Talk:Tao Te Ching

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More about translation...[edit]

  • the article claims it's among the most translated works, however the Tao Te Ching is not mentioned anywhere on the wiki's list of Most Translated Works [1]. Krisrp0 (talk) 17:42, 14 April 2014 (UTC)krisrp0

-- (talk) 01:25, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

-- (talk) 01:30, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

-- (talk) 01:46, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

-- (talk) 02:01, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

-- (talk) 02:04, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

-- (talk) 02:26, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

-- (talk) 02:30, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

-- (talk) 02:32, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

-- (talk) 02:37, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]


Very interesting discussion. The relevant policies are WP:PINYIN, WP:JARGON and WP:CRYSTAL. My determination is that there is no consensus for a move at this time. However, I feel we will be back here in a few years time and things may have reversed. --RA (talk) 23:06, 10 October 2012 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

– There was one request back in 2006 that didn't seem to get any responses. Daodejing is the pinyin, which is usually what we use except in cases where the Wade-Giles name is substantially more common (i.e. Chiang Kai-shek instead of Jiang Jieshi), which isn't the case here. It more accurately reflects the pronunciation, and is the more common of the two in use today. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 19:13, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

  • Oppose. There is no evidence here that the latter is more common than the former. That pinyin more accurate reflects Mandarin pronunciation is not a reason to move these pages. This is the English Wikipedia, and under our policies we use whatever name is most common in the English language. --Jiang (talk) 20:24, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
    I'll gather some more evidence in the next couple days, but my anecdotal experience is that just about every academic source I've ever used refers to the Daodejing. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 20:33, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
    ngrams for Taoism vs. Daoism show Taoism more commonly used than Daoism. I couldn't find information for Daodejing. My hunch is that Taoism remains the overwhelming common name, but that the difference Tao Te Ching and Daodejing could be closer.--Jiang (talk) 20:54, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose WP:UCN , WP:JARGON ; there are sources other than academic sources, since the academic sources are usually not people who practice it, so we have such as practitioner's works. Just look at which markets to the general populace and thus uses the term recognizable to the general populace Tao Te Ching is their section name, as is Taoism -- (talk) 22:37, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment I've informed the related wikiprojects -- (talk) 22:41, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment - No vote for now, but I agree that the relevant policy here is WP:COMMONNAME. I would be curious to see what kind of evidence can be produced to ascertain which romanization system is more common, but I think Wade Giles will prevail by most measures. Notably, most English language translations of the book itself are rendered as Tao Te Ching. Compare Amazon book results for the two: There are over 4,500 editions of Tao Te Ching[1] v just over 800 for Dao De Jing[2]. I would happily concede the point if I am wrong, though. On a non-policy note, at the personal/emotional level I still favor Wade Giles, even though pinyin is the only system I use. I just don't appreciate the irony of using a romanization system devised under the PRC to refer to a philosophical system that was persecuted, and then crudely usurped, under the PRC. Homunculus (duihua) 00:01, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
*oppose per WP:COMMONNAME. It seems clear that Wade-Giles is substantially more common here than pinyin. The situation is similar to Chiang Kai-Shek. ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 01:14, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
Revised my vote as some of the arguments below are rather compelling. Especially the usage of Pinyin in recent translation - also the argument that wikipedia has no reason to be more conservative than other encyclopedias.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 21:32, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
