Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Use of Chinese Language/Archive 1

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Name Variants

This chapter discusses how, in articles about Chinese terms and names, variants spellings and writings of the title should be listed.

OK, this seems to have become a fairly broad discussion. Here are the main points/suggestions raised so far and some comments. Perhaps we could continue dialogue in this hierarchical listing of issues so that it maintains readability and clarity? --Pratyeka 01:03, 24 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Good idea to structure this! I combined your chapter (was “Heirarchy of Issues”) with the existing talk because I couldn’t understand it otherwise. Sebastian 22:00, 2005 Mar 19 (UTC)

Which variants should be Included?

Traditional Spelling Question

Note that a few people are known in the West by spellings that are not regular Wade-Giles. Confucius (kong fu zi) and Mencius (meng zi) would be one kind of example, Latinized forms of Mandarin pronunciations, and they have become so well known that they amount to the "English word" for these people. But Chiang Kai-shek (Jiang Jie-shi) and Sun Yat-sen (Sun Yi-xian) are spellings for non-Mandarin pronunciations by which these two 20th Century figures became generally known. To make things clear for everyone concerned, their other names (names by which they are more commonly known in Chinese texts, Jiang Zhong-zheng and Sun Zhong-shan) should be provided. Similarly, it would be appropriate to clue people in to the fact that Su Dong-po is also known (and more properly known) by the name Su Shi. Fortunately there are only a few cases where people who only knew one form would be thrown off the track.

Patrick0Moran 03:08, 20 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Of course Chiang Kai-shek has precedence over Jiang Jieshi, Confucius over Kongfuzi. But it's already noted at Wikipedia:Naming_conventions_(Chinese)#Names. Should we repeat it here? If we repeat everything there, what's the point of having two articles. Some moving and removing may be needed. --Menchi 06:11, 20 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I had a look at that text. Thanks. As long as people looking at the "Manual of Style for China-related articles" can find that information easily enough then there would be no reason to repeat it I guess. However, it may be unclear to people whether one is only to mention Chiang Kai-shek (which would be fine for most English speakers) or to also give hanzi and/or romanization for that name and other names by which native speakers are likely to identify him. I can't think of a good Chinese example of where English speakers know somebody by a name that Chinese speakers would likely not recognize, but U.S. students of Japanese frequently call the Daikanwajiten the "Morohashi," which leaves even well-educated Japanese speakers clueless sometimes. That is to say, I favor giving information to help non-English speakers locate and understand the stuff they want to read in English. Characters are probably more important for them. I also favor giving information that would help U.S. students bridge between what they will find in older history books, current mass media publications, and the words of Chinese speakers. (For instance, the preferred romanization for the last Chinese emperor's name in Manchurian form, the romanization in Mandarin form, the Chinese characters, the usual terms of reference in English, etc., etc. It would be easy for us to do it, but difficult for someone who was just starting out.)

Patrick0Moran 18:21, 20 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Patrick brought up a good point: this Manual of Style intends to bridge different lingual representations of a piece of information. The most recognized English nomenclature is used but any known variants should be included. IMO listing of representations should be exhaustive, which is exactly what a reader intends to look for in an encyclopedic article. All, for instance simplified and traditional Chinese charaters, different romanization and transliteration of Chinese charaters, should be included. Just as Pratyeka has stated, reference in other articles can be kept in accordance primarily with readable clarity, then with grammatical customs.

To achieve exhaustion, we may actually need a table to list all representations and it will be extremely tedious and redundant in some readers' view. For instance, Sun Yat-Sen had 6 names: 孫文, 孫逸仙, 孫德明, 孫日新, 中山樵 and 孫中山. An exhaustion of representation would be providing simplified and tradtional Chinese charaters, pinyin, zhuyin, wade-giles and other known romanizations for each name, i.e. at least 6*5=30 representations. Some readers would then argue that quite a few of them are not even used. A reconcilation would be a balance between exhaustion and usage; this has to be done from article-by-article consensus.

My edition to the above Beijing example would be the following:

Guangzhou (trad ch 廣州, sim ch 广州, py guang3 zhou1, wg kuang chou, Tongyong pinyin guang jhou, zhuyin ㄍㄨㄤˇ ㄓㄡ, also Canton) is the capital of the Guangdong Province in southern China.

kt² 00:09, 23 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Why not write "Wade Giles", "Traditional Chinese" etc. out in their complete forms in the first instance and abbreviate thereafter. Alternately, we could use Menchi's proposal (esp for second, third... instances) to save room: Wikipedia_talk:Naming_conventions_(Chinese)/archive2#Native_terms_and_Romanizations.

In the above sample for Guangzhou, trad ch should at least be [[Traditional Chinese|trad ch]], but I prefer [[Traditional Chinese]]. People will have no idea what "trad ch" stands for if theyre not familiar with Chinese. The PY and WG forms need to be appropriately toned and capitalized: Gŭangzhōu, Kuangchou.

Why do we put the alternate forms in italics? It makes it hard to read. --Jiang 00:33, 23 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Well, trad ch can be redirected to Traditional Chinese. kt² 00:36, 23 Nov 2003 (UTC)
People will have no idea that "trad ch" stands for unless they click on the link. Why not write it out? An extra few letters doesnt hurt. --Jiang
I am not sticking to my version because this has to be a consensus. My point of keeping the abbreviation is just what Pratyeka stated, "A second point - with an abbreviation such as 'wg', if the user doesn't know what it means, they can click the link and find out - that's the joy of wikipedia". BTW the pinyin of Guangzhou is Guǎngzhōu. :) kt² 00:53, 23 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Menchi's version saves more space and allows people to learn why there are multiple versions just by putting their cursor over that link. If our aim is to save space, Menchi's version does a better job. I prefer writing it out on the first instance and abbreviating thereafter. --Jiang 01:01, 23 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Menchi's versions sure does a better job in saving space but it actually required more typing from the writer. Maybe convenience does factor in here. Anyway I am not sticking to any version until a consensus is reached. kt² 01:56, 23 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I don't think zhuyin should be included. It's used as an educational tool, not for communication. --Jiang 02:11, 23 Nov 2003 (UTC)

If Zhuyin was all ROC needed, it wouldn't have created its evil/wondrous twin Tongyong Pinyin. There's no need present both twins. Very redundant. Most of all, nobody, not even Taiwanese would search/google using Zhuyin. --Menchi 07:05, 23 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Inclusion of Tongyong

Unsure if there is any consensus here so thought I'd add a section for it.

