Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/China-related articles

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Linking to Wiktionary[edit]

Why ought we to encourage linking Chinese characters to Wiktionary when this is of use to only a limited number of users? The {{zh}} template and {{Chinese}} infobox allow for inputting of literal meanings, so I don't see why we would ever need extra linking by employing {{linktext}}... --Ohconfucius ¡digame! 03:12, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

The only reason I would ever use {{linktext}} (and I find its overuse to be annoying) is to show breaks between words, because space doesn't show it. For example, 大清皇帝功德. Wiktionary provides a lot of interesting stuff, including multiple translations for Chinese characters that are difficult to translate (even literally) into English. Providing Chinese characters at all is only of use to a limited number of users. I don't think we should "encourage" {{linktext}}, but we should say that using that template is preferred to simple wikilinks to wiktionary. Shrigley (talk) 03:23, 16 March 2012 (UTC)
I see Wiktionary links in Chinese articles quite often, and linktext makes it simpler for the user to blindly insert wikt links. Such blind use of {{linktext}}, particularly in cases like this case, which I changed, strikes me as being imbecilic. Idiomatic linking would be much more meaningful, if ever it should be used at all. I agree it's overused. Perhaps the practice should be eradicated. --Ohconfucius ¡digame! 03:29, 16 March 2012 (UTC)
You're not going to make any points with the insults. Particularly, your one example of an "imbecilic" use was where you changed the traditional character field fromto 国? Surely, you corrected that mistake on your part and meant to show us something else?
Aside from {{zh}}'s numerous unaddressed problems – its "literally" continues a pattern of ugliness and needless expanse of text where a quick lit. would do (or if that was honestly felt to be ambiguous, lit.), and its convention-violating semicolons makes "literally" look like a separate language instead of a part of the Chinese entry – a "literally" field has no place in a personal or place name and yet those names often have meaning. Individual characters may have additional relevant meanings or information included at its Wiktionary entry. In fact, the only thing you seem to find it useful for – idiomatic expressions – is the only inappropriate use, since Wiktionary isn't a guide to phrases.
The links are obviously useful for anyone who doesn't know Chinese. Happens to be the majority of en.Wikipedia's users. What possible justification could you have for removing useful and unobtrusive content and making the site harder to use? A dislike for people who don't already know hanzi? That's most (nearly all) of them. A particularly ugly shade of blue on your monitor? Adjust your balance. — LlywelynII 12:02, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

The section says, "All Ruby characters are automatically linked to Wiktionary". How does that work? Using the two examples in the Ruby template document, we have:

  • {{Ruby|全|すべ}}て, resulting in: (すべ)
  • {{Ruby|媽|mā}}, resulting in: ()

neither of which seems to have any links. Peter Chastain (talk) 02:05, 22 March 2014 (UTC)

Proposed replacement for WP:NC-TW (moved from Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (Chinese))[edit]

Since the future of WP:NC-TW is being implicated in the current move proposal at Talk:Republic of China, I think it is appropriate for work on a suitable replacement to bring some certainty into the discussion. I've proposed an alternative to the original text (see original text here) below. A couple observations:

  • I am fusing WP:NC-TW into the guidelines written for use of "People's Republic of China" and "China" shortly after the PRC article was merged into China. As these were recently drafted, I believe they adequately represent consensus. Treatment of "Republic of China" and "Taiwan" and "People's Republic of China" and "China" are parallel issues, so policy on usage should mirror each other.
  • The poll that led to the removal of NC-TW asked if the original text "represented current consensus." IMO, this was poorly worded as it was not clear what people were responding to. Some people "voted" based on whether they agreed with the text, not whether they believed it represented consensus. Others failed to grasp its primary role as a Manual of Style and not determinative of whether the Countries infobox would reside at Taiwan instead of Republic of China. What its accompanying discussion succeeds in telling us that support for the original guidelines is divided; while there is no support for retaining the original text, there is also no support for posting a guideline stating the opposite of the original text.
  • Keep in mind our guidelines on consensus: "A consensus decision takes into account all of the proper concerns raised. Ideally, it arrives with an absence of objections, but often we must settle for as wide an agreement as can be reached. When there is no wide agreement, consensus-building involves adapting the proposal to bring in dissenters without losing those who accept the proposal." The guidelines must incorporate as many views as possible, splitting the difference in different contexts. I think the rewritten PRC guidelines already accomplish this. Accordingly, I have tried to rewrite the proposal by establishing a middle ground that is reflected in reliable sources.

Feel free to edit the pink box, and start discussion beneath it. --Jiang (talk) 02:24, 19 February 2012 (UTC)


China, Taiwan People's Republic of China, Republic of China Mainland China, Chinese Taipei, etc.
  • Unless otherwise indicated, "China" and "Taiwan" should generally be used to refer to the existing political entities known officially as the "People's Republic of China" and "Republic of China," respectively, especially in a contemporary context.
  • When discussing geography, those places within the territorial control of the People's Republic of China should generally be said to be in "China". For example, "Zhongguancun has become a major centre of electronics in China", "... a novelist from Chengdu, China". Places within the territorial control of the Republic of China should generally be said to be in "Taiwan". Likewise, the entirety of the areas administered by the Republic of China may be referred to as "Taiwan" unless the hierarchy of administrative divisions are directly implicated, such as "The Matsu islands are administered as Lienchiang County, Fujian Province, Republic of China."
  • For general references, China, or Chinese, can refer to either, where a distinction is not needed.
  • When discussing politics or diplomatic relations, the full official names "People's Republic of China" and "Republic of China" should be used if formal, technical, or historical contexts require as a matter of accuracy. For instance "the PRC replaced the Republic of China as China's representative in the United Nations in 1971." and "The establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949..." and "The People's Republic of China objected to the Vatican inviting officials from the Republic of China to represent 'China' at the funeral of Pope John Paul II."
  • When mentioning official documents, institutions, or positions, the full official names "People's Republic of China" and "Republic of China" should generally be used. For example, "The Constitution of the Republic of China was promulgated in 1947."
  • In cases where there is ambiguity (we need to explain this ambiguity), use the more specific forms "People's Republic of China" and "Republic of China"
  • The term "mainland China" refers to the People's Republic of China when contrasting with the territories governed by the Republic of China, and also usually excludes Hong Kong and Macau. This term should generally be used when contrast is needed and to avoid implying that these areas are not part of China. For example, "Lo Wu is the most heavily trafficked border crossing between Hong Kong and mainland China," "Due to the relocation of many manufacturing and labor-intensive industries to mainland China, unemployment in Taiwan reached a level not seen since the 1973 oil crisis."
  • When discussing its membership in organizations, Taiwan should generally be referred to using the name used by that particular organization. Parentheticals or parenthetical clauses may be necessary at first mention. For example, "Chinese Taipei, the name by which Taiwan is known at international sporting events, won two gold medals at the 2004 Summer Olympics."
  • The terms "Taiwan Area" (or "Free Area") and "Mainland Area" are terms specific to ROC laws and regulations. Usage should generally be limited to legal topics. For example, "Republic of China nationals who do not have household registration in the Taiwan Area are not subject to conscription."

Consistency of language across all articles is not a requirement of Wikipedia. It is also not necessary that a single article use one term consistently over the other. Where "China," "Taiwan," "Republic of China," or "People's Republic of China" is used it should not be changed arbitrarily. In many contexts the terms, and their adjectival forms, can be used interchangeably. Which one is used in such contexts is largely a matter of editorial style. An example of editorial style is where the long form is used initially but the short form or adjectival form is used subsequently. In cases where either "China" or the "People's Republic of China" and "Taiwan" or the "Republic of China" both seem appropriate editors should use their own discretion.


The last bullet point, saying "consistency of language... is not a requirement" has the guideline render itself pointless. It seems to me like an attempt to justify keeping unreasonable article titles and text established under the old NC-TW regime. I would prefer suggesting that writers use the concise forms "China" and "Taiwan" by default, and that any use of the clunky long forms must be justified under one of the conditions that we establish here, or under exceptional unique circumstances. Regarding the point that says "In cases where there is ambiguity... [use the long forms]", I don't see where there would be any ambiguity other than the possible PRC/ROC ambiguity that only applies in the 1950s and 1960s, which one of our bullet points already covers. We asked for other cases of the "ambiguity" of China during the China move, but there were no convincing answers. As with all countries, using the name of the historical regime (e.g. Tang Dynasty) is common sense, and the idea of some "civilizational China" that has nothing to do with political borders is patently fraudulent. Shrigley (talk) 02:46, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