I'm starting to lean a little closer in that direction too, though still not enough to cast a vote. Rules are made to be broken, after all. Besides, WP:COMMONNAME isn't so absolute as to preclude the possibility of using less common names when there is good reason. To that end, I find Keahapana's argument about ensuring consistency more compelling than the inevitability argument. Homunculus (duihua) 21:57, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
Even if we look purely at recent works, do we see pinyin being more popular than Wade-Giles? This just happens to be a topic with a bunch of lay publications which do not lend themselves easily to romanization changes as they would in the sinologist community. Sun Tzu, for example, is still stuck in its Wade-Giles name because The Art of War is a popular lay publication, whose English readership extends far beyond the community sinologists who now favor pinyin.--Jiang (talk) 01:21, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
  • (A possible reason that Sun Tzu remains dominant is that one of most prolific translators of the Chinese military classics (including the Art of War) has a very strong distaste for the PRC government and, as a result, refuses to use Pinyin. But I think he and his ilk are a few and far between these days). Homunculus (duihua) 01:30, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - WP:COMMONNAME per ngram In ictu oculi (talk) 01:23, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. Maybe Wade-Giles is more common for a few single terms at the present, but do we really want to have this discussion again and again (and in increasing frequency)? Look to the future. Eventually, pinyin will prevail, and we all know it. Why cling to these old transcriptions if in 3 or 5 or 10 years from now, it's all going to be Daodejing and Daoism anyway? --Mallexikon (talk) 03:04, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
    Based on the ngram the lines aren't going to converge until 2020 or 2030. In ictu oculi (talk) 04:47, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
    Well, one could guess that since mainland China's impact on the world (on all levels) has just recently started to pick up, the lines could actually get a dramatic bend in the near future. But even if not: are you telling me that if "3 or 5 or 10 years" must be changed to "5 to 10 to 15 years" my rationale carries less truth? --Mallexikon (talk) 05:23, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
    The relevant guideline is at Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Chinese), which asks us to use pinyin except in cases where non-pinyin forms are more common in deference to the encyclopedia-wide WP:UCN policy. You are free to argue for a change of the guidelines, but this is not the page to do it.--Jiang (talk) 06:16, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
    If you look at the ngram for the period since 1980 to 2012, the lines are probably going to converge before 2020. So, sure, go ahead and insist on your guideline and cling to Wade-Giles a little longer, and we'll just change it for good in a couple of years anyway. WTF? --Mallexikon (talk) 06:26, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
    Your prediction is WP:Crystal balling, which is why we follow UCN. -- (talk) 22:01, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
    Though this isn't actually my argument, it's worth noting there's a bit of a difference between crystal balling and basic inference; the latter is what's going on above. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 22:25, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. "Tao Te Ching" is clearly still the common name (see this ngram, which includes both "Dao De Jing" and "Daodejing"). As for the argument that usage is changing, WP is not a crystal ball. It's also eternally evolving. If, in 25, or 10, or 2 years, we can show that usage has flipped, then it's easy enough to run another RM. In the meantime, let's reflect current real-world usage. Dohn joe (talk) 18:06, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support owing to ineptness and inevitability. The Daoism–Taoism romanization issue article reviews the general pros and cons. Wade-Giles has the "common name" advantage of familiarity (Taoism and Tao Te Ching are more commonly used than Daoism and Daodejing). Pinyin has the advantages of more accurate pronunciation (one frequently hears both the t- and ch- initials in Tao Te Ching mangled), semantic neutrality (some sinologists believe the 19th-century word Taoism has negative Eurocentric connotations, which the 20th-century Daoism lacks), and increasing preference among academic sources. In addition, there are two more WP-specific reasons. First, the current naming status creates awkwardness and confusing discrepancies for WP users. The Tao Te Ching lead sentence uses W-G once and