  • yes, but only on relevant (ie: taiwan-related) articles. --prat
    • Tongyong is controversial in Taiwan, and accepted by mainly people loyal to the current administration. I would say include at will. --Jiang
Whether to include Tongyong or not will always be a controversial topic. However, Tongyong should almost never be used for non-Taiwan related articles unless there's a very compelling reason to include it. Hanyu Pinyin has been the accepted ISO standard for romanizing Chinese characters since 1979. Even for articles related to Taiwan I'd suggest avoiding Tongyong where possible as it has very dubious real value to people outside of (and arguably even within) Taiwan. --BenjaminTsai Talk 13:48, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

Inclusion of Zhuyin

  • yes, if you happen to know zhuyin can be bothered typing it out i don't see why the entire population of taiwan's preferred phonetic system should not be included. --prat
    • It's preferred only for teaching elementary school kids how to pronounce certain characters. No one uses it. We are only concerned about the preferred romanization system. Besides, WP is the only place I've seen it writted horizontally. It looks like Japanese to me! --Jiang
      • Actually I feel you are incorrect here. A large proportion of the adult Taiwanese population uses zhuyin regularly for inputting Chinese characters in to computers or mobile phones (horizontal), as well as when they look up characters in dictionaries, etc. It's regularly used. However I agree with you that it's a bit wacky to include, as any adult Taiwanese are unlikely to need to read the Zhuyin equivalent of a given character. Still, for historical articles, sometimes uncommon characters may be used and so I do not see a problem with supporting the inclusion of zhuyin at wikipedians' individual discretion. --prat

The 4 volume Guo2 Yu3 Ci3 Dian3, which was produced by the Department of Education, is arranged horizontally, and the zhuyin fuhao are written horizontally. In the font they use, the "yi" symbol is a vertical bar rather than a horizontal bar, which improves readability (or maybe I've just gotten used to it).

I think a separate page comparing romanization systems and instructing people how to pronounce ji, qi, xi, zhi, chi, shi, ri, etc. would be more useful than piling romanization system on top of romanization system and capping it off with zhuyin fuhao.

Patrick0Moran 07:07, 25 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Agreed, the multitude of romanizations is unreadable in a row enough for me, not to mention those who have little interest in them. Perhaps we should set off a small section directly after or between the introductory paragraph just for those various romanizations. Such as:
Guangzhou is a city in southern Guangdong Province, the People's...
Or maybe we could use a align=right table, but that could be hard on the editor. A list is quite easy to type, and should be much more readable to "amateur" reader than a series of consecutive romanizations that's hard to get heads or tails of. --Menchi 07:33, 25 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Spelling out Hanyu Pinyin instead of just pinyin

Unfortunately some people have employed the Microsoftian embrance and extend (or in this case embrace and introduce subtle incompatibilities without expanding functionality) on Hanyu Pinyin. The result is that saying "pinyin" now is no longer enough to accurately convey what romanization scheme you are using. I suggest that "pinyin" be converted to "Hanyu Pinyin" to be more precise. Once Tongyong Pinyin dies and ceases to be in use, we can easily convert "Hanyu Pinyin" back to the more concise "pinyin". --BenjaminTsai Talk 08:11, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

Hmm, tough call. I feel Hanyu Pinyin is dominant enough that "pinyin" will still mean Hanyu Pinyin to savvy users; Tongyong Pinyin appears to be a momentary thing here in Taiwan -- I doubt it will survive the next administration, and no one I know is even bothering to learn it. But your point is still a good one.Dragonbones 01:52, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

Inclusion of Cantonese Yale Romanisation

I've created and listed here Template:zh-tcy. It displays (Traditional Chinese;Cantonese Yale) for those topics about Hong Kong where Cantonese romanisation might be useful. Usage: {{zh-tcy |t=中國 |cy=Jùng gwok}}. If you don't think it belongs here, feel free to remove the listing - but please do not delete the template itself. Hong Qi Gong 04:33, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

Tags for Variants


Abbreviation of romanization names. There is no consensus on this yet, with seemingly a few in the 'dont abbreviate' camp, and a few opting in but differing on precise abbreviation.

  • short, lowercase (py or pinyin, wg). If not, some capitalisation is OK by me, but I am definitely for abbreviation. --prat
    • I don't see how abbraviating accomplishes anything. --Jiang
      • As per the above discussion, it's good for readability. Basically I am viewing the information in the brackets as standard reference material to be presented in a clear and concise form. I believe the requirements for presentation of oft-repeated reference material differ significantly from that of a paragraph of regular English text. --prat
    • First time readers of Chinese-related subjects unfamiliar with the language will not think so. It takes less time for us to type [[pinyin]] than [[pinyin|py]]. --Jiang
      • Well we could debate 'till the cows come home on this one, so I'm not going to comment further - it's subjective. I would support a full use of pinyin as an exception to the abbreviation rule because it's short and lowercase anyway, and it's the most common romanisation system. --prat
    • Actually, we use "pinyin" as short form for "Hanyu Pinyin". There are other types of pinyin... --Jiang

Capitalization (was "Dictionary style”)

Unfortunately I haven't a single English dictionary at the moment, but it's my view (supported by a quick glance at an English/Japanese dictionary) that all dictionaries and encylopedias I've ever seen have used lower case forms for classifying words or articles. For example, lower case pinyin, lower case IPA, lower case 'n' 'v' 'adj', etc. It's my opinion that upper case labels detract from the readability of the article and are not particularly justified in most cases (I say most, because 'Wade-Giles' has capitals - at least when used in its expanded form). Thus I would propose a lowercase 'trad' 'simpl' 'pinyin' 'wg' etc... maybe we can add a vote here seeing as its a subjective matter.