  • I think the proposed text, if comprehensive (I have no idea), would be fine (could do with better organisation I suppose). The only concrete nit I would pick is with the example "Due to the relocation of many manufacturing and labor-intensive industries to mainland China, unemployment in Taiwan reached a level not seen since the 1973 oil crisis". Do English RS actually use the term "mainland" when contrasting Taiwan and PRC? wctaiwan (talk) 02:57, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
    • I "mainland+China"+"Taiwan"+-wikipedia attempted to search for substantive pages that used "mainland China" consistently like this, but it was very difficult. Most reverted to "China" or "PRC" after one use of "mainland China". From memory, I've only ever seen the Kuomintang News Network do this: e.g. [1]. Shrigley (talk) 03:26, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
      • In your google search the following links on the first page of results:,,,, New York Times,,,,,, The vast majority seem like relatively neutral reliable sources.--Jiang (talk) 03:32, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
        • They didn't consistently use "mainland China" though. The BBC piece, for example, contained both lines such as "A Taiwanese visitor to mainland China was shocked" and "Taiwan and China may share the same linguistic heritage". Shrigley (talk) 04:09, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
    • Example: [2]. The motivation behind the term is to avoid implying that Taiwan is not part of China. --Jiang (talk) 03:29, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
I am not sure how to go about searching for usage, but I think that "mainland", when used, is either dependent on context (e.g. a book discussing cross-strait politics from a certain POV) or not consistent. This recent article in the WSJ, for example, uses "mainland" once, and then just says China for the rest of the article. Unless the context demands it (e.g. discussing Beijing's One China Policy), I don't think this level of usage warrants endorsing the term when a differentiation needs to be made between China / PRC and Taiwan in discussions that are not strictly related to cross-strait politics. wctaiwan (talk) 03:49, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
If you read the guidelines, they merely state when the term may be used. They do not state where it must be used. That it is suggested means it may be preferable, but unlike the previous guidelines, the text does not make it required. This is a judgement call for the editor to make. Indeed it is dependent upon context. Discussing the One-Child Policy does not require use of the term ("China's gender imbalance") unless it directly implicates territories outside of mainland China ("Mainland parents circumvent the One Child Policy by giving birth in Hong Kong") --Jiang (talk) 03:56, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
I did read them, but thank you for the reminder. ;) Fair enough, though I would prefer it if editor discretion were better emphasised—the intention of those who drafted and agreed on a set of guidelines isn't always clear to people who end up reading it. Or we could replace it with a more clear-cut example, such as "Many of those working in mainland China returned to Taiwan to vote in the 2012 Presidential Election". wctaiwan (talk) 04:04, 19 February 2012 (UTC) (ec) Really, this isn't a huge issue. If others disagree, I'm not going to argue against the proposed guidelines as they are, just because I don't agree with some subtle wording / example. wctaiwan (talk) 04:09, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure how your example and the current example differ. They both use "mainland China" as a geographical entity that is separate from Taiwan.--Jiang (talk) 04:56, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
In my experience Mainland China is most often used in opposition to Hong Kong (and I suppose Macau too), or Hong Kong and Taiwan, rather than just Taiwan itself. CMD (talk) 13:54, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure what's so ambiguous about the term, as the current guidelines allege. The term is needed under NPOV guidelines to avoid implying that TW/HK/MO are not part of China. (Replace "mainland China" with "China" in the examples and this is exactly what is implied.)--Jiang (talk) 23:25, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
It's not ambiguous, but often no doubt unnecessary. I reckon that in the examples above, like "A Taiwanese visitor to mainland China was shocked", it shows they weren't visiting the relatively well developed Hong Kong. If we assume readers take modern discussion of "China" to refer to the PRC (which as shown in the China move we definitely can), then there is no problem contrasting Taiwan and China (besides perhaps in the realm of PRC law). CMD (talk) 01:00, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps "China" is unambiguous in most contexts, but I think NPOV is relevant here. Why do we allow "China" and "Taiwan" to be treated as mutually exclusive while not "China" and "Hong Kong" or (shudders) "China" and "Tibet"? "China and Taiwan" implies that Taiwan is not part of China; "Mainland China and Taiwan" does not imply that Taiwan is part of China. I think it's preferable to use it when contrast is needed, and unnecessary when there is no contrast. This falls far short of prescribing expansive use of the term as in KMT publications where "Mainland China" is used in place of "People's Republic of China" in a systemic way to avoid officially recognizing the PRC.
And there is the precision issue. "A Taiwanese visitor to China was shocked" forces readers to deduce the meaning of "China" from background knowledge they may not have. It's an assumption that your reader will appreciate that public urination and widespread spitting happens in the Chinese mainland but not in Hong Kong, and so your Taiwanese must have been in some mainland province to have been shocked. Or in the context of the BBC article above, tudou means potato in the mainland and peanut in Taiwan, while in Hong Kong potato is known as shuzai and using the term tudou will neither mean potato nor mean peanut and will only draw a blank stare at a restaurant. But who the hell knows this - in this case the accuracy of the statement is reduced by removing the word. --Jiang (talk) 00:54, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
A simple reason why we wouldn't treat China in opposition to Hong Kong or Tibet would be that this isn't done in English sources. China and Taiwan often are treated mutually exclusively, and are both unambiguous terms.
That obviously doesn't address NPOV at all, but I don't think it's a great POV problem. China and Taiwan are both separate functionally independent states. They have been from the 1950s. The idea that one is part of the other exists only as an idea, and as an idea mostly in political rhetoric. It's not a POV problem to describe reality.
I wouldn't expect "a Taiwanese visitor to China was shocked" to be in an article without context (or to be in an article at all, actually!). It's not like the statement applies to all of the mainland either. This would be the kind of situation where usage I think would need to be specifically considered. It would depend on the rest of the article, and as you said, the context. CMD (talk) 10:34, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
It is done; see [3], [4], [5], [6]. We can't assert that it's not a POV problem to describe "reality" when the "reality" is under dispute and subject to different interpretations. They may be functionally separate states under dominant international law, but asserting so is making a political statement. And even adhering to dominant customary international law, what's to stop someone from interpreting the status quo as being "two Chinas" or as a matter of incomplete state succession "one China two governments"? It's just as much political rhetoric to assert that there are two Chinas as there is to assert that China and Taiwan are separate or that Taiwan is part of China.
Differences in the meaning of "tudou" described in the BBC article do apply to all of the mainland. The term may be used more commonly in northern China than in southern China, but its meaning is the same throughout, while meaning something very different in Taiwan. Usage in the BBC article is both precise and accurate. I don't see anything inherently wrong with using the term "Mainland China" as a means to achieve greater geographical specificity.--Jiang (talk) 12:45, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
It isn't really that uncommon to see Hong Kong and China appearing on their own. For instance a company may say it's "operating in China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan". Jeffrey ( (talk) 14:51, 17 March 2012 (UTC)
In my experience Mainland China is most often used in opposition to Hong Kong - The term "Mainland China" and the corresponding term in Chinese Zhongguo Dalu have existed long before 1997. It was coined to refer to the rest of China outside of Taiwan, and after 1949, the rest of China outside of the ROC. Before 1997 or 1999 Hong Kong and Macau are not part of China by any political sense. There's certainly no need to coin a term just to differentiate the two enclaves, both of which connected to the continental. Clearly the term was coined decades ago for Taiwan. (talk) 08:51, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Maybe it's the nature of the topic area, but despite the fact that all guidelines are suggestions, the old NC-TW was used to rigorously enforce "NPOV" - by edit-warring, if necessary - all over the encyclopedia. The new NC-TW should be designed with this history in mind and explicitly not give license to this sort of behavior. Shrigley (talk) 04:09, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
In many cases even if the territories aren't implicated, it's still ambiguous. For instance, readers wouldn't be able to tell whether Hong Kong and Macau are covered when they read "Internet censorship in China", "One-Child Policy in China", "The Ministry of Railways is responsible for regulating all conventional and highspeed rail transport in China", or "The Civil Aviation Administration oversees all civilian air traffic in China". The word "China" is itself ambiguous in such cases. It isn't as clear cut as "United Kingdom", a term that is widely understood to exclude all overseas territories and crown dependencies. Jeffrey ( (talk) 14:51, 17 March 2012 (UTC)
I just added a sentence to Demographics of China stating what the statistics do not cover. I think that information is vital to the article as it cannot be implied on its face whether Hong Kong and Macau are included in the population figures. How to do this in a systemic way without being repetitive and disruptive, I don't know.--Jiang (talk) 21:25, 18 March 2012 (UTC)
I have come across some articles that got a hatnote defining the scope to be the Chinese mainland. And in the past there were articles and categories with 'Mainland China' in the titles. Jeffrey ( (talk) 08:23, 20 March 2012 (UTC), 11:56, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
Shrigley, can you please provide some concrete examples of "unreasonable article titles"? The issue is not just about ambiguity, but accuracy and precision. In most cases we can get away using the conventional short forms without sacrificing accuracy and precision, but in many notable cases (as in the examples) we cannot. Where it would be hard to pinpoint minute differences in meaning, it would also be hard to establish concrete guidelines. --Jiang (talk) 03:29, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
I am referring to basically all articles whose titles are "X in/of the People's Republic of China", like Urbanization in the People's Republic of China and Smoking in the People's Republic of China. Those examples are cases where "X in China" redirects to "X in PRC", but I also remember (just can't find) cases based on the old formula where "X in China" was a disambiguation page between "X in the Republic of China" and "X in the People's Republic of China". That type of disambiguation is unreasonable because Taiwan is rarely referred to as the "Republic of China" as it is; it is almost never referred to as just "China", and when it is, the People's Republic of China is what's meant. There was recently a discussion on one unreasonably-titled page where some people advanced the argument that since "X in PRC" pages focus on post-1949 topics, they can't ever be moved back to "X in China" and their scope broadened. This, of course, ignores the catch-22 that the reason so many articles are titled "X in PRC" is not because of a summary split out of a larger or ambiguous "China" article but because of the old NC-TW tyranny on Wikipedia that forbade the use of unadorned "China" to refer to PRC. Shrigley (talk) 04:09, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
My view is that if the title uses the preposition "in" then the short form "China" is probably more appropriate; if it uses "of" then use the long form "People's Republic of China". This is per the fifth bullet point above - use of "in" implies referring to China as a geographical entity, so there is no need to title the article with the long form provided the article scope is extended to before 1949. So shortening PRC to China in the examples you give do not run into accuracy and neutrality issues. Problems arise when we want to move President of the People's Republic of China to President of China and extend its scope to 1912 to the present - dazongtong, zongtong, and zhuxi are merely translated into the same term in English, but they are not the same thing and deserve separate articles titled according to precision.--Jiang (talk) 04:56, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
What about Elections in the Republic of China, Propaganda in the Republic of China, or List of political parties in the Republic of China? Jeffrey ( (talk) 15:13, 17 March 2012 (UTC)
Using "Taiwan" in these instances is not technically incorrect. For example, do we consider the Communist Party of China a political party in the Republic of China? Whenever you use the word in (as opposed to of) you implicate geographical scope. Using ROC legal terminology, you are using Republic of China as the "conventional name" of Taiwan Area. The raises more problems than if you used Taiwan as the conventional name for Taiwan Area.--Jiang (talk) 21:25, 18 March 2012 (UTC)
But the 1948 elections were definitely elections in the ROC, weren't they? Were they elections in China then? Jeffrey ( (talk) 08:23, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
There are cases where "of China" does cover the ROC. For example, Military history of China. Jeffrey ( (talk) 14:51, 17 March 2012 (UTC)
It should.--Jiang (talk) 21:25, 18 March 2012 (UTC)
What do you mean? Jeffrey ( (talk) 08:23, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

If this is going to continue to be a sub-section to the "Political NPOV" title I would be interested in an explanation for why "Text should not imply that Taiwan is a part of the People's Republic of China" has been removed. I dispute the assertion that there was "no support for retaining the original text," which served the very useful purpose of not giving a green light to asserting the PRC's claims to ROC territory across Wikipedia.--Brian Dell (talk) 08:49, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

I agree, I think that it would be a good idea to remind editors not to go down the road of implying Taiwan is part of the PRC. John Smith's (talk) 09:24, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
  • As in the China move, I don't think we should enforce what people may or may not "imply" - the line is too fuzzy. Also, considering that the vast majority of the world's states recognize the PRC as the one legitimate government of China, and considering that diplomatic relations with the same are predicated on recognizing Taiwan is a part of China, the idea that "Taiwan is not part of the PRC" is a minority position. Now, I would agree with you that we should not say that "Taiwan is currently controlled by the PRC/China", because that would be a false statement. However, delegitimizing China's claims and administrative structure is not NPOV. We should also add a statement recommending against treating mainland China or Mongolia as the territory of the ROC, which the old guideline actually recommended! Because of Wikipedia's massive demographic imbalance in favor of overseas/HK/Taiwan editors and against mainland editors, we've never had a systematic problem of editors trying to "assert the PRC's claims to ROC territory", but we've always had the problem of the reverse. Shrigley (talk) 15:41, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Under NPOV we are not supposed to reflect a particular political viewpoint, even if it were one in the minority. Your point that "Taiwan is not part of the PRC is a minority position" is actually a disputed one. The former Eastern bloc countries "recognize" the PRC's position that Taiwan is part of China, but the former Western bloc countries "acknowledge" or "understand" the same, so scholars have argued that the US does not recognize Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan. [ see this] In fact, U.S. Foreign Service Officers are explicitly instructed to avoid implying that Taiwan is part of China or not part of China. But this is besides the point. Wikipedia guidelines should prescribe usage, not ideology. We could have a statement in there that says "Text should not imply that Taiwan is part of the People's Republic of China, or that Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau are not part of China," but I'm not sure what it would accomplish given that NPOV already forces us to adhere to this statement. I have never encountered text in my many years here that does the contrary to this statement, or text treating as reality rather than claim that the ROC includes Mainland China and Mongolia as you allege. The NPOV way to do it is to attribute the positions to the parties, not force the Wikipedia editor to take a position. The only problem I see occasionally is the phrase "China and Taiwan" propping up that implies that Taiwan is not part of China. This is why we need to use the term "Mainland China".--Jiang (talk) 23:27, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
I agree that NPOV applies here, and that it does of course whatever precise wording we include; and that attribution is important when it comes to stating positions. However, at the end of day I'm not sure how much NPOV really has to do with the simpler question of names and terminology. We know there are issues around the use of Taiwan, ROC, China and PRC - but they often cut both ways (eg the use of Taiwan is sometimes claimed as implying indepedence, at other times, subordination) and are in fact marginal. And, in any event, are pretty much superseded by common name considerations anyway. I do though think juxtaposing Taiwan and China (without always having to say "mainland") is fine - you see it all the time and once we accept that, effectively, China=PRC and Taiwan=ROC, there's less of a problem with doing that, surely. N-HH talk/edits 23:40, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
What are the advantages of following news media conventions (as opposed to journal articles and books written by scholars)? The main advantage I can think of is that a saves space, which is a valid concern in news writing, but a not-so-valid concern here when we must prioritize precision in terminology. I suppose it also gives readers without much exposure to the topic at an air of familiarity, but use of precise terms will in the end come out as more informative than using non-precise terms. The rule of sovereignty disputes is to not call a spade a spade, but what's wrong with us deferring to what exists at the moment?--Jiang (talk) 00:17, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
I'm not suggesting we follow news usage or terminology slavishly, or that it is definitive. But it is a pretty good guide to common use, especially when, as in this case, it's so overwhelmingly in one direction. Nor am I sure that there's the marked contrast you're implying there might be between news media and journalis/scholarship when it comes to usage of China, Taiwan, ROC etc. Also, as a broad principle for a general-use encyclopedia, it seems to me that offering readers initial familiarity in terminology, before then going on to explain complexity in text, is a laudable objective. N-HH talk/edits 00:49, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
I agree we should have these two statements. Jeffrey ( (talk) 14:51, 17 March 2012 (UTC)

Shrigley's revision of the existing guidelines - please comment. I think it certainly brings added clarity, but the first bullet point in the first two columns provide more restrictive and more prescriptive guidelines than what we have now, and I think we need to discuss those first. Not covered, for example, is use of "People's Republic of China" as a historical period of time and distinguishing the PRC from the Republican period.--Jiang (talk) 03:47, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