Pinyin six times: "The Tao Te Ching, Dao De Jing, or Daodejing (道德經: 道 dào "way"; 德 "virtue"; 經 jīng "classic" or "book") also simply referred to as the Laozi…" Template:Taoism consistently uses Pinyin for all article links except three (parenthetically!) in Wade-Giles: "Dao (Tao)", "De (Te)" [Ironically, this "Te" link is piped from De (Chinese)], and "Laozi (Tao Te Ching)". Second, these aberrant Tao- titles will in due course be changed to Dao- versions. There is no need to argue from Ngram extrapolations when Pinyin will overtake W-G usages because the patterns of change are clear. Every year, new WP editors propose renaming the few remaining Tao- titles, and meta:Eventualism predicts consensus will shift. The Encyclopedia Britannica recently changed its article titles to "Dao", "Daoism", and "Daodejing". I think Wikipedia should lead rather than follow behind the curve. Keahapana (talk) 00:26, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
    As noted above, current policy does not support leading the curve and this is not the place to argue for a change in policy. WP:UCN states, "Wikipedia is not a crystal ball. We do not know what terms will be used in the future, but only what is and has been in use, and is therefore familiar to our readers. However, common sense can be applied – if an organization changes its name, it is reasonable to consider the usage since the change." Here, there is no clear break as in an organization changing its name, but merely one form becoming more accepted over time. Wikipedia is a fluid and article titles can be renamed in a matter of days. We don't need to move this page until evidence suggests that "Daoism" and "Tao Te Ching" is (rather than will be) the common name. This is the English Wikipedia - the whole rationale behind WP:UCN is to use forms most familiar to English language readers. You said it yourself - the W-G form is the common name and more familiar. Why ignore this rule? Whether pinyin more successfully transliterates 21st Century Standard Mandarin than Wade-Giles is wholly irrelevant.--Jiang (talk) 18:38, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
Yes, the WP:UCN policy (not "rule") can be an exception to the WP:PINYIN, but need not be. According to the WP:IAR project-wide principle, " Don't follow written instructions mindlessly, but rather, consider how the encyclopedia is improved or damaged by each edit." Clinging to outdated Wade-Giles romanizations arguably damages WP's reliability as a current reference work. One doesn't need a crystal ball to predict that "Daodejing" will inevitably replace "Tao Te Ching", just as "Laozi" has replaced "Lao Tzu", etc. WP:UCS says, "Why isn't "use common sense" an official policy? It doesn't need to be; as a fundamental principle, it is above any policy." In my opinion, consistently using Pinyin titles makes good sense. Keahapana (talk) 21:25, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
  • WP:UCN and WP:PINYIN do not conflict; in fact the latter emphasizes the former by saying that we should use pinyin unless there is some non-pinyin form that is more common - in effect WP:PINYIN does nothing but to act as a tie-breaker in cases where both pinyin and non-pinyin forms are equally common. Common sense here would dictate that we use the pinyin form if the vast majority of publications issued in the last couple years used pinyin over W-G - but no evidence has been provided here to show this to be the case. I tend to be a strong supporter of using pinyin whenever possible (just look at my user name!), but in these two instances, there are just so many lay (non-academic) publications continually being published using the W-G form that it simply runs counter to UCN policy.--Jiang (talk) 01:21, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
    WP:PINYIN says to use pinyin except "When there is clearly a more popular form in English (such as Yangtze River) ..." I'm afraid Tao Te Ching is not clearly more popular (otherwise we wouldn't have this discussion). So, according to this guideline, actually Daodejing would be the right choice. And on top of that: "This guideline documents an English Wikipedia naming convention. It is a generally accepted standard that editors should attempt to follow, though it is best treated with common sense, ..." (cf. Kehapana's comment). --Mallexikon (talk) 06:25, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
    I respectfully disagree. I think Taoism is clearly more popular (by several factors on ngram) than Daoism. A comparison with one name not clearly more than popular than the other would be Burma vs. Myanmar (the subject of a recent move proposal). I don't see any "common sense" reasons to favor one over the other; that pinyin is somehow a superior romanization system is irrelevant. --Jiang (talk) 03:46, 23 September 2012 (UTC)