-- Pratyeka 10:45, 19 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Lowercase all:

Uppercase proper nouns:

  • Menchi 06:11, 20 Nov 2003 (UTC)
    1. Wade-Giles is a proper noun. And proper nouns are always, and I mean always, capitalized. In any situations. Maybe some Internet graphic arts or e.e. cummings do it differently, but English capitalization rules dictates other wise. Wade-Giles is therefore WG, not wg. I did not make up the rules. Therefore, this is not a subjective matter, not in a formal-writing world.
    2. IPA are not proper nouns, they are phonetic alphabet, and there are capitalized IPA letters, for example, r in French is [R].
    3. Of course 'n', 'v', and 'adj' are uncapitalized, they're common nouns. I need to say that abbreviation to such a conciseness is not advised in an Internet encyclopedia where space is not a problem. It merely imposes readability problem.
    4. Dictionaries may have "classifying words", but encyclopedia does not. Chinese text is different from saying "so the Roman senate (kenatorium) proposed...". It is not a "classifying words" like pronunciation guide or part of speech identifier. There's little parallelism.
    5. "Pinyin" may or may not be capitalized, both are acceptable. But Taiwan has recently created Tongyong Pinyin. lowercase-p pinyin now can prefer to both Hanyu Pinyin and Tongyong Pinyin strictly. Although in practise, Hanyu Pinyin is currently still better-known.
    6. In conclusion, capitalized words, distracting/asthetically pleasing or not, if the linguistic rules dictates so, must be followed. We didn't invent those rules, and in Wikipedia, we describe knowledge, not prescribe.

I guess since we use terms like "watts" and "henries" we could use "wade-giles", but it seems a bit awkward to me to decapitalize family names. -- Patrick0Moran 03:08, 20 Nov 2003 (UTC)

To clarify, I was suggesting an abbreviated form, such as 'wg'. Sorry Menchi, but I must disagree on your "linguistic rules" statement. Patrick0Moran's 'watts' example is a good one. Where commonly used classifications (or measures) have derived from proper names, readability seems to over-rule 'always use capitals for proper names'. A second point - with an abbreviation such as 'wg', if the user doesn't know what it means, they can click the link and find out - that's the joy of wikipedia. I don't see this as imposing a readability problem at all - quite the opposite, allowing people to find the information that they want more quickly (though this is my personal opinion (subjective) hence the suggestion of a poll!) Furthermore, in my opinion anyone that's the slightest bit interested in alternate romanizations of Chinese place names probably already knows what Wade-Giles is, or will be happy to click a 'wg' link and find out. Making them laboriously skip over it with their eyes on every second article they read just strikes me as sadism! --Pratyeka 06:37, 20 Nov 2003 (UTC)

I agree that abbreviation for Wade-Giles is good for readability. I get tired typing just two of it in a paragraph! But I believe WG is more authentic an English usage than wg. The "watts" are actually scientific unit, of work or power or something. It is a rule that all international scientific units (SI) are to be written in lowercase, like metre, gram, etc. Units aren't proper nouns, at least the SI ones. Note that Celsius is not SI, it is used in science sometimes, but the true equivalent SI temperature unit is kelvin, which is lowercase.
"readability seems to over-rule 'always use capitals for proper names'". I don't think WG looks that bad. Does "One of the nations was USA, which was believed to..." look bad? Maybe (I personally think it's ok), but it's a must. --Menchi 06:47, 20 Nov 2003 (UTC)


  1. Bĕijīng (北京, Pei-Ching in Wade-Giles;, also Pekin or Peking) is the capital city of the People's Republic of China. It is one of the 4 municipalities of the People's Republic of China, which have a provincial-level status. The municipality governs 10 districts and 8 counties. Present article.
  2. Beijing (北京; pinyin Bĕijīng, wg Pei-Ching, also Pekin or Peking) is the capital city of the People's Republic of China. It is one of the 4 municipalities of the People's Republic of China, which have a provincial-level status. The municipality governs 10 districts and 8 counties. My (pratyeka) preferred style. (note use of semicolon instead of comma).
  3. Beijing (北京; pinyin Bĕijīng, WG Pei-Ching, also Pekin or Peking) is the capital city of the People's Republic of China. It is one of the 4 municipalities of the People's Republic of China, which have a provincial-level status. The municipality governs 10 districts and 8 counties. Another style.

I think 'WG' is passable but I feel 'wg' looks a lot cleaner.

Another good example of lowercase abbreviations of proper nouns which I just thought of is languages. The most widespread abbreviation system for languages is an ISO standard, and all abbreviations are lowercase. en, zh, etc.