  • On the entry about how to refer to the sporting team, I'm not sure that "Chinese Taipei" is how Taiwan should be referred to re sport. It's simply too confusing - the term "Chinese Taipei" is understood even less often to refer to Taiwan as "Republic of China" is. I know that Chinese Taipei is what they have to play under, but it's just an alias to make China happy. I think it would be a lot simpler for all editors if articles simply refer to Taiwan where possible. John Smith's (talk) 09:24, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
    • This is existing practice, though I don't feel strongly either way. Putting Taiwan in parenthesis and linking Chinese Taipei is how we avoid the confusion.--Jiang (talk) 23:25, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
  • I think the point "When discussing membership in organizations, the PRC and ROC should..." falls under the "When discussing politics or diplomatic relations..." point. For example, although both were "China" in the UN, you'd may need to disambiguate when discussing the period of switchover. CMD (talk)
  • I think in general this seems pretty sensible. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 17:54, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
  • It looks good to me. Provided the RM for the ROC goes ahead this guideline I think well summarises how things will be. It's particularly good that "China" and "Taiwan" can be treated the same way. On "mainland China" and "Chinese Taipei" I don't see any problem with them as they are only to be used where appropriate. E.g. in official sports results "Chinese Taipei" may be used, and if so that is what an article should use, though linked in case a reader is unaware what is meant. "mainland China" will similarly be restricted to those few cases where China separate from Hong Kong is being emphasised, and is again based on usage so should be able to be sourced if necessary.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 20:02, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
  • I support all of the points in the box except the last. Consistency is an important factor and is one of the main criteria of our Article Titles policy, and I think NC-TW needs to specifically clarify that while the language used may differ in the content of articles per reasonable assessment of context, it should not differ in article titles unless clearly necessary. I'm not suggesting that an article on the history of the ROC should use 'Taiwan' in its title, but similarly that point shouldn't be used as justification for having articles such as 'Politics in the Republic of China' simply because NC-TW says that consistency isn't necessary. TechnoSymbiosis (talk) 22:18, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
    • It might be worth linking the last paragraph to WP:STABILITY, which is the related general guideline: articles should not be changed simply for consistency across articles. The proposal seems in line with this, and as such is perhaps a bit redundant or a bit too detailed.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 22:27, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
      • I agree that in the long run we should be looking at consistency. It would be a little odd to finally have the articles on the countries in the right place per common global usage, but then allow the uncommon terminology to remain in wide use or even proliferate in article text or elsewhere, which this seems to be resigned to. Also can I tag a concern about the wording at point 2 that would seem to offer a get out for insisting on on ROC where it could plausibly be claimed the context was related to "politics or diplomatic relations"? That could be stretched by someone so inclined to mean any reference to the state or its international relations should be as ROC. I'm not sure that's what's intended. And it's not the way the world does it of course, except for when - per the examples cited - there's genuine ambiguity, eg around the UN switch. N-HH talk/edits 22:38, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
        • I agree with that, it should only be needed to use PRC/ROC historically (e.g. when talking about China's seat at the UN) and maybe cross-strait relations. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 22:55, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
Actually I'm not sure an exemption should even apply to more general (and recent) cross-strait relations - the old guidelines explicitly frowned for example on "China warns Taiwan over X", even though that is precisely the formulation you will usually see in any coverage of the topic in the 21st century. I don't think the guidelines should even offer the vaguest option of people arguing the toss over that one. N-HH talk/edits 23:07, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Can you provide concrete examples of usage supported by the proposed text that you would oppose. It's hard to grasp the boundaries of usage when discussing in the abstract.--Jiang (talk) 23:25, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
I was thinking of something like this - "China warned Taiwan's pro-independence .. party .. ", which is perfectly standard and common but where someone might try to insist that this is about politics or international/cross-strait relations, and hence barred under the guidelines. N-HH talk/edits 23:51, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia:COMMONNAME does not apply to "article text or elsewhere" than titles.--Brian Dell (talk) 23:35, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
Fine. We call a thing by one name when it comes to the main page title, but prefer a completely different name when referred to in article text. Makes sense. N-HH talk/edits 23:44, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
No one is calling for such a "prefer"ence. The call is rather to allow for usage to be assessed on a more case-by-case basis than a general prescription to use "China" whenever the article "doesn't have to do" with Taiwan despite the many political and historical circumstances where PRC may be more accurate, precise, or neutral. By the same token, this Globe and Mail article mentions the "Republic of China Student Association at the University of Toronto." If this Canadian news story doesn't change "Republic of China" to "Taiwan" why should Wikipedia?--Brian Dell (talk) 00:03, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
Nobody's proposing a blanket change of all ROC to Taiwan in every article. The example you gave is for an organisation specifically titled "Republic of China Student Association". If a different title for that same organisation was much more commonly used in reliable sources, Wikipedia would probably be inclined to use that instead, both in the content of articles and in the title of an article on that organisation, if it were to exist. WP:COMMONNAME certainly does apply only to article titles, but it has been reasonably widespread practice that we defer to the majority of equally-weighted reliable sources for content decisions, in the same way we would if three reliable sources said "100 people died in X" and one reliable source said "120 people died in X". TechnoSymbiosis (talk) 00:50, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
Well, this is about cross-strait relations, so I don't get your point. We are not Wikinews. Wikipedia is dulled by NPOV, and something like "China has slowly ramped up the rhetoric ahead of Taiwan's January 14 presidential and parliamentary polls, offering both economic incentives for the self-ruled island and making veiled threats that a vote for the DPP would harm vital trade ties." would not be allowed here. Imagine this article in the People's Daily - this wouldn't be allowed there. Calling Tsai Ing-wen "pro-independence" and Ma Ying-jeou "pro-China" is a gross oversimplification. You won't find this in any scholarly work, nor should you find this in Wikipedia. In contrast, while it relates to "politics" and "diplomatic relations" it is fine to use the short form "China" in the 2001 Sino-Russian Treaty of Friendship. There are no npov, ambiguity, or precision issues in doing so.--Jiang (talk) 00:52, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
As per my answer above, I don't think news usage is the last word and I'm certainly not suggesting using journalese slang and shorthand, especially when it comes to adjectival phrases and verbs - equally, surely, we should not be using over-formal academic language unless the context warrants it. But when it comes to simple naming of a thing, media usage counts for something, not least because that is where most people will see the terminology. The main, serious reference works are pretty clear on their usage of "Taiwan" and "China" too (and it looks as if, actually, that we broadly agree anyway). As for Brian's point, I'm not suggesting uniformity, and nor are the guidelines. But once we have established what is common use - and named the articles accordingly - it seems perverse to suggest that this will not the be the most common variant seen in article text, subect toexact context. N-HH talk/edits 00:58, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
I think the point I'm trying to make is that usage varies across media types and disciplines. Not closely emulating one particular medium (i.e. the news article) does not make Wikipedia extremist. There are benefits to using "China and Taiwan" (short and familiar) and there are also benefits to using "People's Republic of China and Republic of China" (precise and unambiguous). From the time it was founded in 2005, Wikinews has followed news media conventions in usage of "China" and "Taiwan". As an encyclopedia, we have more choice in establishing what terms to use in which contexts. I feel these guidelines are more about article text than about article titles, but even the article titles policy places "precision" on equal footing with "recognizability" - we must realize that the terms "China" and "Taiwan" are short form representations of something else (and could in certain contexts mean something other than the political entity) so some precision (though perhaps not ambiguity) is lost when we use them. The precision that is lost may or may not be substantive - that depends on context, and that is why this guide should single out contexts in which it might be preferable to use the longer forms. This is different from forbidding common usage entirely. The problem with the original WP:NC-TW was not that it prescribed obscure terminology and usage conventions reflected in no reliable source, but that it told editors to adhere to a certain ideological construct ("treat the Republic of China as a sovereign state with equal status with the People's Republic of China"). A usage guide should merely tell editors what terms would be more appropriate in which contexts, not to write with a certain ideology in mind.--Jiang (talk) 00:54, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Many value-adding comments by Jiang here. Wikipedia needs more editors like this.--Brian Dell (talk) 02:50, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
thanks. :-)--Jiang (talk)
btw would calling Matsu, Taiwan be misleadtive? C933103 (talk) 14:21, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
I think so given that there are more accurate renderings of the same information available, such as "Matsu, islands of Fujian governed by the Republic of China" or "Matsu, islands of Fujian governed by Taiwan." The draft guidelines above are directed at using Taiwan as short form for Taiwan Area ("the entirety of the area governed"), which seems perfectly sensible and non-misleading under prevailing common usage and does not involve issues of accuracy. For example, when geographical scope is implicated, such as in lists, there is no need to keep writing out "Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu."--Jiang (talk) 16:59, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

I think extra care is a must in the cases of Kinmen, Wuchiu, the Pratas and the Matsus. If they are depicted as part of Taiwan it will in many cases be confusing. In addition I think it's important to avoid phrases like "China and Taiwan" and "Chinese something and Taiwanese something", "Millions of Taiwanese citizens vote in the Taiwanese presidential election". After all Wikipedia is not a press outlet. "The Constitution of the People's Republic of China was promulgated in 1947." [7] The constitution of the PRC clearly wasn't promulgated in 1947. Jeffrey ( (talk) 14:16, 17 March 2012 (UTC)

I agree that the "China and Taiwan" should not be used as it raises NPOV issues.--Jiang (talk) 21:25, 18 March 2012 (UTC)
But what about "Bahrain, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Qatar, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Uzbekistan"? Is that NPOV? Would "People's Republic of China" and "Taiwan (Republic of China)" be better in such case? Jeffrey ( (talk) 08:23, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
I think "Bahrain, China (PRC), India... Singapore, Taiwan (ROC), Thailand" strikes the right balance between concision and NPOV. My own preference would be "China, including Taiwan" and "China, excluding Taiwan", but implying that Taiwan is a part of China can be controversial. On a related note, we might want to add something in the guidelines about how to handle Hong Kong in such lists, because there is a recurring problem of Hong Kong separatists on Wikipedia who try to argue that HK should be listed separately (arguing that it is a "dependent territory" or somesuch), despite the overwhelming consensus among sources and reality that Hong Kong is an integral part of China. Shrigley (talk) 19:06, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
Surely in a list of countries (in a modern context), where all the others are given their common, short-form names - which will also usually be the title of the main article on that country - China and Taiwan should be too? I don't see why this is a problem or why we need to hedge on this at all. Same goes for reference to Taiwanese elections, China says to Taiwan etc etc. This is all normal stuff in the real world and need not be an issue here. Doing it doesn't have to imply that Taiwan is definitely not part of some conception of greater China.
@Jeffrey, the whole point of the conclusions underlying the move was that all the islands are considered part of "Taiwan" in the modern, geopolitical sense of the word Taiwan; sometimes their separation and distance from the main island will need to be highlighted, and sometimes "Taiwan" may refer to the main island only, but the general principle is clear. And, when it comes to Hong Kong, a similar point applies, surely? Assumed to be part of China as currently defined, but its special status and history will also means it's noted specifically and/or separately on occasion (even if only to highlight its inclusion as a part of modern China). N-HH talk/edits 19:33, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
The reality is that there isn't a single source that unambiguously defined those islands as part of Taiwan. All evidences we got right now are actually OR and SYNTH. Jeffrey (talk) 17:57, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
Aren't you getting dizzy yet from going round in circles? You know full well that all these claims of yours about what Taiwan refers to in modern times were thrashed out at the move stage and comprehensively rebutted. N-HH talk/edits 16:39, 8 April 2012 (UTC)
Jeffrey, do you know how to use google (Or yahoo, bing, whatever you want really)? I haven't even tried, and [8][9][10][11][12]. Please don't lawyer about how some of these particular sources are somehow unfit for use. There's a world of sources out there, so it's not even worth trying to push your defeated point. CMD (talk) 04:25, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
What about "Bahrain, People's Republic of China, India... Singapore, Republic of China (Taiwan), Thailand" or "Bahrain, People's Republic of China, India... Singapore, Taiwan (Republic of China), Thailand"? Regarding Hong Kong and Macau, in my opinion we should instead refer to Wikipedia:WikiProject Countries and Wikipedia:Naming conventions (geographic names) (or perhaps Wikipedia:Categorisation and Wikipedia:Lists too) for a clear guideline on how dependencies should be dealt with. Jeffrey (talk) 17:57, 7 April 2012 (UTC)

So, under this proposal, we are going to write something like, Kinmen, Taiwan(ROC) had won the best xxx city award of 20XX, while the first runner-up is Chongqing, China(PRC) and the third place belong to New York, USA. ? C933103 (talk) 17:49, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

As far as I'm concerned Wikipedia entries on these topics would be both far clearer to the average reader and also in accord with naming habits in the vast majority of serious sources in the real world if (subject to the question of whether Kinmen is a city as such, but we'll go with it) your putative example above read "Kinmen, Taiwan ... Chongqing, China ... New York, United States". Simple, follows real-world use and our article titles, and is utterly clear. No obscure, arcane terminology - unless necessary due to context or for techical reasons - or, indeed, cumbersome and confusing parentheticals. If it's good enough for the New York Times, the Economist, Collins Maps and Britannica among thousands of others, it should be good enough for us. And it is what the current draft of these guidelines suggests as well, although, per the debate below, they do not demand or require it. N-HH talk/edits 16:37, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

"Unless otherwise indicated, "China" and "Taiwan" should generally be used to refer to the existing political entities known officially as the "People's Republic of China" and "Republic of China," respectively, especially in a contemporary context." I think this is too ambiguous as a guideline to average editors. Further it isn't neutral since it explicitly suggests that Taiwan isn't part of China, something that both reunification supporters and Taiwan independence advocates (especially those who consider the ROC a foreign régime illegally occupying Taiwan) would disagree. "and also usually excludes Hong Kong and Macau." What does the word 'usually' here suggest? Jeffrey (talk) 17:57, 7 April 2012 (UTC)

Again, this has been dealt with and justified at the main page moves. Quit flogging the horse. Taiwan is not part of China in political terms, as the terms are most commonly used in the wider world today, but is part of a wider concept of China in another sense. You still don't seem capable of grasping that the same word can refer to different things in different contexts. Intelligent people can deal with contradiction and confusion in concepts and language. As to your second point, the word "usually" doesn't appear there. If you mean the use of "generally", it means "most of the time, with exceptions as explained below and subject to editor discretion based on context". The point is that the guidelines should offer a clear preference but not be 100% prescriptive. Again, you seem to be having difficulty with language. Given that, I'm not sure why you're being so insistent on language issues. N-HH talk/edits 16:39, 8 April 2012 (UTC)

Article naming vs Prose text[edit]

A problem with the old text, that continues on this new proposal, is that it mixes article naming (this guideline is a naming convention) with names and phrases to be used in the prose of the article. I think it is a good idea to separate these guides. Article naming has been much more contentious, yet has wider agreement here; while prose text has always been about editorial discretion, not as many disagreements but a wide variety of options. The above discussion begins to devolve over specific usages in text after agreement it works in titles. Can someone with more time split this proposal? SchmuckyTheCat (talk)

This is something that plagues this entire page. This page can't quite decide for itself whether it wants to regulate article titles or article texts. Some sections obviously do one; other sections do the other.--Jiang (talk) 12:46, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Agreed. :) As long as we are starting pretty much from scratch on one section let's fix it. SchmuckyTheCat (talk)
The prose text portions of this guideline have been split off to Wikipedia:Manual of Style/China-related articles. We may want to move this discussion to the talk page there. Shrigley (talk) 19:03, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

How prescriptive?[edit]

Bringing it back to the very first point made in the above discussion, which has been flagged up again by the current debate at Taipei. I agree that this sentence - "In many contexts the terms can be used interchangeably. Which one is used in such contexts is largely a matter of editorial style" - basically makes the guideline redundant. Despite the detailed explanations of when one term might be preferred over the other, it finishes by effectively saying "use whichever one you want, whenever you want". I know we need some flexibility in order to get agreement on any guidelines and to avoid overly rigid en-masse changes, but it isn't really a matter of 50-50 choice or random editor preference. Taiwan is overwhelmingly the preferred term in the real world in any contemporary and non-legalistic context, as reflected in the page move. Why should references in article text - to the country itself, as opposed to "XX of Taiwan/ROC" - be any different? N-HH talk/edits 12:13, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