    WP:POLICY, policies are the rules of Wikipedia. Policies trump guidelines, when then come into conflict. If you want to overrule a policy, you need an WP:IAR determination through a consensus discussion -- (talk) 23:03, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. "In general, the titles of Chinese entries should be in Hanyu Pinyin," according to WP:PINYIN. Britannica gives "Daodejing". So do the up-to-date, scholarly translations: Dao De Jing: A Philosophical Translation (2003) by Ames and Hall, Roberts' Dao De Jing: The Book of the Way (2004), and Penny's Daodejing (2008). The pinyin spelling is already quite common and is growing in popularity, as you can see on this ngram. It's not surprising that the earlier names for this book didn't work out. "A name that can be a name, is an unusual name," as the Daodejing itself says. Kauffner (talk) 14:39, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
  • oppose That the move may happen in the future is not a good reason to make it now. One of the great things about Wikipedia is that we can have redirects from Dao... to Tao... for as long as they're needed, and then have redirects the other way. In someways, this is just WikiDrama. htom (talk) 14:06, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
    How is this WikiDrama? The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 16:29, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
    I suppose more properly it's WikiMelodrama. Someone proposes a move that's certain to be controversial that's not needed at the present time and someone fans the flames. I like melodrama, both to do and to see, but really, it's entertainment, not progress. (Although there can be instances of individual learning about others upon reflection about the content of the melodrama.) Time and keystrokes spent on this discussion could be better used doing something else. htom (talk) 15:38, 23 September 2012 (UTC)
Pardon me for wanting to move an article to a more up-to-date transliteration; I should think that's a good use of my time. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 21:18, 23 September 2012 (UTC)
Of course. And logic has it that everybody who posted their opinion here thought that it is important enough to use their time on. Including htom. So I don't understand the much-ado-about-nothing rationale. --Mallexikon (talk) 05:28, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. Apart from Keahapana's reasoning, which I find convincing, there's an important point that everybody seems to have missed. WP:NAMINGCRITERIA states that "Article titles are based on what reliable English-language sources refer to the article's subject by." WP:COMMONNAME agrees that the most common name for a subject is "determined by its prevalence in reliable English-language sources." The key here is therefore to determine what "reliable sources" are. Ngrams are not useful here, because they don't distinguish between unreliable New Age publications (for example) and the reliable studies we would be willing to cite on our two pages. Ngrams are biased against reliable sources. Most popular books about "Taoism" on Amazon also wouldn't qualify as reliable. And while academic studies are not the only reliable sources on this topic, they are clearly central to it. My impression (informed by years of professional reading in Chinese history) is that the field of Daoist studies has been using "Daoism" for a while (though there are indeed exceptions, like Fabricio Pregadio's recent Encyclopedia of Taoism). Take for example this ngram (1990-2008) for "Daoist Canon" and "Taoist Canon" (a term that is less likely to appear in popular sources): the two are about even, with a clear donwtrend for "Taoist Canon." And check out this one for "Daoist studies"/"Taoist studies" (also more likely to be discussed in reliable sources): "Daoist" dominates! So I support the proposed moves in the name of the dominance of "Daoism" in reliable sources, as dictated by WP naming policy, namely WP:NAMINGCRITERIA and WP:COMMONNAME. Cheers, Madalibi (talk) 06:46, 26 September 2012 (UTC)
    That's fine, except look at the sources actually used in this article - a healthy majority of which use "Tao" over "Dao". Reliable sources still favor "Tao" - so an appeal to WP:NAMINGCRITERIA and WP:COMMONNAME should still result in no move. Dohn joe (talk) 16:33, 26 September 2012 (UTC)
Yes, many linked citations use "Tao" because they are old enough to be in public domain, published before Pinyin became the standard. "Tao Teh Ching" occurs twice and "Tao Teh King" 3 times. That's the point, "Tao Te(h) Ching" and "Taoism" smack of 19th-century scholarship. For anyone who is interested, read Girardot's The Victorian Translation of China: James Legge's Oriental Pilgrimage. Keahapana (talk) 22:39, 26 September 2012 (UTC)