Modified forms of this system in use on internet (for national extentions, eg: en-us, zh-cn, zh-tw, etc.) are also all lowercase. --Pratyeka 07:28, 20 Nov 2003 (UTC)

zh-tw doesn't feel really like to be the same as kinda authentic abbreviation as USA. It's seems more in the .com category. By the way, all but the first syllable in a WG word isn't capitalized, except in overseas Chinese's given name (if they choose to capitalize it). There are, again, many counterexamples on the net, but take a look at official ROC publications (or really official ROC websites) for good romanizations. --Menchi 07:38, 20 Nov 2003 (UTC)
I think the crux of our differing perspectives is that I am viewing the information in the brackets as standard reference material to be presented in a clear and concise form. I believe the requirements for presentation of oft-repeated reference material differ significantly from that of a paragraph of regular English text. --Pratyeka 07:52, 20 Nov 2003 (UTC)

WG & wg

Kt2, re: "wg": Pratyeka doesn't want WG to be capitalized because he thinks those are "classifying words" (How about "French:" in Quebec), "unreadable" (probably POV), and he quotes -- to be blunt, unparalleled -- examples of "watts", IPA, and other uncommon nouns. What's your justification? --Menchi 01:03, 23 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Sure, I quoted that example however it wasn't mine. A better example in my opinion is the ISO languages one I actually cited (en, de, etc.), which I feel is very relevant as romanization systems are semantially similar. As your reason for resisting decapitalisation seems to be that peoples names are 'proper nouns', I don't think you can get any more proper than language names and the ISO system is in widespread use. In my opinion, calling the above example 'unparalleled' is simply incorrect. --Pratyeka 01:14, 24 Nov 2003 (UTC)

It used to bother me that Watt changed to watt, and Kelvin changed to kelvin, but those changes reflected the fact that when stating the number of watts of electricity an appliance uses one is talking about, essentially, the velocity and number of electrons in motion past some point in an electrical cord at a certain time, and not the man named Watt. Similarly, in talking about "1 degree kelvin" one is talking about a temperature that is very near to being as cold as anything can be, and not about Lord Kelvin. With "Wade-Giles" we are talking about a system of romanization and naming it by its creators, Mssrs. Wade and Giles. So I think WG would be more appropriate in view of what the words being abbreviated actually mean.

The other things that strikes me is that if I saw "wg" in the midst of a line of text my first impulse would be to wonder whether it was a typo for "wag," "wig," or what. If one doesn't want to mention "bo, po, mo, fo" one can just use "NPA" (for National Phonetic Alphabet), and that could just as easily be written "npa", but there does not seem to be an alternative name for the Wade-Giles system.

Doesn't IPA always stay capitalized? And isn't that because "International Phonetic Alphabet" is a proper noun relating to a definite body of text, essentially a short publication? That would argue for both NPA and W-G being capitalized.

Patrick0Moran 01:43, 23 Nov 2003 (UTC)

dictionaries and encyclopedias that I come across use lowercase wg. An example:, click on "廣" and type "guest" (without quotation) as username. But after reading Patrick's comments, I now think a capitalized WG is more justified than the lowercase, quoting "With "Wade-Giles" we are talking about a system of romanization and naming it by its creators, Mssrs. Wade and Giles." kt² 01:56, 23 Nov 2003 (UTC)

List Inline

This section discusses proposals and format considerations for the list of name variants which is included in brackets in the introduction.

List without Romanization Names (was “Proposal for Introduction Format”)

Here is an idea for a new formatting style for the introduction of China-related articles. It looks like this:

Mao Zedong (毛澤東/毛泽东/Máo Zédōng/Mao Tse-tung)

Michael Chang (張德培/张德培/Zhāng Dépéi/Chang Te-p'ei)

If the Simplified and Traditional versions were the same, you could do something like this:

Qin Shi Huangdi (秦始皇帝/Qín Shĭ Húangdì/Ch'in Shih Huang-ti)


Qin Shi Huangdi (秦始皇帝/Qín Shĭ Húangdì/Ch'in Shih Huang-ti)

I think this method of formatting might help clean up the appearance of some pages, such as the Michael Chang page.

It would also be easier to use this format for names in the middle of a page, like in the Chiang Ching-kuo article, when the names of his children are listed. Let me know what you think. --Spencer195 05:51, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Variants on first line and other ideas (was “A new proposal for article intros”)

This discussion went far beyond the original proposal. I took out the part about boxes, because I like it. Please feel free to sort the rest of this discussion if you feel it is important. Sebastian 22:00, 2005 Mar 19 (UTC)

Articles on Chinese subjects are always going to have to make room for the Chinese and romanized versions of their names, and the basic question is how to include this info while keeping the intro easily readable. Currently, including the various different versions in parentheses in the first line of the intro can make the reader's job difficult, especially when there are many alternatives listed. There is, however, a straightforward way to separate these out for the sake of clarity which I don't think has yet been raised: put the Chinese/romanizations on the first line so that they will come directly under the article title, and then after leaving a space begin the intro to the article. For an example of how this would look, see the Qing Dynasty or Sun Yat-sen pages. This style provides all the necessary info in a highly logical and readable format.

A second issue concerns alternative names for people. Often these too clog up the intro making it difficult to follow, but they need to be included as they may be the names that the reader is searching for (maybe they came to the article via a redirect). Where there are more than two commonly-used names for people, then I would suggest that they are listed in an easy to read format following the introductory paragraph, with suitable explanations as necessary. Again, see the Sun Yat-sen article for an example. I will leave aside for now the issue of rulers' names.