This is a Manual of Style, not a Naming Convention, so "use common sense" (as opposed to "apply rules rigidly" applies). The wording at the bottom is only meant to emphasize what editors are already supposed to do in applying a Manual of Style. It does not make these guidelines redundant more so than "use common sense" does. I suppose the point of all this to discourage people from citing either this guideline or the recent move decisions to make rapid and extensive changes to Wikipedia articles. Consensus and convention in part develops over time. Use of "China" and "Taiwan" to refer to the political entities was basically stamped out from the period from 2003 to 2008 or so, but in recent years such usage had seeped in to the point that the old guidelines no longer reflected reality.
Nowhere is anyone suggesting 50-50 choice or random editor preference. It requires some consensus and reasoned judgment. The basic idea is, don't change what is already there without good reason, and don't force a consistency where none exists in reliable sources. Reliable sources and the examples provided in the guidelines themselves suggest there are instances where the long form is preferable, and instances where the short form is preferable. If you can pinpoint with any more precision than what has already been drafted where the dividing line lies, then go ahead and propose it. I would personally prefer that the bullet points used tighter language, but I have to recognize that compromises need to be made here to attain some sort of consensus. After all, this is a Manual of Style, and stylistic preferences are inherently subjective.--Jiang (talk) 18:04, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
Fair points, although as I say, I'm not sure it is a simple, subjective style point - which implies to me that we're saying one is as good as the other and does in effect hand the decision over to individual preference - given the overwhelming predominance of one form over the other in most contemporary contexts and references in the real world. I also wasn't aware that there was this change/trend between 2003 and 2008 to, in my view, go backwards on this. That seems very odd and suggests there weren't that many dispassionate or disinterested eyes on it. "Consensus" often consists after all simply of the random convergence in views of one or two committed editors on a few backwater articles. It also merely reinforces in my mind that moving towards preferring Taiwan/China would merely be correcting a deviation that briefly arose in error, not upending what WP has carefully and sensibly done since time immemorial.
Maybe the guidelines should not mandate or order, but they should be more explicit in preferring the simple modern short-forms, and the burden should be on those trying to over-complicate the terminology (or maintain that terminology) in specific instances. That can be balanced by a "please don't change en masse" rider, for what that would be worth, but I can't see how these guidelines will have any weight - and indeed how WP is going to have any credibility on the broad issue here - otherwise. N-HH talk/edits 16:51, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
An example of a more prescriptive form is this edit. I cannot avoid phrase "should generally be..." without having the text be in direct contradiction.--Jiang (talk) 18:19, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

CMD reverted "When discussing politics or diplomatic relations in a more formal, technical or historical context, the full official names 'People's Republic of China' and 'Republic of China' should generally be used." to "When discussing politics or diplomatic relations in a more formal, technical or historical context, the full official names 'People's Republic of China' and 'Republic of China' will sometimes need to be used." with the comments "The long names should be used when needed, not generally."

That begs the question, when should they be used? How do we determine when they are needed? That's already answered in N-HH's addition to the guideline: "in a more formal, technical or historical context". Given that the text is already qualified by context, I don't see the problem with being prescriptive here. There is no suggestion that the long forms be used in all discussions of politics or diplomatic relations, but only in discussions "in a more formal, technical or historical context". Changing "should generally be used" to "will sometimes need to be used" essentially makes the guideline meaningless.--Jiang (talk) 10:24, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

I reverted your latest change as well. "When discussing politics or diplomatic relations in a more formal, technical or historical context, the full official names "People's Republic of China" and "Republic of China" will sometimes need to be used." --> "When discussing politics or diplomatic relations, the full official names "People's Republic of China" and "Republic of China" should generally be used as formal, technical, or historical contexts require." I did this because "in a more formal, technical or historical context" isn't very specific criteria. What is it exactly? (More than what?) It's not prescriptive to say that "X should generally be used in these vague situations." As it stands, the guideline notes that the long forms can sometimes be used. This isn't useless; it stops changes being made due to the sole argument that guidelines say not to use the long form. CMD (talk) 11:48, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
My reason for having the double qualification as it were - ie the "formal, technical .." and then the "sometimes" as well - was deliberate and I would prefer to see it retained (unsurprisingly perhaps). The problem is, as is being seen currently on articles, is that people say "oh, this is a formal context" on the flimsiest pretext and then start demanding we use the long form pretty much everywhere after all. The addition of sometimes, as noted, means that such a claim of formality alone does not necessarily give a green light to the switch to the more cumbersome and obscure terms. There's an extra hurdle there. I think we really should be in a place where those insisting on using the long form really need to justify it pretty strongly in each case and explain exactly why it should be an exception to normal practice, which should be to use the short form. N-HH talk/edits 12:02, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

I don't see the concerns of either of you given that the blurb at the very bottom states 'In many contexts the terms, and their adjectival forms, can be used interchangeably. Which one is used in such contexts is largely a matter of editorial style. An example of editorial style is where the long form is used initially but the short form or adjectival form is used subsequently. In cases where either "China" or the "People's Republic of China" and "Taiwan" or the "Republic of China" both seem appropriate editors should use their own discretion.' There is no harm is starting out long and continuing short. Again, the point is to prevent people from changing terms in either direction without justification. I have been willing to compromise by making the first column prescriptive; I hope you will too by allowing the second column to be as well.

If you think "formal, technical, or historical contexts" is too vague, then what isn't? Can you think of something with more specificity that will prevent this from being entirely useless? I rewrote it again, stating "accuracy" as the justification for usage. This way, usage of the short forms can be justified whenever one can show that it is not less accurate to use the short forms. I also changed "as" to "if", meaning that context + accuracy is a limiting condition. --Jiang (talk) 19:49, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

Well, I don't necessarily agree with that blurb. We now have a version that anyone can cite as justification for slapping ROC (or indeed Taiwan) everywhere, saying "hey, they're interchangeable .. it's just editorial style" (per blurb) or, as noted, they can claim that any political/legal context requires ROC (per your recent change to the main body, which shifted from "can" to "should"). People are doing this already, see here on the main Taiwan talk page. Also as noted, you can't offer a vague category definition and then say that people have to or should do X within it. That makes no sense; the "can" option not only adds the extra hurdle but is the only logical option to follow from a vague category. Finally, I disagree that the point is to stop changes - the point as I see it is to finally sort out the mess and confusion caused by having ROC everywhere, even for the modern state, and to get consistency for references in similar contexts. There should in fact be changes to Taiwan for many currently mis-named modern references. N-HH talk/edits 12:04, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
My latest revision used "if" which sets up a conditional clause: "if formal, technical, or historical contexts require as a matter of accuracy." Juxtaposed with the first column, which states "unless otherwise indicated" casts a wide net for the short forms, if there is no "formal, technical, or historical context" and if usage cannot be justified on "accuracy" grounds, then the long form cannot be justified. I don't see how this justifies the belief that the wording will require that "any political/legal context" use the long form. Please provide examples of how my wording would promote undesirable usage.
I don't see the problem of the blurb permitting use of both long forms and short forms in the same article when reliable sources are not consistent themselves. The function of the blurb is more to promote the short forms than to promote the long forms. Otherwise, where long forms of justified, they will have to consistently used throughout the entire article. I'm personally fine with removing it, but I believe it will work to prevent disputes from flaring up.--Jiang (talk) 13:47, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
I guess we are slightly quibbling over metaphorical commas as it were and I'm probably OK with the main wording as is now. I think my concern is that, having seen the lengths to which some people will go to haggle over the terms and seize on any justification for changing or maintaining "ROC" even in a modern context, I would prefer to batten down as tightly as possible on these guidelines. As for the blurb, maybe we should lose it then? N-HH talk/edits 14:18, 16 April 2012 (UTC)


Is this set of proposed guidelines going to be applied to lists and categories, or to articles only? Jeffrey (talk) 17:57, 7 April 2012 (UTC)

The disambiguation page should be an EXCEPTION[edit]

A guideline said that

To help establish a simple and clean appearance, if a term is Wikified and has an article, do not provide characters or romanization again. For example, the following is redundant.

Li Shimin (李世民), along with King...

It could easily be rendered as:

Li Shimin, along with King...

which simplifies the article. If the reader wishes to find out about the native text, he or she can simply click on the link (where the writer should direct the Chinese characters if not already present).

If, however, there is no article, then it is essential to insert traditional or simplified Chinese characters and full Hanyu Pinyin with tone-marks, as a minimum. Those characters can later be removed once a stub/article has been created.

However, Let's visit Zhang Ji, it has the form of

Zhang Ji may refer to:

Here I'd like to say that the above guildline should NOT be applied to the disambiguation pages. The main purpose of the disambiguation pages is to help others to distinguish between articles, therefore it is reasonable that disambiguation pages are allowed to display the peculier perperties of their items. The most distintive properties of the items of a disambiguation page related to the China would be their chineses name written in chinese characters. The chineses names written in chinese characters should be allowed ALWAYS at disambiguation pages. Anyway, again, I mean disambiguation pages related to China should be exceptions of the rules mentioned above.(Gauge00 (talk) 16:40, 27 August 2012 (UTC))

Above Zhang Ji disambiguation page should be like following

Zhang Ji may refer to:

(Gauge00 (talk) 16:58, 27 August 2012 (UTC))

"Chinese" to mean "Mandarin": can cause confusion and inaccuracy[edit]

The style guide currently says: It is not necessary and often confusing to call Chinese "Mandarin", except when you are contrasting MSC to some other variety ("lect") of Chinese, such as Shanghainese or Cantonese.

This is probably fine if you're just noting in passing that something is in Chinese. However, it leads to nonsense if you're talking in detail about Chinese. This is really happening in actual articles. For example see Chinese grammar. That page gives a lot of really useful information about Mandarin grammar. However, because it uses the word "Chinese" in statements which are actually specific to Mandarin, the whole page is full of falsehoods. The distinct terms "Chinese", "Standard Chinese" and "Mandarin" have been badly confused, causing errors such as the following:

"While there are dozens, if not hundreds, of classifiers that exist, which must be memorized individually for each noun, the vast majority of words generally use "個/个 gè".
Many nouns that may use other classifiers can also use "個/个" if the speaker chooses."

Note that:

  • This is descriptively true for Northern Chinese ("Mandarin") dialects.
  • However, it is false for the prescriptive "Standard Chinese" language (written or spoken).
  • It is also completely false for the other 6 major dialect groups.
  • Most importantly, there is *no way* for the article to convey this information if it just uses the word "Chinese".

The article is not "contrasting MSC to some other variety of Chinese". However, it is just talking about Mandarin, and saying things which only apply to Mandarin. As a result, if the word "Chinese" is used, parts of the article are hopelessly misinformative, such as the extract quoted above. The reader is certain to be misled unless he knows all the facts already. Therefore this is really not a useful source of information. This is a shame, because it would be a really informative article if only "Mandarin" was used instead of "Chinese", and this is clearly the only sensible way to resolve the ambiguities and inaccuracies.

There are more examples like this all over Wikipedia. Therefore the style guide should be clarified to say something like this:

The term "Chinese" is perfectly acceptable to refer to any or all of the different Chinese varieties, including Modern Standard Chinese ("Mandarin") in its spoken form and Standard Written Chinese. It is often unnecessary and confusing to specify the variety. In just the same way, the word "English" is often better than "American English", "British English", "Australian English", etc. Hu Jintao speaks Chinese; Barack Obama speaks English. Both these statements are clear and correct.
However, the variety should be given (e.g. "Mandarin Chinese") in contexts where the statement is specific to that variety. In other words, "Chinese" is not just a synonym for "Mandarin Chinese" or "Standard Chinese". So do not write, "The Cantonese film Project A has been dubbed into Chinese" if you mean that it has been dubbed from Cantonese into Mandarin. That is as confusing as saying, "The Australian film Mad Max was dubbed into English", when in fact it was dubbed from Australian English into US English. (talk) 22:51, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
Strongly agree, if we mix up Chinese and mandarin then the reader are very hard to understand. But sometimes the difference is not importent, then no need to say mandarin, just chinese is ok. (talk) 11:26, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
Some people and literature actually do use language like, "The film was dubbed from Cantonese into Chinese". We should not give the impression that Chinese is a pluricentric language. Prescribing the use of "Mandarin Chinese" will lead to trouble, because people will be - and already were - writing things about "Mandarin Chinese" (the whole northern dialects) which actually only apply to the standard. Yes, sometimes people use "Chinese" to mean a non-Mandarin dialect, especially in a folksy way or with reference to the written language, but we shouldn't worry too much about our grammar articles. After all, most non-Wikipedia grammars of MSC call themselves grammars of "Chinese", and not of "Mandarin." Usually there is an explanatory note in the beginning which says "in this book, "Chinese" means putonghua." (or, more frequently, "Chinese, known as putonghua...") My point is that we should follow the usage of the reliable sources, and not try to reduce the standard language to one dialect out of many, out of some political idealism. (talk) 22:49, 15 September 2012 (UTC)
The problem is not about being pluricentric or political idealism, it is about the terms in English. The restrictive use of "Chinese" is misleading, because the inclusive use is completely ubiquitous: in English at least, nobody denies that Cantonese, Hakka etc are forms of Chinese. Therefore any English article which uses "Chinese" to mean "just Mandarin" will mislead the reader, or at least create ambiguity. As you say, "Chinese grammar" books tend to mean Mandarin (I guess they sell more copies if the cover says "Chinese"), but Chinese cinema invariably includes Cantonese etc. How is the reader to know? (As you point out, an explanation can help, but why choose terms that need explaining?)
This is different from "Spanish" and "Catalan", say. In English at least, nobody refers to Catalan as a form of Spanish. Therefore I can say "Spanish", in a context that excludes Catalan, without misleading anyone. However Uruguayan Spanish is a form of Spanish, so I have to use the word "Spanish" accordingly. The relative strength of the different speech varieties is irrelevant.
I agree it's fine to say "Chinese" if you don't need to specify the dialect, like "Mayday and Beyond sing in Chinese". (talk) 16:36, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
Spoken Chinese is definately pluricentric, mandarin is standard in most areas in mainland China, however Cantonese is standard in Hong Kong and many overseas communities. There is strong evidence, because all types of media commonly get dubbed from Mandarin into Cantonese and vice versa, and people mostly wouldn't bother doing this if Chinese was monocentric, like Italian for example. I would expect other Chinese dialects are standard in certain areas and domains, but maybe to a lesser extent. I think its a really big mistake to use Chinese to mean Mandarin because then there's no word left for Chinese overall. (talk) 07:25, 26 September 2012 (UTC)