It may smack of the 19th century, but the fact remains that plenty of 20th- and 21st-century reliable sources - such as those found in the article - continue to use "Tao". Just from the cited sources of the past fifteen years, we have at least seven using "Tao": Journal of the American Academy of Religion; Damascene, Hieromonk, Lou Shibai, and You-Shan Tang. Christ the Eternal Tao; Forbes, Andrew; Henley, David. The Illustrated Tao Te Ching; Kohn, Livia and Michael LaFargue, eds. Lao-Tzu and the Tao-Te-Ching; R. Kirkland. Taoism: The Enduring Tradition; LaFargue, Michael and Pas, Julian. On Translating the Tao-te-ching; Henricks. Lao Tzu's Tao Teh Ching. In the same period, there are only three sources using "Dao": Ariel, Yoav, and Gil Raz. Anaphors or Cataphors? A Discussion of the Two qi 其 Graphs in the First Chapter of the Daodejing; Cole, Alan, "Simplicity for the Sophisticated: ReReading the Daode Jing for the Polemics of Ease and Innocence," in History of Religions; Komjathy, Louis. Handbooks for Daoist Practice. (Note: Klaus, Hilmar The Tao of Wisdom. Laozi-Daodejing seems to use both versions, although this may be an inconsistency in translation from the German.) Again - these are current works, cited in the article. An investigation of the books found at Google Books confirms this. "Dao" has not overtaken "Tao" in reliable sources - this is simply true. Dohn joe (talk) 23:19, 26 September 2012 (UTC)
What Dohn Joe is saying here suggests to me that the two move requests should have been submitted separately. For one, the naming issue may be different for a book title than for an entire religion. Even bad translations of Laozi's book may count as reliable sources for the title only even if the interpretations that translation proposes wouldn't be considered reliable. It may also be true that "Tao Te Ching" is more widely used than "Daodejing" in reliable sources even when Daoism has overtaken Taoism in the very same sources. So we seem to have two different issues on our hands. I am keeping my "support" vote, but be aware that my point about reliable sources supports "Daoism" better than it does "Daodejing." Madalibi (talk) 01:09, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
I think Madalibi has a very good point here. This engram documents that "Daoist" is a the more common form in reliable (i.e., scholarly) sources. So, according to our guidelines, which recommend to use pinyin anyway unless a different form of romanization is clearly more popular, we should use "Daoism". But do we really want to use "Daoism" alongside "Tao Te Ching"? For a few years, until inevitably the ngrams will show that "Daodejing" gains the upper hand? --Mallexikon (talk) 02:40, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
As a note, that's why I put in an RM for both, because it didn't make sense to me to leave one and not the other there either. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 18:24, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
  • You seem to be basing a source's reliability on its target audience. The target audience is irrelevant. Our concern should be mainly whether the sources have undergone a proper vetting process to make the content contained within "reliable," not whether they are meant for a lay audience or written by scholars of Chinese thought or history for other scholars. There is nothing wrong with basing our terms as they are used in "popular sources" is Wikipedia is intended for a lay audience too. If I were writing an academic paper I would use "Daoism" (and I have in the past), but Wikipedia is not an academic paper - we use common terms as they are used in reliable sources, not merely academic sources. That would go against the spirit of WP:JARGON. I don't see evidence here to suggest that ngrams is unreliable - why not pull out the first 10 mentions on Google Books and see if they're reliable? --Jiang (talk) 22:14, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Hi Jiang. If Wikipedia were based on popular sources, then all good and featured articles on Chinese history would either immediately disappear or be brought back to "Start" class. I agree that Wikipedia should be written in accessible style (as befits its popular audience), but it should still be based on the most reliable sources of information. I also agree that reliable sources (RS) are not necessarily academic. I'd say RS are sources written by qualified people and vetted for content (not just for grammar and spelling). That includes purely scholarly studies, but also textbooks for college students, entries in reputable encyclopedias, and surveys written for a popular audience. But that doesn't include the tons of popular books claiming that Laozi "founded Taoism" in the 6th century BC, or books on Chinese medicine stating that the Yellow Emperor (a mythical