A separate discussion is whether or not to abbreviate Chinese, pinyin, etc, and I would suggest keeping it a separate discussion for now. Which names should or should not be included for an article could be discussed on the relevant page for the article concerned. For now let me suggest that any responses to this idea address the general concepts described. I believe these two suggestions will significantly improve the reader experience, removing the often hard to follow and annoying interpolations currently found in the introductions of China-related articles. - Madw 01:46, Jun 28, 2004 (UTC)

I agree that the present system has problems. However, the examples (with abbreviations) have the drawback that it's not at all obvious that these are versions of the article name. If I were a reader, I wouldn't know why they were there. It might be less of a problem without the abbreviations. Markalexander100 03:14, 28 Jun 2004 (UTC)
I agree. Abbreviations are exactly what "Wikipedia is not paper" mean to me. Abbreviation wouldn't help in this case. --Menchi 03:17, 28 Jun 2004 (UTC)
The problem with the Sun Yat-sen page is that it's not clear whether (Ch: 孫逸仙; py: Sūn Yìxiān; WG: Sun I-hsien; CY: Syùn Yaht-sìn) corresponds to the name "Sun Yat-sen" or to any of his other names. ☞spencer195 04:19, 28 Jun 2004 (UTC)

So we get rid of the abbreviations (which I've just done). Is that better? I don't think there is any difficulty in understanding that what is written is the article title in different forms - what else would it be? Nevertheless, if additional clarification is needed then a word or phrase can be added, or if needed only for particular pages, such as Sun Yat-sen, then could be added there. But I'd also like to highlight the big picture, as I said before. Let's not get bogged down in the details, which can be tweaked later as necessary... - Madw 04:28, Jun 28, 2004 (UTC)

Let me also just say that the question should not be, is this way perfect (is there even such a thing?), but is this style (however it ends up being tweaked) better than the existing standard? For me, there is no doubt that the answer to this question is yes. - Madw 04:57, Jun 28, 2004 (UTC)

I don't think it works well with Sun Yat-sen but I think it could easily work well with Mao Zedong since he has fewer pseudonyms. ☞spencer195 05:03, 28 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I don't have an opinion necessarily on appearance of listing translations above the text, other than noting that doing so will require a whole lot of articles be changed. This may be more trouble than it's worth. In most cases, everything fits on one line. There are many other articles on many other countries and perhaps we should bring this to the attention to more people. (There was some trouble a few months ago fitting all the Russian into Soviet Union.)

I disagree strongly with the format used at Sun Yat-sen. As stated at Talk:Sun Yat-sen, obscure names are not relevant in the intro and should not be listed there. Since we are an encyclopedia and not an almanac, listing text in bullet point format when sentence fmt could be used is discouraged. Prose better elucidates how all these names came about and who uses them. It's just not clear that Chinese people call him Sun Zhongshan all the time, not the translation for Sun Yat-sen, Sun Yixian. The proposed format gives the Sun Yat-sen name too much emphasis over the other names.

We also have situations where two different names are both commonly used (Li Bo vs. Li Taibo and Jiang Jieshi vs Jiang Zhongzheng). I don't see how listing everything on top would work in those cases without favoring one version over another.--Jiang 20:13, 30 Jun 2004 (UTC)


Should Chinese be included in brackets?

  • yes. it's an english 'pedia. once multiple chinese forms enter the equation, it seems critical to me to seperate them. furthermore, proposed 'romanized form, chinese-simp, chinese-trad, rest of sentence' actually breaks english grammatical norms. --prat
    • The argument against is so that we don't have parenthesis closing and opening after each other for people (for yrs of birth and death) and organizations (for acronyms). The "chinese simp" etc. can be linked in the way Menchi proposed on the naming conventions page, and as is done for all Korea-related articles.--Jiang
  • Why are people so obsessed with "English grammatical norms"??? This is an encyclopedia not a novel! As long as the language is precise and concise, and conveys accurate knowledge to the readers, it should suffice. --Plastictv 02:40, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Merging Brackets (was “Parenthesis”)

Having parenthesis open and close right next to each other doesn't look so good. I prefer

Jiāng Zémín (Traditional Chinese: 江澤民, Simplified Chinese: 江泽民; born August 17, 1926)


Jiāng Zémín, 江澤民; 江泽民, (born August 17, 1926)

instead of the current:

Jiāng Zémín (Traditional Chinese: 江澤民, Simplified Chinese: 江泽民) (born August 17, 1926)

--Jiang 05:13, 23 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Is not having parenthesis around the Chinese names at all a good idea? --Menchi 05:22, 23 Nov 2003 (UTC)

They are certainly not necessary, as the characters are easily distinugishable from the English. --Jiang

However, they are necessary to distinguish the words "Traditional Chinese" and "Simplified Chinese" from the rest of the text. --Jiang
I think the parenthesis is necessary since they are not at all English. I would prefer:
Jiāng Zémín (TrC: 江澤民; SimC: 江泽民, born August 17, 1926) --Yacht 06:32, 23 Nov 2003 (UTC)
I've changed my mind:
Jiang Zemin (江澤民 [,{comma here} other names in traditional Chinese if any];[semicolon here] 江泽民 [,{comma here) other names in simplified Chinese if any];Jiāng Zémín, born August 17, 1926) --Yacht (Talk)Q 02:40, Jan 24, 2004 (UTC)

Bracket markers


Some people have been using ':' after romanization or character inidicators (eg: Pinyin: Guǎngzhōu). This is definitely a stylistic issue.

  • no colons. they add nothing semantically. --prat
    • It separate the categorization from the actual romanized text or chinese characters themselves. They do add something. --Jiang
      • Valid argument, however I feel that the visual distinction already effected by the combination of the link: (eg: wg W'ade Gi'les), potential abbreviation (as per example), and reference context obviously implied by the brackets in the opening sentence are together more than enough to remove any ambiguity. --prat

Semicolons vs. Commas

The use of semicolons and commas to distinguish various elements within the after-title bracket is not currently standardised. A wide variety of systems (or simply 'what people felt like at the time') is the current norm.

  • ';' between character, romanization and other information blocks. comma used elsewhere. eg: (trad 江澤民, simp 江泽民; pinyin Jiāng Zémín, also Jianggus Zee Minnius, Big J; born August 17, 1926) --prat

List in Box

Original Discussion

I agree there is a problem with those intros and that the list of names should be separated, but I think other ideas should be pondered.