So can we do anything with this? :-) (talk) 22:10, 15 October 2012 (UTC)

The existing wording seems adequate for the cases raised. Both "Chinese" and "Mandarin" are ambiguous, but Chinese grammar makes plain at the start that it's about the standard language. The situation of dubbing a film from Cantonese into Mandarin is covered by "except when you are contrasting MSC to some other variety". Kanguole 22:58, 16 October 2012 (UTC)

Request for Comment: Regarding WP:NC-TW[edit]

A prior discussion removed the policy to distinguish the usage of the terms Taiwan and Republic of China (and variations of them). Should the old proposed changes, currently located here, be instated into a guideline, either at Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Chinese) or its own page (such as Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Chinese)/Taiwan)? - Penwhale | dance in the air and follow his steps 06:42, 18 November 2012 (UTC)

The problem with the old proposed changes is that it words itself into irrelevance by saying that "Consistency of language across all articles is not a requirement of Wikipedia," and that name usage "is largely a matter of editorial style". I support a revival, although it would go under MoS rather than naming conventions since we're talking about article text rather than titles. Shrigley (talk) 04:47, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
Using Macedonia as a prior example, see Wikipedia:Centralized discussion/Macedonia/consensus, which redirects to Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Macedonia). The process was started via an ArbCom remedy in the Macedonia 2 case. Thus, it can be under naming conventions, as well. - Penwhale | dance in the air and follow his steps 20:25, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
Consistency of language across all articles is not a requirement of Wikipedia. I don't want anything made "official" that would allow people to go through and "correct" every existing article. That will cause more drama than would be resolved by any guideline. Gigs (talk) 14:26, 20 November 2012 (UTC)
It's not really consistency of language, though (When I think of that, I think of stuff like American/British spelling, and there's a MOS for that)... - Penwhale | dance in the air and follow his steps 15:53, 20 November 2012 (UTC)
The MOS for british spellings basically says "don't fight over it, it's not a big deal". Gigs (talk) 14:09, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The context behind this RfC is that some IP hopping editor is rapidly, persistently, and tendentiously changing all instances of "Republic of China" to "Taiwan". The administrators didn't know how to handle it because the former was a redirect to the latter, and because we don't have a guideline on when to use one versus the other. We could start off by pointing out that the terms are not equivalent; that "Republic of China" often does not refer to Taiwan, but to the Republic of China (1912-1949), which for a time did not govern Taiwan - or much of China for that matter, because of the Japanese invasion and occupation. Less important is the fact that the ROC controls territory outside of Taiwan island, including off the Fujianese coast and in the South China Sea. A fact that seems to be routinely ignored by Wikipedians is that the Chinese (PRC) government regards Taiwan as a province of its (PRC's, not ROC's) territory, rather than an independent country, and that the overwhelming majority of states share this position. Even under separatist administrations, none have gone so far to say that "Taiwan" formally, rather than the ROC, is independent.

So we have two POV problems on both ends of the extreme: (1) implying that Taiwan is an independent country, unaffiliated with China [denying that the regime name is 'Republic of China', or that it calls itself 'part of [(People's?)/Republic of] China' as part of 1992 consensus]; and (2) implying that the regime on Taiwan is the successor to the 1912-1949 government on mainland China [stretching the name 'Republic of China' to deny legitimacy to the PRC government as int'l recognized ROC successor]. Some of the IP edits replaced {{ROC}} with {{TWN}}. First of all, the ROC government had many flags, especially when on the mainland, and is not only Taiwan. Second of all, "Taiwan" can be interpreted with the PRC flag, ROC flag, and the separatist flags, so the ROC flag's monopoly is not fair. A lot of these problems are solved by using the terms "Republic of China (Taiwan)" or "Republic of China on Taiwan" as in the proposal, but without a lot of the impractical pan-Blue ROC-statist bias of the proposal, like regarding Taipei as outside of the ROC's "Taiwan Province" (smaller than the PRC's) and therefore not part of "Taiwan" but the "ROC".

In sum, while Guerrilla of the Renmin's main concern is not toadying to Taiwan independence (TI) forces, my main concern with the guideline is not to re-establish a false "TI versus ROC" dichotomy which ignores PRC perspectives. Jiang's new proposed guidelines have not really changed the substance of the old NC-TW, which falsely equated Taiwan's government with ROC and ignored the PRC claim (as well as that of the separatists, with which Wikipedians have more sympathy, and that's what led to its archival). I think expanded use of "Taiwan" in place of "ROC" is fine, as a shorthand for "the current authorities which de facto administer Taiwan", since it is agnostic as to whether those authorities are legitimately ROC or PRC provincial officials. A truly neutral naming convention would have to be written from scratch with the above concerns in mind. Shrigley (talk) 08:35, 22 November 2012 (UTC)

Having been around for a while, let me state that their is no "truly neutral naming convention" writing one from scratch mostly likely won't improve matters - it will just give us another guide that a lot of people will oppose.
One of the reasons neutrality is hard to reach is that we won't agree what concerns need to be kept in mind.
For example, you say we have a problem with "(1) implying that Taiwan is an independent country, unaffiliated with China [denying that the regime name is 'Republic of China', or that it calls itself 'part of [(People's?)/Republic of] China' as part of 1992 consensus];" Well, Taiwan is indeed an independent country, unaffiliated with China, and according to the people who were there in 1992, including the president who was in charge in 1992, there was no 1992 consensus. Then you go on to say that another problem is "implying that the regime on Taiwan is the successor to the 1912-1949 government on mainland China [stretching the name 'Republic of China' to deny legitimacy to the PRC government as int'l recognized ROC successor]." No, the regime on Taiwan isn't the successor to the Republic of China, it is the Republic of China - a continuation of that government and many of its institutions. Regardless of whether the PRC is the government of China, the ROC is still the ROC. Later you say "Second of all, "Taiwan" can be interpreted with the PRC flag, ROC flag, and the separatist flags, so the ROC flag's monopoly is not fair." But only the ROC is actively governing Taiwan. Whether they should be the guys in charge or not, they are the guys in charge. Ignoring the facts isn't neutral.
And of course you will have counter-arguments to what I say, and I'll have counter-arguments to those. It all goes back to what I was saying about there being no "truy neutral" naming convention.
I think we have a pretty good one in the past though I would of course quibble with bits of it. It lasted quite a long time and I think we should change it only after getting consensus from multiple editors including some who are currently active and some who have been around a while - including people who look at things from different sides of the issue.
What proposals for changes are being advanced? What recent changes are being disputed. I didn't see them listed here and the history seems to contain a lot of chaff so it is hard to tell what the substance of the dispute is.
In general I favor the approach of referring to the government as "Republic of China" and the country (meaning the land, the peoples, the culture, i.e. the stuff that outlasts the government) as "Taiwan". For most countries there is no naming distinction (for example, people don't talk about the president of the "French Republic", they just say the president of "France" because the French Republic has always been the government of France) but due to Taiwan's unique history it makes sense to use separate names for the government and the country. Readin (talk) 01:37, 25 November 2012 (UTC)
  • Mostly I agree with Readin's assessment. However, even the current government on Taiwan hasn't treated Taipei City as part of the Taiwan Province (and this is prior to the establishment of New Taipei City etc), so... - Penwhale | dance in the air and follow his steps 02:19, 25 November 2012 (UTC)
  • I basically agree with Readin's assessment. Furthermore, I would object to giving the PRC's stance (the one where it says Taiwan is a renegade province of the PRC, not just part of China) any more weight when talking about the current status. Presenting the PRC's viewpoints as anything more than the PRC's viewpoints and the "official" stance taken by some governments ignores the reality that the view has international backing from governments mostly because the PRC is powerful, and that it has very little historical or factual basis. Contrary to what Shrigley said, the dichotomy is between TI and ROC--or more specifically, whether Taiwan is part of China. There is no question that Taiwan is, at least currently, not part of the PRC, beyond the realms of propaganda and diplomacy. On the matter of reviving the guidelines: I don't think they'd help, and I'm worried they'd be used to badger opponents in editorial disputes, but I'm not strongly opposed to having them if others would like them back. wctaiwan (talk) 06:09, 25 November 2012 (UTC)
Addendum: The hardline separatist viewpoint (Republic of Taiwan with Lee Teng-hui as the first president, etc.) has correctly been consistently ignored outside of when we're actually discussing it. It has about as much basis in reality as the PRC claims, and less governmental support, at that. wctaiwan (talk) 06:16, 25 November 2012 (UTC)
A little known secret is that the ROC took over the PRC recently, making all of these arguments moot. But they still go on. Apteva (talk) 02:35, 7 December 2012 (UTC)

What's so troublesome? Just two simple guidelines will do: One) This country governed China, Kinmen, Wuciou and the Matsu Islands before 1945, China, Taiwan, Kinmen, Wuciou and the Matsu Islands between 1945 and 1949, and Taiwan, Kinmen, Wuciou and the Matsu Islands from 1949 onwards (well they controlled Hainan and the southern coast until 1950, and some islands on the eastern coast until the mid-1950s, but these probably aren't immediately relevant in most cases); and Two) Although this country is now commonly known as Taiwan, it was once commonly known as China, and specifically Republic of China, way into the 1970s or even the 1980s, held the China seat in the UN until 1971, and recognised by Washington, D.C. as China until 1978. (talk) 18:54, 26 December 2012 (UTC)

RfC: "Mandarin"[edit]

The move request at Mandarin Chinese isn't really ready for prime time (there was a prior discussion and I should address the previous points directly), but I wanted to put this here to give you guys a heads up.

There are enough good reasons to leave 普通话 at Standard Chinese despite "Mandarin" being more COMMON (principally, that "Chinese" tout suite is even more common but not very helpful). That said, I went through the incoming links at Mandarin Chinese and exactly 2 of the first 50 were related to the article content; the rest (from very major articles) were trying to get to the content at Standard Chinese. A determined-enough editor could fix that situation, but it's illustrative that Standard Chinese is far and away the PRIMARYTOPIC for the "Mandarin Chinese" namespace.

There's a bunch more sources, but

a, come by and give your thoughts, esp. after I'm fully done over there. If any of you guys are the ones who seem to want to make "Mandarin" only mean 官语 and 普通话 only be "Standard Chinese", hopefully some the links and sources will help fix that and avoid edit warring;
b, I could especially use feedback on where we should put the content that's currently at Mandarin Chinese, whether at Mandarin dialects or Guanyu or somewhere else. I don't have an opinion, but it'd be good to get everyone's and standardize it as much as we can with the other articles;
c, drop by Talk:Standard Chinese for the related discussion and work cleaning up that page's treatment of "Mandarin". At the moment, it's so wishful (that people just don't use the term anymore) that it's basically fraudulent. I can source its use, both official and otherwise, but, if any page owners come in to revert, it helps to have backup and a strong consensus.

Of course, if you have awesome arguments about why my take (and the ngrams, official use, and incoming links) is totally wrong, share that too. =) Cheers. — LlywelynII 13:37, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

Proposing the creation of some new conventions[edit]

This may be seen as a follow-up to this earlier discussion and this discussion I had with User:InferKNOX on my talk page. It appears that WP:MOS-ZH has no formal conventions on the following three issues. I propose we discuss and create new conventions (based on consensus) to govern these issues and for the purpose of maintaining consistency throughout all articles on the English Wikipedia which contain hanzi (both Traditional and Simplified).

  1. The use of Template:Linktext for hanzi in articles containing hanzi. Should the template be used for the hanzi name of the subject of an article (i.e. each hanzi blue-linked to its entry on Wikitionary)? If so, should this practice be applied to all articles? WP:MOS-ZH#Linking to Wiktionary is not clear on this issue.
  2. The use of hanzi in infoboxes. The hanzi name of the subject of an article usually already appears either in the lead section in Template:Zh or in Template:Chinese at the side, per WP:MOS-ZH#Introductory sentences. Is it necessary to add the hanzi name again in the infobox? Some examples of hanzi names appearing in both Template:Chinese and the infobox are Lee Kuan Yew and Xi Jinping. Should the "native name" parameter in certain infoboxes, such as Template:Infobox officeholder, be filled in with hanzi when the hanzi already appear in either Template:Chinese or Template:Zh?
  3. Where Template:Chinese text should be placed. The template's page says place it "at the beginning of the article, below any infobox". If Template:Chinese is also used, should Template:Chinese text be placed in second position (i.e. between the infobox and Template:Chinese) or in third position (below the infobox and Template:Chinese)?

I've some suggestions:

  • For the second issue, the hanzi names of the subject of an article, in both Traditional and Simplified, along with their various transliterations (Pinyin, Jyutping, etc.), should appear only once each in the entire article. Using only either Template:Chinese or Template:Zh is the best solution.
  • For the third issue, place Template:Chinese text in the third position.