sovereign) wrote the "Taoist" Yellow Emperor's Inner Canon in the 26th (or was it the 27th?) century BC. Wikipedia policy states that "Wikipedia articles usually rely on material from reliable secondary sources" (see WP:PSTS). Secondary sources are studies that discuss the primary sources directly. Books for popular audiences, however, tend to be written by people who can't read the primary sources (in Chinese in our case) and who end up relying either on outdated scholarship (that is, unreliable secondary or tertiary sources) or on other popular books that suffer from the same flaws (i.e., unreliable tertiary sources). Ngrams are incapable of making such distinctions: they just crunch all publications together. Cheers, Madalibi (talk) 02:00, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
  • I don't disagree with you that sources that have not undergone a vetting process for content should not be given undue weight in determining common usage. However, the notion that ngrams has been skewed by "unreliable" sources is mere speculation. Instead of assuming facts based on personal experience, let's do a survey - pick out the first few entries on google books for each term, and see if something clearly appears wrong with the quality of the sources. We should need actual evidence, not mere speculation, to counter the ngram evidence. --Jiang (talk) 04:48, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
Well, if we follow WP:PINYIN (which basically says: when in doubt, use pinyin), then it would actually be upon the supporters of Wade-Giles to submit reliable evidence that the W-G form is clearly more popular than the pinyin one. And Madalibi has very convincingly pointed out that the google ngrams are no evidence beyond doubt here. --Mallexikon (talk) 05:14, 29 September 2012 (UTC)
Here's my reasoning about the reliability of ngrams in this particular situation: 1) Most popular sources are unreliable (that's true in any field). 2) Most popular sources happen to use "Taoism" (easy to show, and I don't think you will disagree). 3) Ngram's database contains most published sources regardless of their reliability. Therefore: 4) Ngrams give undue weight to unreliable sources. The conclusion follows naturally from the uncontroversial premises.
Now to provide number-based evidence equivalent to ngrams, I would have to seep through hundreds of entries in both Google Books and Google Scholar, discount entries from before about 1985 (before which pinyin was not used in English-language scholarship), assess the reliability of the sources left, and compute how many "Daoism" and "Taoism" we have in the sources I judge as "reliable." I've done this once before: it takes forever, and people just end up ignoring the list anyway by saying things like "I still think the other form looks better."
We can also (as you suggest) rely on the first ten entries of some lists to get an impression of usage. This is a good idea, though of course the sample will be too small to prove everything to everybody's satisfaction. But let's try it anyway! The first 10 entries for "Taoism" on Google Scholar (where I assume most entries will be reliable) date from 1963, 1971, 1978, 1981, 1988, 1990, 1995, 1997, 2000, and 2011, and the 2011 entry is a re-edition of a book from 1963, which leaves us with a single piece using "Taoism" since 2000. The first 10 entries for "Daoism," on the other hand, date from 1991, 2000, 2000, 2001, 2001, 2003, 2003, 2003, 2003, and 2012. This should at least justify my impression that "Daoism" dominates in the scholarly world.
As for Google Books, by my own account there are 6 reliable sources among the first 10 entries for "Taoism" (Kaltenmark 1969, Mollier 2008, Pregadio 2008, Fowler 2005 (tertiary but acceptably good because based on scholarly studies), Kirkland 2004, and Wong 2011 (popular but reasonably good). And I count 9 reliable entries among the first 10 for "Daoism": 3 books by Livia Kohn (a German scholar who also writes popular books), 3 edited volumes by international scholars of Daoism, Explorations in Daoism (by a reputed historian of Chinese science], Renard 2002 (not scholarly but looks good), Yang Yi-jie 1995 (the sections on Daoism are short but surprisingly good). The only entry I don't count as reliable is Hartz 2009, because it doesn't give an excerpt. Unfortunately I don't have time to do more than this. I agree that "Taoism" is more popular in general, but I've shown evidence that "Daoism" is more common (and perhaps significantly more so) than "Taoism" in reliable sources, which is the corpus on which Wikipedia policy says we should base our naming decisions. (Because the post is a bit long, I'm adding bold font to summarize my points.) Cheers, Madalibi (talk) 06:30, 29 September 2012 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Comparison summary[edit]