  • I would add the most common chinese name (in the "most common" characters used by chinese speakers for this topic) near the "most common Western name". So i would write "Máo Zédōng 毛泽东, (dates), was the...", but "The Tao Te Ching 道德經 is a book...", using traditional characters for the second and simplified for the first, because Mao Zedong's most used name form is "毛泽东". The problem should be that some browsers don't display Chinese for now, thus requiring parenthesis to separate a possible mess, but I guess that with time more and more browsers will display them by default.
  • Then, I would add a bullet list in a table in the the upper-right corner with all the different names and romanization, maybe in smaller font. This would require to move down a little bit the portraits if any, but would be much clearer imho. A kind of template could be done for this purpose, so the "names tables" were well-standardised between pages.

What do you think about this ? Should I try to do this on one or two articles as a sample ? gbog 06:54, 2004 Jun 28 (UTC)

I tried this in Han Feizi and Li Po. Many improvements are to be done but a good thing is this kind of presentation is that it separates clearly most of the chinese characters and romanization variants from the main text. Tell me what you think. gbog 09:53, 2004 Jun 28 (UTC)
Looks very good to me! Laca 17:34, 30 Jun 2004 (UTC)
The problem with the format is that it's not clear 李白 corresponds to Li Bo and 李太白 corresponds to Li Taibo as they are given in separate lines. It will be better to put the different sets of names (s/t/py/wg/etc) together instead of separating them by s/t/py/wg/etc. Also, a table will push images lower and that's something we shouldn't do. --Jiang 20:13, 30 Jun 2004 (UTC)
That's why this proposed format needs improvements. I changed Li Po in order to try to prevent the ambiguity you noted. For the pushing of images lower, I don't know if it's a real problem. We could try to put the name box on the left but I'm not shure it would be better. We should also try to display the name box a small as possible, but I like also the idea of the image being in front of biography paragraph. I guess we need also a kind of title to this box. gbog 04:04, 2004 Jul 1 (UTC)
Li Po looks good to me now, but what could we do with articles like Tao Qian? How could we arrange a short article, picture and name box? Markalexander100 05:43, 1 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I've tweaked and updated Tao Qian, Li Po, and Sun Yat-sen (it can't possibly get more complicated than him!) all in the same style, taking into account what has been mentioned above. I think it works - what do you think? - Madw 15:44, Jul 1, 2004 (UTC)

I think it's an improvement over the bullet point format. I prefer that the image go above the table of names and the title "names" span two columns. For the Sun Yat-sen article, the explanations "Forunner of the Revolution" and "Father of the Nations" (i.e., where they're used, etc) were deleted. I think such explanations belong in the text. --Jiang 19:59, 1 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I saw that the information was integrated into the text. Guofu may be considered introductory material though. I reformatted to put the picture on top. --Jiang 20:23, 1 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I tried a slightly modified version of these boxes at Mao Zedong. Take a look and tell me what you think. ☞spencer195 22:56, 1 Jul 2004 (UTC)

There are two potential problems that I can see with these adaptions.
First, I understand the desire to have the picture at the top, and ideally I think that would be great. However many readers may come to the page after typing in one of the alternative names (eg via a redirect) and they need reassurance that they are indeed at the right page. Some of the pictures in use are long (eg Li Po) and if they are located above the name info then the names will get buried. It seems to me that the introduction must as its first priority establish for the reader that they are where they want to be, and only secondarily give them a picture of the subject. For example, if readers type in Li Bai or Li Bo, then they need to know that the Li Po page is the one they are looking for, which will be difficult if the names section cannot be seen on the opening screen due to the picture. As most Names sections will be relatively short anyway, putting the picture below the names will still allow the reader to see the picture at/near the top. I say keep the Names on top.
Second, in trying to create a standard, the new format at Mao Zedong will be a problem as many/most Chinese historical figures have more than just their given name and one style name. If these are put in columns as shown, then many people will have four or five columns, and I don't think that will work. It is better to go down than across. I also don't think we need IPA - that's much too linguistic. - Madw 00:50, Jul 2, 2004 (UTC)

For you first point, commonly known names must and should be included in the text, like how Sun Yat-sen and Sun Zhongshan are both listed in the intro there. Most readers headed there will have come from a common name link. Anything uncommon is really less introductory and less relevant than a photograph of the invdividual. If names are so important, then I don't see what's wrong with putting them back in the intro then. Putting the photo on top also ties in with the general themes of taxoboxes used on wikipedia.

For you second point, I think each situation is unique. We're not going to insert empty sections into Mao's table just because Sun had more names. That's just a waste of space. The table design looks close enough, though I'd reconmmend a vertical divider to separate the two. Most modern Chinese don't have more than one name, so we need a standard for those people too. --Jiang 01:12, 2 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I like nearly all the boxes made here. I think the sequence name box-picture is not a real issue as there will always be exceptions, as noted by Madw on Tao Qian, and common sense should be enough to decide whether to put name box on top or not. I think standardization of labels and colors is the most important (and usefull). If each name box links on Chinese name and this target shows a kind of model of those boxes, it could be easy to know how to write them. So we may find a consensus and display it in this page. I would use "TAO Qian's names" in the center of the table's title, see for example Tao Qian, where this title displays the name that will be used among the article, at the exclusion of any other.
I don't know much about templates. Is there an easy way to use them here? I saw somewhere a template used only for the "css style" that could be of some use for us. (Btw, this talk page becomes longer and longer. I need half-a-day (bantian) to get it)
One last thing: I don't like very much the "Zi" instead of "surname", because it may look weird for many readers, and they could click on it, download a page, and be disappointed to see that a "Zi" is "only" the surname. Same with other things like pennames or courtesy names. I read somewhere (maybe in this page) that english nouns are to be used except when really impossible. gbog 04:38, 2004 Jul 2 (UTC)


Well, with no contributions for a while, I'm going to summarize the consensus of opinion as given in this discussion.