I hope to hear from the community soon. Thank you. LDS contact me 15:26, 28 December 2013 (UTC)

Adding on to my suggestion for the second issue: Exceptions such as Template:Infobox Three Kingdoms biography and Template:Infobox Water Margin character apply, because the infoboxes already contain parameters for the hanzi and their transliterations. LDS contact me 15:30, 28 December 2013 (UTC)

Kudos to you for your initiative in bringing the discussion here, Lonelydarksky.
  • For the 1st point, I suggest the linktext per character on the hanzi within the Chinese infobox. Please refer to this discussion on User:Lonelydarksky's talk page for my reasoning.
  • For the 2nd point, I suggest the hanzi also be present at the top of the main infobox, however, it needs to be clarified whether traditional or simplified is prefered in cases where both are present. Please refer to this discussion on User:Lonelydarksky's talk page for my reasoning.
  • For the 3rd point, I suggest the ChineseText template be at the top of the main infobox, which contains the hanzi at the top. If not, then immediately after the main infobox & before the Chinese infobox. My reasoning is for the ChineseText template to be seen before the actual Chinese text. ~ InferKNOX (talk) 16:02, 28 December 2013 (UTC)
In my opinion
  1. I think Template:Linktext should be used conservatively. Using it in the opening sentence text is probably redundant. For example imagine, "China (Listeni/ˈnə/; Chinese: 中国; pinyin: Zhōngguó)". All we have done by linking the Chinese text is point to a page that says 中国 means "China" which was what the opening sentence was trying to say anyway. No extra information is gained through the link. For another example, "Deng Xiaoping (Pinyin: Dèng Xiǎopíng, [tɤŋ˥˩ ɕjɑʊ˩ pʰiŋ˧˥]; Chinese: ; pinyin: Dèng Xiǎopíng)" all I find out through the link is that Deng is a Chinese surname, Xiao means small and ping is a common given name. So linking the text 邓小平 provided no useful information to the reader. The linktext template should only be used where doing so adds to the useful information available to the reader.
  2. Inforboxes are supposed to be a duplication. The provide a quick reference to facts that already appear in the article itself. For example dates of birth, location of birth/death, occupation are in both the opening sentences and the infobox. So the Chinese script should go in the zh template in the opening sentence and the name should also go in the native_name field in the infobox, the nobold template should be added and the native_name_lang should be filled correctly or the lang template used. What should not happen is cases such as until recently fixed, at Guangzhou where the Chinese text was in twice (native_name and official name). The Chinese text should not be tacked on the end of the name field as in Li Xiang, "| name = Li Xiang<br>李湘". Also there should be only one native name. Chiang Kai-shek has two, "|native_name = {{nobold|蒋中正}}<br>{{nobold|蔣介石}}". Native name should be the native equivalent of the name field or the common name in the native language. The other name should be in the other_names field.
  3. I can see arguments in favour of various positions of Template:Chinese text. I am slightly in favour of placing it after the Template:Chinese as I see Template:Chinese as an extension or annex of the infobox.
-- Rincewind42 (talk) 07:18, 29 December 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Rincewind's point 2: The infobox is supposed to be a summary of main, central information, such as names and dates (of birth/establishment/creation) and obviously will have duplicate information with the prose paragraphs. Having the character name in there as well doesn't seem a problem when you think of it that way.

Regarding Chiang Kai-shek, this might be a unique case: He is called Zhongzheng in Taiwan and Jieshi on the mainland; as an example, my father was raised in Cultural Revolution China, and has never used "Jiang Zhongzheng" ever in his life to refer to CKS, however an old schoolmate of mine who originally comes from Taiwan doesn't understand a thing when you say "Jiang Jieshi", he would say that he has "never heard of such a guy" (despite being first president of Taiwan). Think of it as an Aluminium/Aluminum, or an Aeroplane/Airplane case. --benlisquareTCE 08:22, 29 December 2013 (UTC)

Regarding the placement of {{Chinese text}}, I think that things would look more aesthetically appealing if it were placed after all bulky templates that hang to the right (i.e. both the infobox and {{Chinese}}), since that minimises awkward changes in spacing. See pic related:

However, it really is up to the individual situation, and I don't think it's absolutely necessary to formulate any rules regarding how the templates are used, as it becomes WP:CREEP in a sense. I'd say it's best to leave it to the judgment of editors. --benlisquareTCE 08:44, 29 December 2013 (UTC)

What if the infobox does not contain a "native name" parameter? And what about articles on people based in places where Chinese (Simplified and Traditional) is not the dominant language, such as articles on Chinese Americans and Chinese Singaporeans? Should the native name parameter be filled in with their names in hanzi, or should it be left blank? I've no objections to filling in the native name parameter with hanzi for articles on people from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Template:Native name doesn't define what "native name" is, but the most charitable way of interpreting "native name" is to see it as the subject's legal name in the dominant language used in the subject's place of origin or the place where the subject is most associated with. I believe having formal conventions on such matters helps to promote efficiency and consistency in editing. At the very least, editors won't be wasting time arguing over the layout of articles. I hope that this discussion won't turn out to be as inconclusive as the earlier one above. LDS contact me 09:14, 29 December 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Rincewind42's opinion for no. 2 as well. I never knew about it until having just read the comment, but I just tested injecting the "native_name" parameter into Template:Infobox martial artist, which by default doesn't have it & it worked. I've had to do the same with the "teacher" parameter in the same template, as it's also absent. I only ask, what is preferred, traditional or simplified?
benlisquare, your diagram is contrary to all the pages I've checked, which show those 3 templates to be of the same width.
LDS, wouldn't it be simpler just to have it that one includes the hanzi by the "native_name" parameter if it is present on the page or (in the case of creating a new article,) has reason to be on the article itself? ~ InferKNOX (talk) 21:46, 29 December 2013 (UTC)
Just noticed that the width of the templates were changed as well. From memory, the standard infobox was wider than {{Chinese text}} some time ago. I guess that makes my earlier point useless now. Oh well, ignore my earlier point, and let's continue on. --benlisquareTCE 23:44, 29 December 2013 (UTC)
I mentioned above that I've no objections to filling in the native name parameter with hanzi for articles on people from mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, but I do question the purpose(s) of having the subject's name in hanzi appearing more than once in the entire article. If it is to avoid ambiguity and to help readers confirm that they are viewing the correct article, I believe dab pages and other features (e.g. pictures, a well-written introductory section, links to corresponding articles on the other Wikipedias) would serve this purpose much better. After all, we are not on the Chinese Wikipedia so we should use hanzi sparingly and only when necessary.
InferKNOX, we use Simplified for people from mainland China and Traditional for people from Taiwan and Hong Kong and historical people. We'll work out the finer details later. What I'm concerned about is whether this practice should also be applied to ethnic Chinese from outside of these three regions, such as Chinese Americans, Chinese Canadians, Chinese Singaporeans, etc. I'm almost certain that their legal names will be in their transliterated forms (in the Latin alphabet) and these are probably the names they are most identified with. In this case, the "native name" parameter should be left blank, unless they are/were immigrants from either of those three regions. Their names in hanzi form should then appear only in either the lead section or in the Chinese name box at the side. LDS contact me 01:46, 30 December 2013 (UTC)
If we're to go by Rincewind42's logical statement of the infobox being a concise grouping of the entire article's data, then I think it would make sense to include the hanzi in the infobox. I don't think it upsets the idea of being sparing, as it would only one other instance of the hanzi. I won't go any further into those outside the 3 regions you mentioned, as I don't feel myself qualified to comment, but I'll just say that Eddie Wu is a Chinese-Canadian who's hanzi name is valid. ~ InferKNOX (talk) 09:44, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

@User:Lonelydarksky I feel you are confusing the terms ethnic and native. A Chinese American, born and living in America but ethnically Chinese, would be native to America. Thus their native name would be their English name. If they had a Chinese name, that would go in the other_names field. Rincewind42 (talk) 14:20, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

In what way am I confusing "ethnic" and "native"? I've never filled in the "native name" parameter with hanzi for articles on Chinese people regardless of their places of origin. In fact, I took out hanzi from infoboxes on a handful of articles (on Chinese Singaporean politicians) some months ago, but other editors keep adding back the hanzi. Going by what Rincewind42 mentioned above, it seems that we have arrived at something close to a solution to the second issue. Does this mean that the "native name" parameter should be left blank then, for articles on people born in places where Chinese is not the dominant language (as a whole, these "places" may refer to places outside of China, Taiwan and Hong Kong)? LDS contact me 00:32, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

Archaic spellings within article text[edit]

Wikipedia uses modern spellings for place names, e.g. Beijing not Peking; Tianjin not Tientsin; and Nanjing not Nanking. However a few article are named using the archaic spelling because that is the common name, e.g. Tientsin Incident or Tungchow Mutiny. I am not arguing that these names be changed. However, within the article text there is a issue.

In Tungchow Mutiny it starts of with, "The Tungchow Mutiny [...], sometimes referred to as the Tōngzhōu Incident..." and then consistently uses the modern spelling of Tongzhou to refer to the city throughout the article.

In contrast, Tientsin Incident starts, "Tientsin Incident [...] was an international incident [...] in the north China treaty port of Tientsin (modern day Tianjin)." and from then on uses Tientsin to refer to the city.

Confusingly, Tianjin Massacre starts with, "The Tientsin Massacre [...] in Tientsin (Pinyin 'Tianjin')" and then randomly uses either spelling throughout the article.

Then really confusingly, Battle of Beiping–Tianjin starts, "The Battle of Beiping–Tianjin [...], also known as the "Peiking-Tientsin Operation" or [...] as the North China Incident [...] Beiping (now Beijing) and Tianjin." Why does it use the archaic Beiping and the modern Tianjin in the same name. Shouldn't it be either Beijing–Tianjin or Beiping–Tientsin. The article mainly uses Beiping and Tianjin but has one Peiping and a Tientsin.

I propose that an addition be made to WP:MOS-ZH such that the practice at Tungchow Mutiny be adopted on the other articles. That is that the archaic spelling be used only for referring to the subject of the article; that the two spellings be noted in the opening paragraph; and that when referring to the city, province or person alone, that the modern spelling be used consistently throughout the article.

-- Rincewind42 (talk) 07:21, 1 January 2014 (UTC)

I don't think an addition is needed. "Battle of X" and a place "X" are two different topics that should each be named according to existing guidance, and WP:NC-CHINA is quite precise about the naming of places. But Beiping is a different name, not an older spelling. Kanguole 12:51, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
I agree that WP:NC-CHINA is quite precise but its scope is only article titles. I'm looking for similar clarification about spellings used in the body text of the article. Rincewind42 (talk) 14:58, 1 January 2014 (UTC)

Frontward or backward names in a particular article.[edit]


Could someone advise on The Ultimate Fighter: China? We've Chinese fighters with Eastern style names, but Vietnamese and Koreans with Western style. There's also Tiequan Zhang (as it's spelled there) linking to Zhang Tiequan. I say, for consistency, they should all be one or the other. I'm leaning to the West, since we're an English encyclopedia and this is an American company. Also, major MMA sources use Western style for these guys.

Is there a policy, guideline or some general etiquette I'm overlooking, or is my idea fine?

Thanks. InedibleHulk (talk) 00:29, January 5, 2014 (UTC)

If most reliable sources, whatever those are in the case of MMA, give their names in the Western style, then I think you should follow that practice. In general, though, it is quite unusual to see a Chinese name rendered in the Western surname-last style, so be judicious in how you implement this. That's my opinion.  White Whirlwind  咨  06:30, 5 January 2014 (UTC)
Ended up just going with a primary source from UFC, using different styles for each. May not look consistent, but at least the sourcing is. Thanks for your advice.
But now Run Run Shaw has died, and I could use two more cents on whether the "This is a Chinese name, the family name is Shao" hatnote is appropriate. I can see the need to explain Shaw means Shao, but the Wikilink in the note leads to an article which would lead readers to either assume his family name is Run, or that the note has it wrong. Is this typically the way it's done? InedibleHulk (talk) 06:22, January 8, 2014 (UTC)

Pinyin in article text[edit]

Although we have a Romanization section it only covers use of Pinyin in article titles plus there is some more info in the section on characters - there is no mention of pinyin usage as part of article text I think that it would be useful to add something along the lines of:

To maintain readability without interruption from the {{zh}} template, where there is a need to include Romanised Chinese in the article body (i.e. excluding links and titles), Hanyu Pinyin without tone marks is used in preference to other Romanisation systems. The pinyin is italicised and traditional and simplified characters separated by a forward slash with a non-breaking space before and after. For example: "Eight regulations for dealing with foreigners" (Fángfàn yírén zhāngchéng bā tiáo, 防範夷人章程八條 / 防范夷人章程八条).