I've started a table of the respective pros and cons. The same advantages apply, mutatis mutandis, to Tao/Dao and Tao te ching/Daodejing.

Advantage Taoism Daoism
usage more common
pronunciation more accurate
publishers more commercial more academic
online retrieval more access points
international standard UN, ISO, LOC
reference works Wikipedia Encyclopedia Britannica
WP consistency few titles most titles
Example Example Example

Any corrections or additions would be welcome. Keahapana (talk) 23:50, 27 September 2012 (UTC)

I removed WP:PINYIN from the "Dao" side. This has been noted before, but WP:PINYIN actually says, "In general, the titles of Chinese entries should be in Hanyu Pinyin (but without tone marks). Exceptions would include: When there is clearly a more popular form in English (such as Yangtze River)." Even this very chart acknowledges that "Tao" is the more popular form. I would say that WP:PINYIN should therefore go in the "Tao" column. Since I'm sure that would be contested, I'll just remove it.

I also had a question for the table-maker: what does "online retrieval" mean? Dohn joe (talk) 00:28, 28 September 2012 (UTC)

You're right about removing WP:PINYIN from Daoism, so I've moved it to Taoism. That's a good question. I copied this (admittedly technical) advantage from Hu (1999:251) cited under Daoism–Taoism romanization issue.
  • Pinyin has more access point than Wade-Giles for online retrieval. By using diacritical marks, Wade-Giles has reduced 25 percent more machine-readable units than that by pinyin. Because diacritical marks are ignored in online processing, Wade-Giles has provided 25 percent less access points than that of pinyin. For instance, pinyin romanization use the consonant pairs "B" and "P," "J" and "Q," "D" and "T," "G" and "K" to represent sounds that approximate the sound they represent in English. The Wade-Giles uses identical letters for each of its consonant pairs, adding an aspirate mark to one of each pair to distinguish them, namely "P" and "P'," "Ch" and 'Ch'," "T" and "T"' and "K" and K'."
Keahapana (talk) 21:46, 29 September 2012 (UTC)

Since these WG vs. Pinyin debates keep recurring, my intention was to summarize the arguments on both sides. This table seems more confusing than clarifying and maybe we should just make two lists. Perhaps we could use some of this summary, which was removed from Daoism–Taoism romanization issue#Ramifications in 2008.

  • Third, some Wikipedia article titles have inconsistencies between pinyin and Wade-Giles romanizations, compare pinyin Daozang (道藏, Wade Tao Tsang) with Wade Tao Te Ching (道德經, Pinyin Dàodéjīng). Editors disagree over interpreting two conflicting rules: the Wikipedia:Manual of Style (China-related articles) convention is to "use pinyin not Wade-Giles," but the Wikipedia:Naming conventions (common names) says to "Use the most common name of a person or thing that does not conflict with the names of other people or things." (For a good illustration, see the archived 2006 editorial discussions at Laozi Talk page about whether to change "Laozi" to "Lao Tzu".) Unlike a printed encyclopedia that necessarily cross-references either "Mo Tzu" to "Mozi" or vice versa, Wikipedia takes advantage of hyperlinked redirects, and searching for "Mo Tzu" results in "Mozi". Nearly all of the current articles about Chinese topics use pinyin, but a handful use Wade-Giles, still preferring "Tao" over "Dao" and "Taoism" over "Daoism".

Keahapana (talk) 21:51, 29 September 2012 (UTC)

Is there a mechanism that counts the use of "Daoism" and "Taoism" as search targets / entry points? htom (talk) 20:34, 30 September 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────In light of the above move discussion (I fully agree with RA's assessment of it as no consensus), I'd say we can hold off on move discussions for another year. Maybe again in September 2013, we'll see if anything's changed by then. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 17:11, 11 October 2012 (UTC)

Proposed revision of the "Interpretation and Themes" section[edit]

The "Interpretation and Themes" section itself states "the variety of interpretation is virtually limitless," which we can all agree is the case. However, even after stating this fact, when this section presents passages from the Tao Te Ching, it then presents the article author's interpretation as if it is fact. It is unclear, to someone like myself who has not read the Tao Te Ching in full, if these interpretations are based in part on further explanation of the topics in other passages. Taken on their own, as they're presented in this article, I would have interpreted the meaning of these passages far differently, which immediately leads me to question the likely presence of the author's individual bias/interpretation. Other readers, who may be less accustomed to critical thinking, may simply take these interpretations at face value and assume their validity. I strongly propose revision of this section, including, at least, these individual interpretations being framed as such. Zerocontrast (talk) 04:40, 9 May 2014 (UTC)ZeroContrast

It seems to me that we need to overhaul the interpretation section as a "History of Interpretation" section - that is right now this section acts an original work, when it would be better as an overview of historical interpretations, so that for example we would discuss the Heshang Gong interpretation, the Wang Bi interpretation, the Daojia interpretation, and so on through Chinese history, other East Asian histories with the text, and even Western history (New Age interpretation, etc). A complete overhaul. (talk) 10:05, 10 October 2015 (UTC)

  1. ^