  • There is a common feeling that the current standard is not good enough as is - no-one above said that the current system should just be left alone.
  • There is a common feeling that a box on the right in the intro is a useful - and perhaps better - alternative way to display characters, romanizations, and names.
  • There is no current consensus on exactly what form such an intro box should take, although most boxes are similar.

Given the above, I am going to update the MoS to indicate that putting a box in the intro to display such info may be used, although at this point I will simply suggest it as an alternative to the current standard rather than a replacement for it, as I'm not sure whether or not there is a consensus to remove the original option altogether. I will also suggest that the contributors to each individual article are in the best position to determine whether the info should be displayed as per the original standard or in box format, and if a box is used, then what info it should contain. Perhaps over time, as we all experiment with this form, a consensus will be reached later on exactly how such a box should appear, but in the meantime it seems sensible to leave it up to the contributors to the individual articles.

Deprecate In-Line in favour of Box?

Whichever way we try to insert variants in parentheses, they always disrupt the text – and most often the most important sentence of the whole article! A box elegantly solves this and most other issues discussed here. I therefore think we gradually should change the inline lists into boxes.

Possible disadvantages:

  • Conflict with another box already in that place.
  • Possibly distracts from main content.

What do others think? — Sebastian 04:04, 2005 Mar 20 (UTC)

I would rather not use the box for people with only one name. The box should only be used when we have so many romanizations and forms of name that we really take a lot of space. I find it much more useful to be able to see the Chinese as I am reading the first line, rather than to read the english and have to switch over to the right side of the screen to look at the screen, thereby losing my spot in the reading and having to start all over again. The way the parenthesis are positions make it ideal for someone interested in learning the chinese. The box also becomes a problem in trying to fit an image in the upper right hand corner. There's also the problem of corresponding the Chinese name with the english (this is lost by pushing the chinese off to the side) and being able to explain the variations within the text itself (e.g., calling one of the names a courtesy name or common name). I believe we should reserve the box only for extreme cases just at Sun Yat-sen and leave articles such as Vernacular Chinese without the box--Jiang 09:52, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I disagree. Most people reading these articles on Wikipedia are not here to learn Chinese. They're here to learn about Chinese, and the characters and romanizations are not completely relevant in this goal. This is an encyclopedia, remember. For instance, knowing that Vernacular Chinese is referred to as 白話 in Chinese is not particularly relevant to learning what Vernacular Chinese is. However, since we still would like to display characters and romanizations, I feel the box is the ideal way to do that. It's much cleaner and doesn't get in the way of the text flow. --Umofomia 10:19, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Given how many romanizations exist, the alternative forms given in the box would also be of interest. If people can't read the Chinese, I think it's a whole lot easier to skip over it than to for people interested in the Chinese to keep switching from side to side. Other than trying to make things "clean" I really don't see how have Chinese in text will prevent readers from reading the text.--Jiang 10:30, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)
i see the box as unnecessary most of the time. How many variations could one's name possibly have? The most extreme case is probably that of Li Bai. Variations of the names of most Chinese people could be told within parentheses within the article. Anyway, isn't an encyclopedia supposed to be confusing? :p Ok jokes aside, i'm against the use of boxes. --Plastictv 02:35, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I don't agree. As most Chinese people before 1950 and most Chinese author until now had more than one name, sometimes even more than three, and all of those names belongs to article, + all these names should be written in at least three forms (traditional, simplified and pinyin) a namebox is very very suitable -- if we don't want the first lines of each bios to be a mess. The "Zh-xxx" templates are useful anyway, but I'd like them to be easily integrated in boxes (i.e. by changing them to "ZhT--xxx). With time, I hope boxes will also have their own templates. Encyclopedies are confusing, Wikipedia is even more, but one part of our work is to make it a little less confusing every day ! gbog 02:49, 26 July 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for the point, gbog. Over the past 3 months of working on wikipedia i've also converted to Boxism. :) It's really much neater, except in the case where the person or institution etc. in question really has only one name (so that a {{zh-stp}} template would suffice). --Plastictv 13:10, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

General Issues

A bot for tone-ization of pinyin?

I would love a bot to translate ugly numbered pinyin in nice little tones!gbog 18:15, 17 Dec 2003 (UTC)

That's a good idea. :) --Yacht (Talk)Q 02:28, Jan 24, 2004 (UTC)

Some obscure, obsolete discussion

Issue resolved

Some questions:

When creating new articles, please try to use the second method. If you use the first method, whether or not you include the numbers for tone, please italicise the pinyin to differentiate it from the English text.

does that mean we shoule creat articles using names like Zh?ng-guó rather than just plain name Zhong-guo? Or Zhong1-guo2 is adviced? And about the italicize, should be italicize all the Chinese pinyin as that of foreign languages? or just in the definition line? --FallingInLoveWithPitoc 09:07, 19 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Sorry, this suggestion should have been clearer. My intended meaning was pinyin that is incorporated in the article itself as a romanization (not used in a sentence as a proper name (which should be wikified), etc.). I did not mean article titles. I reckon toneless articles are here to stay, and do not present a problem. --Pratyeka 10:45, 19 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Pinyin and Names

Shouldn't the first letter of people's name be capitalized? I am so upset to see the name written like 'zu3 chong1 zhi1'. In pinyin, people's name should be separated between surname and given name, and the first letter of each part of the name should be capitalized. therefore, 'zu3 chong1 zhi1' should be written as 'Zu3 Chong1zhi1'. --Yacht 05:31, Nov 25, 2003 (UTC)