Comments? ► Philg88 ◄ Star.pngtalk 14:18, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

The Template:Zh defaults to simplified, traditional then pinyin. I think it would be confusing to use one order in the introduction and then a different order later. Of course Taiwan and Hong Kong articles use traditional first order so the manual of style should make mention of that requirement too.
In the Template:Zh, the separator between the script and romanisations is a colon. I see no reason to change it to commas.
The Template:Zh is not simply for appearances. It adds the markup to the page that difines what laguage is being used for acessability purposes. It also saves some future editor form having to second guess what script or transliteration is being used. I've spent allot of time recently fixing pages that contained mixtures of traditional and simplified text and pages with non-pinyin transliterations which had no indication of which transliteration method or dialect had been used. When the Template:Zh is not use, the Template:Lang and Template:transl with the correct ISO 639 code should be used. Thus your example would become:
For example: "Eight regulations for dealing with foreigners" ({{lang|zh-hans|防范夷人章程八条}}{{nbsp}}/{{nbsp}}{{lang|zh-hant|防範夷人章程八條}}; ''{{transl|zh|pinyin|Fángfàn yírén zhāngchéng bā tiáo}}'').
Which would appear on the page as:
For example: "Eight regulations for dealing with foreigners" (防范夷人章程八条 / 防範夷人章程八條; Fángfàn yírén zhāngchéng bā tiáo).
Rather than putting all those Template:Langs everywhere, wouldn't it be simpler to alter the Zh template code to include a flag that suppresses the titles. The Japanese language Template:Nihongo has the lead=yes/no flag for such a purpose. I don't see why the Template:Zh can't have the same.
The Template:Zh already has a flag for links=no which suppresses the link to the language article. It is mentioned on Template:Zh that this should be used throughout the body of the article to prevent excessive linking. That text should be copied over to the manual of style so that more people are aware of its existence and encourage its use.
Another complication comes when we are talking about words as words and discussing the language or script itself. For example as is done on the article Chinese language. A discussion I started with no conclusion is at Talk:Chinese_language#Inconsistent styling.
Some pages have more than one language and thus multiple scripts. It is easy for a western person to confuse Chinese, Korea and Japanese scripts unless they are students of Asian language. When a page has multiple scripts or languages within the text, or has multiple transliteration methods used in various sections of the text, the language or transliteration form should be titled explicitly so as to make it clear which language is being used. The reader should have to rely on the contexts of the sentence or paragraph, which may be vague, to tell which language or script is being used.
-- Rincewind42 (talk) 17:22, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Thanks for that Rincewind42, very useful. My original intention here was to get a definitive statement in the style guide that says "the English language Wikipedia uses Hanyu pinyin in preference to other Romanization methods" so that I could cite it to a user who added Wade-Giles for a few place names that should have used pinyin. (Those additions turned out to be copyvios so no problem). That aside, I like the idea of the flag to suppress titles; the full version could be used in the first appearance and the hidden version thereafter. Lets also get that text from template {{Zh}} into the guide. Best, ► Philg88 ◄ Star.pngtalk 07:33, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

There is an existing consensus that we should use Hanyu Pinyin preferentially and only include other transliterations if there is a good reason to do so. Asside form Wikipedia practice, pinyin is the ISO romanisation for Chinese. I have suggested adding a sentence like wrote to the MOS before but other editors said that it was not necessary because Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Chinese)#Romanization already says we should use pinyin. However, such comments fail to take account that naming conventions only apply to article titles and do not cover text within an article. I think this doesn't really need discussed as it has come up several times before in various talk page archives with no decent. So I think you could go ahead and be bold adding such a sentence. Just be clear to leave room for quite a number of exceptions in your wording. Rincewind42 (talk) 14:39, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

New template to make inputting pinyin that much easier[edit]

I made a new template {{pinyin}} that takes inputs like Ce4suo3 li3 dian3deng1 and converts them to properly toned pinyin like Cèsuǒ lǐ diǎndēng. This makes inputting pinyin much easier, no more looking for special characters! You can use it like {{subst:pinyin|input}} so that you don't look lazy in diffs and wikitext! (jk) The template also takes care of "v"s and turns them into ü (u with umlauts) like most pinyin IMEs, and the common lue/nue mistake (they should have umlauts). Please try it out and give some feedback, as there might be things that I've missed. If everything is alright, I hope to make mention of this template in the Manual of Style here, since it currently tells people to use Pinyinput or Google Translate to type pinyin. _dk (talk) 06:18, 4 March 2014 (UTC)


I think it would be wise if we formulate a section giving direction on proper formatting of citations, seeing as there has recently arisen some surprising criticism of the current methods. My suggestion is the standard:

Author 作者 (year). Title 书名 (English translation of title if needed). Location: Publisher, pages.

That's basically what I learned in graduate school and it seems the general standard in the field. If anyone wishes to comment or suggest changes, please go ahead.  White Whirlwind  咨  06:02, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

I should also add, I was taught that in romanized Chinese titles only the first word is capitalized (unless a proper noun is involved) and spacing is done at word boundaries, such as: Zhongguo yuqi dacidian 中国玉器大辞典.  White Whirlwind  咨  06:10, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
This reflects what I've seen in bibliography sections mostly, but some books just skip the Chinese characters altogether. Would be great if there is a reference manual somewhere that covers this situation though. Also a question: Is there a comma behind the surname for Chinese authors? ie. Chen, Shou or Chen Shou? _dk (talk) 06:48, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
All sounds good, but I believe that policy encourages the use of citation templates where possible. These have the (IMHO) useful "trans-title" parameter, while the {{no italic}} template prevents a breach of style guide rules on italicized Chinese characters. If there is anything not in the cite templates/modules that is required, it can be requested. @Underbar dk: AFAIK, no comma in the Chinese name. Cheers,  Philg88 talk 08:36, 16 June 2014 (UTC)
I like citation templates myself, but WP:CITEVAR says citation style is an editorial choice at each article. The documentation for {{no italic}} says it should not be used inside citation templates. I'm in two minds about the comma – specialist publications would write Chen Shou (which can be achieved with |author-name-separator=), but then Wikipedia should cater for a general readership, be consistent, etc. Kanguole 09:08, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Except that in terms of cultural convention, the name is written surname first with no comma. That would be kind of a CHINESEVAR thing, which we don't have :) I didn't know that {{no italics}} shouldn't be used in CS1/CS2 citations so thank you for that. If there is a workaround we should pursue it as use of italics contradicts WP:MOS-ZH (Although people would probably argue that the guideline only applies to body text).  Philg88 talk 10:22, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

Regarding the post-surname comma: I was taught that it was not used for East Asian names (so "Chen Shou", per Kanguole, and not "Shin, Sukju") – however, I'm of the opinion that such usage confuses the general Wikipedia readership, and I have begun using the post-surname comma universally and don't seem to have lost any of my immortal soul.
Regarding template usage: Kanguole's point that {{no italic}} isn't supposed to be used in citation templates is a real wrench in the works, I think. I personally have been very spotty in my usage of citation templates – I sort of thought they just made pages load faster or something. They also let one use the {{harvcoltxt}} template to link footnotes to the bibliographic listing, but after using that a few times I felt that it was a lot of effort for relatively little reward. Would there be any other drawbacks or dangers to us not using templates in China-related articles?  White Whirlwind  咨  03:35, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
Citation templates exist for very good reasons: to make citations consistent; to make it easier for editors to produce consistent citations; to enable many checks (such as for missing titles in web citations, missing dates, incorrectly formatted dates) and feature (ISBN linking, DOI lookup and linking, COinS data); to enable various performance optimisations. So it would I think be a bad idea to start making references without using templates. Apart from all the problem with consistency, formatting, linking properly etc. many would probably be 'fixed' by other editors changing them to use templates, probably doing a worse job than if such a template had been used from the start.
The only way to do it I think would be to come up with a new template, i.e. one that implemented the new format and any variations that are needed. This could have most or all of the benefits of the regular citation templates; if not immediately then things like checking, linking, COinS data could be added. As such improvements are made all articles using the template would benefit, something that definitely won't happen with just inline text. It would also mean the format could be properly documented, with examples and justification.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 03:59, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
That's an excellent idea. Such a template (module?) doesn't need much extra functionality - just the no italic support for the title plus a "trans-publisher" field. Others may think of parameters that I haven't considered. Presumably it would be useful across the CJK board.  Philg88 talk 04:30, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
The existing citation templates do a lot of work – it would be wasteful to start again from scratch. I think it would be better to ask the CS1 folk for an extra field for an original title in a non-Latin script that shouldn't be italicized (and maybe for "trans-publisher" too). That would be in addition to |title= (which could be used for a romanization of the original title) and |trans_title= (for a translation).
@White whirlwind: I like the way the templates fairly easily give a consistent format (even if it's not always what I'd prefer). However for me the big win comes from {{sfn}}/{{sfnp}} in large articles: you get a minimal intrusion in the wikitext where you're writing about the subject, you don't have to manually combine repeated refs and make up ref names, and there's a script that checks you got the names and year right. But I recognize that CITEVAR says we shouldn't impose a new citation style on an established and consistently styled article without discusion. Kanguole 07:16, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
This is an enlightening discussion. I also didn't know not to use no-ital in a template. Do I assume correctly that the same is true of bold? The journal article template for some reason bolds the volume number, which I have tried to defeat.
I agree with @Kanguole:'s comments on the usefulness of the sfnb form, though it took me a while to get used to it. To make it easier, I created an output style in my EndNote program to generate a reference in the proper form -- what a headache! I'd be happy to share it with anyone who wants it, though no guarantee. ch (talk) 20:06, 18 June 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── So the discussion seems to have reached consensus on the following points: the style as I described at the outset, with the additional points that we should be using {{cite}} variants in the Works Cited sections and {{sfnp}} or similar for inline citations. We also need someone to liaise with a proficient template programmer to sort out a workaround for non-italicization of CJKV characters without using the no-ital tags. Unless anyone objects, I will create the initial section in the MoS in the next day or two.  White Whirlwind  咨  04:30, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

While I personally prefer {{citation}}+{{sfnp}} for longer articles, I don't think we can require it (per CITEVAR). We could recommend it, though. I've made a request at Module talk:Citation/CS1/Archive 11#non-italic titles for a new parameter for non-italic titles. Kanguole 11:03, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
On further thought, short citations are probably out of scope for MOS-ZH; it's mainly the formatting of the full citations that touches on Chinese text issues. Kanguole 11:34, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

There is a discussion on possible changes to the formatting of titles in citation templates at Module talk:Citation/CS1/Archive 11#non-italic titles. People may wish to explain there what we need for Chinese works. Kanguole 15:26, 10 September 2014 (UTC)

See RfC on traditional vs. simplified characters in infobox[edit]

FYI: Pointer to relevant discussion elsewhere.

The RfC Template talk:Infobox Chinese/Chinese#RfC: How to display the characters is likely to be of interest to regular participants here.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  02:19, 1 August 2014 (UTC)

Added bracketed note on "umlaut-u"[edit]

here. This (or something better) seems to be needed to underline that the "umlaut" is not a tone. In ictu oculi (talk) 11:45, 4 September 2014 (UTC)

This seems odd to me. Are there really editors out there thinking that the diaeresis is a tone marker? And couldn't any such editors be directed to the the Putonghua page (and probably others)?  White Whirlwind  咨  22:05, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
Yes there are, it seems odd to me too, but evidently there are, and sincere ones. See Talk:Lü Lin In ictu oculi (talk) 22:07, 4 September 2014 (UTC)
We don't need to address every possible misconception. That leads to clutter, making guidelines less read and less useful. Kanguole 11:56, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
Normally I'd agree with you, but now we have people erroneously citing this page and WP:Naming conventions (Chinese) as their reasoning that umlauts should not be included. We can't have misconceptions shape consensus. _dk (talk) 12:02, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
Why don't you just reply there? Though in the passage quoted I'd suggest that "tone marks" is more common usage than "tone diacritics". Kanguole 12:09, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
I have. So far we already have two users making this misconception on the same day. I would really like to see this point stressed. _dk (talk) 12:12, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
It already talks about adding tone marks to vowels a o e i u ü, with several examples. Surely that's enough for you to make the argument in those discussions. It's quite unnecessary to belabour the point in the guideline. That's the sort of clutter that ruins guidelines. Kanguole 13:23, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
I hope you aren't including me in those two users. I think you are seeing something that isn't there. Saying that the diaresis doesn't need to be included in English, just like tone marks doesn't mean that I have mistaken it for a tone mark. I would like to suggest that the statement be clarified in the MOS to explicitly included "tone marks and diaresis above the letter 'u', as there appears to be some confusion stemming from a legalistic interpretation which points to the fact that only tone marks are mentioned. We don't use the diaresis above the u in English and here on English wikipedia we use plain English. The reason for this lack of diacritics is simple. English generally doesn't use diacritics, not for Chinese words either, and it would add no information since the vowel indicated isn't used in English and therefore doesn't contrast with the vowel represented by 'u' in English. We do not need to explain the difference on the page, instead we should include both in our guidelines asking editors not to include them in anything other than templates and parenthetical notes. - Metal lunchbox (talk) 14:19, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but perhaps our understanding of what's being included in English sources are different, for in the English academic sources I read on Chinese history, ü is clearly differentiated from u. Perhaps this is not reflected in newspapers or athletic profiles on the internet, but I sincerely believe we should hold Wikipedia to a higher standard. _dk (talk) 14:58, 5 September 2014 (UTC)
@Metal.lunchbox: The umlaut u "ü" is not used in native English words, but it is used in pinyin (and loan words, but that's beside the point). Unlike tone marks, the umlaut/diaeresis is not optional when writing pinyin, which we do anytime we write a Chinese word or name (with some Taiwanese/Cantonese exceptions).  White Whirlwind   咨 ]] 01:59, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
According to whom is it not optional? The page which appears to have started this discussion Lü Lin, has one reference, and you know how they spell his name? Look up "Lü Zushan" and tell me how many keep the diaresis. Were all of their editors drunk? Or perhaps they are unaware of this rule of English that you have made up. There is a difference between Pinyin and the English spellings of Chinese names. The vast majority of them are directly derived from pinyin, but they are not exactly the same thing. The lack of tone marks is one obvious example of this. The diaeresis above the u, whether or not you think it should, serves as another clear example. The standard which Wikipedia uses, is not for the people on this page to decide. It has been firmly established that WP uses plain English - Metal lunchbox (talk) 04:04, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
Anyone who's learned pinyin in a Chinese class can tell you the umlaut is not optional. u and ü are two distinct vowels, each having four tones. Many English websites are written by people who've not learned pinyin, but that does not mean we should dumb down to their level. Academics, who're usually a better educated bunch, tend to know better. See China: A History, Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Women, Women in Early Imperial China, among many others. English pages published by the official Chinese media also always often preserve the umlaut: Besides, we do preserve the umlaut in German-related articles such as Führer, why shouldn't we do the same for Chinese? -Zanhe (talk) 06:12, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
I am familiar with Pinyin, I'm not talking about pinyin, I'm talking about writing Chinese names in English, with spellings based on pinyin. The tone-marks aren't less more optional that the diaresis above the u, but there is clear consensus about tone marks. Why shouldn't the same logic apply? Your assertion that official chinese sources always use the diacritical above the u is simply not true. Even if it were, the officialness of the source is not a standard for wikipedia's consideration of what language to use. Let's look at a Lu with a little more profile. Peoples daily spells it "Lu", China Information Center, xinhua, etc. In fact, I was unable to find a single other source which spells his name with the diaresis. So your one example not withstanding, sources, official or otherwise, do not always use the diaresis, in fact in some cases, the opposite is true. - Metal lunchbox (talk) 06:33, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
You're right, and I was wrong about the "always" part. But take a look at this document (PRC national standard for spelling Chinese names), which says (section 6.2) that the surname should be spelled Lü, or Lyu (not Lu) when inputting ü is not possible. I guess the Chinese media do not always follow the national standard either. Sigh. -Zanhe (talk) 06:55, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
The official government document that User:Zanhe cites above clearly specifies (and I assumed this was common knowledge) that alternative spellings to the correct "Lü" were allowed because of the "special requirements of technological processing" (jishu chuli de teshu xuyao 技术处理的特殊需要). The lack of inclusion of the umlaut is simply a relic of a compromise in the era when word processing of non-ASCII characters was difficult, and is perpetuated by those who are unfamiliar with Mandarin phonology or who are prone to erroneous or awkward grammar and formatting (for which the above-cited English-language arms of Chinese news organizations are infamous). No reputable publisher – the university presses, Brill, Random House, Berkshire, etc. – would be so careless these days, and neither should we.  White Whirlwind  咨  07:50, 6 September 2014 (UTC)
The Chinese government is not Academie Anglaise, we are not bound by their rules, regardless of the topic at hand. - Metal lunchbox (talk) 09:51, 6 September 2014 (UTC)

