since 25 September 2012, some time before you took an interest in its content. Please see Talk page guidelines. In ictu oculi (talk)
Like maybe I stalk you? This is too much! You are obviously here because you watchlist User:Kauffner/RM_incubator and knew I was working on an RM. Kauffner (talk) 09:30, 31 May 2013 (UTC)

I've redirected these to the more specific article Literary Chinese in Vietnam. Kanguole 00:48, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

I see these have been changed back. Why is History of writing in Vietnam a more appropriate target than Literary Chinese in Vietnam for the redirects Chữ Hán and Chữ nho? Kanguole 09:10, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
That's where those terms have always redirected. I suggest they continue to be appropriate since "Han writing" and "Confucian writing" are terms relating to History of writing in Vietnam, and those shortcuts are used in 1000s of article headers to explain to users what "Han writing" and "Confucian writing" mean, in the context of the History of writing in Vietnam. The article Literary Chinese in Vietnam seems to be about Literary Chinese in Vietnam, not about the history of writing in Vietnam. In ictu oculi (talk) 09:35, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
Indeed Literary Chinese in Vietnam is not about the broader topic of the history of writing in Vietnam, but specifically about Chinese writing in Vietnam. Since Chữ Hán and Chữ nho are terms for Chinese writing in Vietnam, surely they should redirect to the article on that topic. The argument from the history of the links is unconvincing, as the content of this article has changed drastically since the start of this year, but in any case the history is invisible to readers. All they see is the current content of articles, one on the range of writing used historically in Vietnam, and another on the specific writing these terms refer to. Kanguole 10:06, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
In its essentials the article has hardly changed, it has also been about the writing systems it still is. This new article is about literature (it has to be since we don't need an article on the Chinese writing system). So unless a third User comes along and says redirect to the new article the links from leads should redirect to the same place as they have been for 9 years or more. In ictu oculi (talk) 17:33, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

How can I initiate renaming 'hán tự' into 'chữ Hán' on the entire English wikipedia?[edit]

Referring to the (historical) Vietnamese usage of Chinese characters as "Hán tự" has become quite omnipresent on English Wikipedia, and I am not sure who started it, but it's bad practice, or at least it isn't actual Vietnamese. The Vietnamese themselves use chữ Hán to say "Chinese character(s)". If you look into the (Vietnamese) literature on the use of Chinese (Hán) characters in Vietnam, it's always referred to with its native Vietnamese term chữ Hán. "Hán tự" is sort of a convenient transliteration of 漢字 to the analogy of hànzì, nothing more, it's not a native Vietnamese term, the transliteration into quốc ngữ does not make it Vietnamese. It sounds like when you would use a Latin term that was not loaned into English instead of an actual existing English term, e.g. "It is written in litterae graecae." instead of "It is written in Greek letters."

If you are not convinced by this, look at some stats.

site:vi/ searches on Google
Query parameters Number of results "Hán tự" 534 "chữ Hán" 10,300 "Hán tự" 247 "chữ Hán" 267
.vn domain level searches on Google
Query parameters Number of results
site:vn "Hán tự" 51,400
site:vn "chữ Hán" 644,000

As you can see, the native Vietnamese usage undoubtedly prefers chữ Hán over "Hán tự". Note that the majority of those 51,400 results for "Hán tự" in .vn TLD refer to Chinese characters in the context of teaching/learning Japanese (kanjis).

The problem is not that English Wikipedia uses the competing terms roughly the same number of times, but that people take it for granted that Chinese characters in Vietnamese context can be referred to as "Hán tự", as if it were an established term, and the it pops up on other sites, like Quora, despite not being a native Vietnamese term and sounds obscure to Vietnamese themselves.

Here's also an adhoc gallery of book covers promoting the learning of chữ Hán. I wasn't able to find any book with "Hán tự" in its title.

I suggest to stop creating an English neologism that does not exist in Vietnamese and therefore propose changing all instances of "Hán tự" into chữ Hán, leaving only those where for the sake comparison parallel transcriptions (hàn+zì – kan+ji – han+ja – hán+tự) is necessary.

Please advise or comment on my suggestion. ImreK (talk) 17:00, 4 December 2016 (UTC)