Let's not get too far away from the original topic. I don't think it's appropriate to fill the MOS with preventative corrections for the perceived misconception about the purpose of the diaresis above the u. If they want to understand the intricacies of pinyin they can read the article at pinyin. Can we agree that this note that the mark is not a tone mark is not neccessary? - Metal lunchbox (talk) 12:29, 6 September 2014 (UTC)

User:Metal.lunchbox I have to say that your own edits over the last few hours are the clearest evidence that such a clarification is in fact necessary. It's understandable that an editor who isn't familiar with the difference between Hanyu Pinyin "vowel"s (meaning vowel) and a "tone mark" (meaning tone mark) such as could in good faith mistake them together as "diacritics" at Talk:Lü Lin. But you seem to know the difference and yet are opposing WP:PINYIN and WP:NC-CHINA be applied to the article in question. It would help if you made a clear statement that the guidelines as they stand show that En.wp uses all six Chinese vowels, including Results 1–500 of 9,720 for Lü Chinese:

MOS:CHINESE The tone mark is added to the vowel in the syllable that comes first in this sequence: a o e i u ü.

WP:NC-CHINA: The titles of Chinese entries should follow current academic conventions, which generally means Hanyu Pinyin without tone marks.

This is what the existing guidelines say, correct? In ictu oculi (talk) 04:10, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Please stop. - Metal lunchbox (talk) 04:14, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
Confirmation of the existing guidelines is relevant since despite what was explained above by _dk and User:White whirlwind on this edit 18:11 8 September you initated a RM at Talk:Lü Zushan which fails to even mention MOS:CHINESE or WP:NC-CHINA in the move proposal. In ictu oculi (talk) 05:20, 9 September 2014 (UTC)
As you say, the current wording of this quideline is perfectly clear on the distinction between tone marks and vowels in pinyin. There's already a discussion of Wikipedia naming conventions at Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (Chinese) – please continue there. Kanguole 07:52, 9 September 2014 (UTC)

Sitelinks: Classical Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Chinese, and Simplified Chinese - which one is which?[edit]

Greetings! I was trying to check some terms both in Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese by using the sitelinks located in the left-hand toolbar when I ran into the following problem with respect to the consistency of terminology used here at Wikipedia. My question could be formated like this:

Why do we first use the term Traditional Chinese in language tags within the text, and then suddenly use the term Classical Chinese in the sitelinks at the toolbar on the left? Moreover, we use the term Simplified Chinese in the language tags within the text, but in the sitelinks we simply use the term Chinese.

By intuition, "Traditional Chinese" could easily get mixed up with plain "Chinese", whereas "Classical Chinese" and "Simplified Chinese" could be easily expected to make a different case and have their own sitelinks.

Therefore, I think it'd be more consistent if both terms used in the text would correspond the terms used in the sitelinks at the left-hand toolbar. What do you think? =P Jayaguru-Shishya (talk) 16:38, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

Formatting sentences with multilingual terms[edit]

Greetings! I ran into article (Fuji and noticed that there are some inconsistencies with the formatting of sentences that include both Chinese and English terms. Let me give an example in order to clarify myself a little bit. In the article, it is said that (numerations added):

Beginning around the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 CE), the fuji method and written characters changed from (2) 扶箕 (1) "support the sieve" (4) (spirit-writing using a suspended sieve or winnowing tray)

So in a nutshell, we have (1) the English translation (support the sieve), (2) hanzi (扶箕), (3) romanization of the word (not present in the aforementioned quote), and (4) an explanation for the English term ((spirit-writing using a suspended sieve or winnowing tray)). See, in the Japan-related articles there is already a practice on how to deal with this kind of sentences, and the formatting of sentences follows the exact structure as mentioned above ((1) - (2) - (3) - (4)). This is handled by a language tag {{nihongo}}. For example, in the Shinnyo-en article, a similar piece of text is handled like this:

Joyful donations (歓喜 kangi, monetary contribution to the organization)

In plain code, this would appear as: {{nihongo|Joyful donations|歓喜|kangi|monetary contribution to the organization}}

Therefore, I'd like to suggest that we will adapt the same practice as the China-related articles. Jayaguru-Shishya (talk) 17:45, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

Pruned subsection[edit]

I've removed the "Jiedushi" subsection. The rest of the guide is routine stuff. This on the other hand was extremely specific. I can't see it comes up enough to justify its inclusion. On a search for ~jiedushi, almost all of the 500 or so occurences—besides the "Jiedushi" article itself—consist of "military governor (jiedushi)", and are articles on specific individual people (jiedushi) or year articles that wikilink to the main "Jiedushi" article. (The other listed ways to use the term are even less likely to come up.) Anyone who uses it can easily see how it's used in other pages if needed. The vast majority editing China-related articles will probably never need to.

The addition was originally proposed by Nlu (pinged) in Jan 2008 for the Naming conventions (Chinese) guideline and inserted [13] there. A few years later it was merged into here [14] as it didn't fit that page. If anyone wants to restore it feel free. – (talk) 23:23, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

I've wondered about this for a long time and have no problem with pruning on the grounds (talk) 20:50, 24 May 2015 (UTC)

Direct dynastic histories citations[edit]

Hi all,

There's an issue I'd like to bring up for discussion. I have noticed that a couple of editors have adopted a practice of adding information to articles (mostly on people from the Warring States and Three Kingdoms periods, but probably more) and citing as their references the dynastic histories, in particular the Shiji and the San guo zhi. This, I believe, is problematic. I strongly believe that these sources should be treated as primary sources—notwithstanding the fact that they were of course originally secondary or tertiary sources, albeit at a time many long centuries in the past—that for Wikipedia articles we should avoid using, and that we instead should stick to the modern biographical dictionaries and encyclopedias edited by Sinologists, of which there are now several of quite high quality. I would like any and all to please share their thoughts.  White Whirlwind  咨  22:43, 20 July 2015 (UTC)

I agree about the old histories, but this style page probably isn't the place to discuss it. Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Chinese history needs waking up. Kanguole 23:00, 20 July 2015 (UTC)
Agreed we shouldn't be using primary sources when alternatives are available. As Kanguole says, this would be better discussed elsewhere - for now Wikiproject China is probably the best place to flag it.  Philg88 talk 05:06, 21 July 2015 (UTC)
I'll move this over there.  White Whirlwind  咨  05:16, 21 July 2015 (UTC)


The monk Xuanzang apparently died on '5 February 664'. My Japanese 電子辞書 tells me that he died in '麟徳1 (664)', so I assume by '5 February' we mean the fifth day of the second month of the Chinese calendar, but should we have a definitive guideline on this point? Hijiri 88 (やや) 06:05, 8 April 2016 (UTC)

Chinese equivalent for Template:Nihongo and Template:Nihongo2?[edit]

Greetings! Is anyone here capable to create a similar template for Chinese as there already exists for the Japan-related articles (Template:Nihongo and [Template:Nihongo2]])? A concrete example where to utilize such would be at the Yiguandao article, we we have:

  1. Traditional Chinese: 無生老母
  2. Pinyin: Wúshēng Lǎomǔ
  3. English: The Eternal Venerable Mother

Thanks! Jayaguru-Shishya (talk) 19:04, 25 April 2016 (UTC)

template {{zh}} ? It has a number of differences but they make it more flexible. E.g. it does not include the English and brackets so you need to do
'''The Eternal Venerable Mother''' ({{zh|t=無生老母|p=Wúshēng Lǎomǔ}})
The Eternal Venerable Mother (Chinese: 無生老母; pinyin: Wúshēng Lǎomǔ)
This lets you include other things, such as non-Chinese languages, in the same brackets. Other options such as suppressing labels and links are available in {{zh}}; see its documentation.
The one thing {{Nihongo}} has that {{zh}} does not is the link to Help:Installing Japanese character sets. But I think that is redundant; any modern OS includes Japanese (and Chinese) fonts and character support by default, and this has been true for many years. The last time I had to install Asian support on a PC was with Windows XP. But it has been a feature of {{Nihongo}} for so long I can’t see it being changed.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 01:50, 26 April 2016 (UTC)

A comment on the "English" parameter above: please do not copy the Nihongo template! The reason is that "English" can mean at least three things: a literal translation of the basic meaning of the characters, some sort of "official" English (or pseudo-English) name used for something, or an English explanation of what it actually means. I am not sure how common this sort of problem is with Chinese, but I think it is important to define exactly what parameters are supposed to refer to. (Also second John Blackburne's comment about "installing character sets") Imaginatorium (talk) 08:09, 26 April 2016 (UTC)

Hi there, Imaginatorium! You tackled the problem perfectly. For example, in the Fuji article there are some inconsistencies with the formatting of sentences that include both Chinese and English terms. In the article, it is said that (numerations added):

Beginning around the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 CE), the fuji method and written characters changed from (2) 扶箕 (1) "support the sieve" (4) (spirit-writing using a suspended sieve or winnowing tray)

So in a nutshell, we have (1) the English translation (support the sieve), (2) hanzi (扶箕), (3) romanization of the word (not present in the aforementioned quote), and (4) an explanation for the English term ((spirit-writing using a suspended sieve or winnowing tray)). See, in the Japan-related articles there is already a practice on how to deal with this kind of sentences, and the formatting of sentences follows the exact structure as mentioned above ((1) - (2) - (3) - (4)). This is handled by a language tag {{nihongo}}. For example, in the Shinnyo-en article, a similar piece of text is handled like this:

Joyful donations (歓喜 kangi, monetary contribution to the organization)

In plain code, this would appear as: {{nihongo|Joyful donations|歓喜|kangi|monetary contribution to the organization}}
So the {{nihongo}} already distinguishes between the "literal English translation" and "an English explanation". Therefore, I'd like to suggest that we will adapt the same practice as the China-related articles. Cheers! Jayaguru-Shishya (talk) 19:19, 29 April 2016 (UTC)
Here’s how you do that with {{zh}}:
China ({{zh|c=中国|p=Zhōngguó|l=Middle Kingdom}})
China (Chinese: 中国; pinyin: Zhōngguó; literally: "Middle Kingdom")
The literal translation is put in quotes to emphasise that fact. That field is not often used though, as generally it is unnecessary. Again, doing it this way is more flexible as it e.g. lets you include other things in the brackets or omit them if it is appropriate.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 19:38, 29 April 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, JohnBlackburne! I actually wonder if this could be added to the current MOS. At the moment, it doesn't really discuss these issues, and clarifying MOS would be in-line with the current state of the Japan-related articles MOS. Cheers! Jayaguru-Shishya (talk) 22:56, 29 April 2016 (UTC)
A comment: I generally avoid the {{Zh}} template except in leads because of its bulky and clunky output. The standard formatting in Sinological literature for a Chinese term is basically thus: "English term/translation" (pinyin 漢字), where the quotation marks around the English term are used only when necessary. An example could be: "often known as 'Chairman Mao' (Máo zhǔxí 毛主席)", or "was promoted to gentleman of the household (zhōngláng 中郎)." The {{nihongo}} template inverts the romanization and characters, which is why I avoid it, too, when Japanese terms arise.  White Whirlwind  咨  23:18, 29 April 2016 (UTC)
FYI, the Nihongo templates are technologically deprecated. The HTML <head> of every WP page says, <meta charset="UTF-8"/>, which includes 70,000 Unihan CJKV characters, automatically viewable in the major browsers. All these outdated language templates need to be removed from Wikipedia. Keahapana (talk) 23:15, 30 April 2016 (UTC)
Hi there, Keahapana! I wasn't actually thinking how the characters are displayed by different browsers, but more of a "manual of style" approach, i.e. some sort of standard to clarify how and in which order the all the different concepts should be written out. That's what the Japanese {{nihongo}} templates are all about, as they provided a standardized model for this. Moreover, I think a similar model would cut down a lot of repetitive linking, something the current zh= and p= templates do cause (the same language link on every occasion when the specific language is mentioned).
There are currently four {{nihongo}} templates, where the Template:Nihongo4 does not display the Help:Installing Japanese character sets box. I agree with you, such should not be included. Jayaguru-Shishya (talk) 20:06, 2 May 2016 (UTC)
Keahapana, before it says that it says <html lang="en" dir="ltr" class="client-nojs">. This is a message to browsers that the page is in English, and that it should use appropriate fonts and styles for English. So when there is Chinese we need a way to describe it to the browser. There is HTML that does this, and the template inserts the correct HTML. This can be used by browsers to display the characters differently, either automatically or under user control (e.g. via custom CSS on WP). It can be used by screen readers to use the correct language to read text. It is also one way pages are categorised, as the template adds the page to one or more categories, such as category:Articles containing simplified Chinese-language text.--JohnBlackburnewordsdeeds 20:20, 2 May 2016 (UTC)