This looks like an unnatural carryover from English to me, so I always type it lower case and have been resetting it to lower case when I find it. If you can find an official pinyin specification with an upper case name then I will be eternally apologetic and and type uppercase pinyin names forever. (Yes, I am serious). I am aware that there is a library of congress specification however I suppose that this specification was mainly built for adapting pinyin to work within an existing English-language centered library information system, rather than using it in the standard reference context for which it was designed. --Pratyeka 07:27, 25 Nov 2003 (UTC)
Will this do: [1]? I'm pretty sure names in pinyin are first-letter-uppercase -- pinyin seems to have been designed to emulate European languages. For instance, it recommends spacing by word, not by syllable (e.g. rénmín jĭefàng jūn, not rén mín jĭe fàng jūn), as some orthographies do (e.g. Quoc Ngu). [Edit on 24th: IIRC, the books and such written in pinyin produced by the PRC gov't capitalize names.] --Xiaopo's Talk 10:04, Dec 23, 2003 (UTC)


This sounds resonable: " Pinyin titles are not capitalized, except for the first letter of the first word and proper names. English translations of Chinese titles are also not capitalized, except for the first letter of the first word and proper names, when they are first given next to Pinyin titles." [3] --Jiang 08:05, 25 Nov 2003 (UTC)

i strongly think no capitalization should be done for hanyu pinyin. Pinyin is NOT supposed to be an "Anglicized Chinese" but merely a pronunciation guide to help both Chinese natives and foreigners. Furthermore, the pinyin for each singular Chinese character should be separated. Thus, Mao Zedong's name in pinyin should go "máo zé dōng" and NOT "Máo Zédōng". i'm "SO upset" to see this confusion. Appropriate changes should be made in the guidelines as well. --Plastictv 02:21, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)

i'm sorry. i retract my last statement. i realized that it was conventional for foreign students learning pinyin to capitalize proper names and such as stated above. --Plastictv 14:41, 7 May 2005 (UTC)

Italics for Pinyin?

The manual currently says:

Italicise the pinyin to differentiate it from the English text.

However, most pinyin on Wikipedia is not italicised, and the new templates ({{Zh-cp}} etc.) don't italicise the pinyin that they display. Shall we make the templates do so? Chamaeleon 00:11, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)

We should change this page to comply with convention. I dont think they should be italicized--Jiang 04:48, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
i don't think they should be italicized since it is ususally specified that they are hanyu pinyin. --Plastictv 02:21, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)


Draft section

Ruby annotation is a way of putting pinyin in small letters over the top of a Han character. It cannot be used for normal inline text on Wikipedia because the small size at which characters are displayed means that the even smaller text on top is illegible. However, it is appropriate for Han characters that have a line or paragraph to themselves. It has the advantage of keeping the transcription very close to the character, and is thus didactically helpful. In browsers that do not support it, it degrades gracefully into a transcription in parentheses after the character.

So, instead of or in addition to representing a text like this:

Chinese characters (trad.)
Pinyin transcription
Běifāng yǒu jiārén, juéshì ér dúlì.
Yí gù qīng rén chéng, zài gù qīng rén guó.
Nìng bù zhī qīng chéng yǔ qīng guó.
Jiārén nán zài dé.
English translation
In the North there is a lady, stunning and singular.
One look confounds a city; a touch dooms an empire.
Rather not wishing to know, the ruination that may follow,
rare beauty is here and now.

We can represent it like this if we choose:

Chinese characters (trad.) with pinyin transcription added using ruby annotations.
(běi) (fāng) (yǒu) (jiā) (rén)(jué) (shì) (ér) () ()
() () (qīng) (rén) (chéng)(zài) () (qīng) (rén) (guó)
(nìng) () (zhī) (qīng) (chéng) () (qīng) (guó)
(jiā) (rén) (nán) (zài) ()
English translation
In the North there is a lady, stunning and singular.
One look confounds a city; a touch dooms an empire.
Rather not wishing to know, the ruination that may follow,
rare beauty is here and now.

The markup to display text like this is as follows:

" {{Ruby-zh-p|梦|mèng}} " displays " (mèng) ".

Browser support under Windows:

  • IE — perfect.
  • Mozilla / Firefox with support installed — problems with wrapping long lines, but otherwise fine.
  • Mozilla / Firefox without support installed — displays in parentheses.
  • Opera — displays in parentheses.


I'd like to add the above draft to the project page. Feel free to edit it. ()(wèi)

Is there a way of making the pinyin cluster at the center, rather than spreading out over the entire space? -- ran (talk) 05:24, Feb 19, 2005 (UTC)
That behaviour is chosen by the browser. IE tires to makes the pinyin narrower or wider to fit the width of the character. Mozilla/Firefox (once support is installed) display it as normal text, so "dà" will be right in the middle and "zhuāng" will stick over either edge a lot. I Chamaeleon 05:30, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
That behavior can be controlled by the "ruby-align" property. I have edited Template:Ruby to use "ruby-align: center", so the pinyin is not spread out. See [4]. -- Curps 06:21, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
With that change, IE now mimics the default behaviour in Firefox. I thought IE's default was fine actually. Chamaeleon 07:09, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Ruby looks like a nice feature, and is great for language learning websites. But how often would it actually be used in Wikipedia? There aren't many articles that have long passages of Chinese text within them. -- Curps 06:23, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Probably not very often, but sometimes. I've tried it out here: House_of_Flying_Daggers#Literary_origins and here: Chinese grammar.
I didn't hard-wire it into the template, but I like my ruby in a different colour. If you put rt, rp {color: gray;} in your style sheet, it looks more separate from the character. Chamaeleon 07:14, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Does ruby works for Zhuyin symbols? Thank you. — Instantnood 04:22 Feb 23 2005 (UTC)
(ㄋㄧˇ)(ㄎㄕㄢˋ)。 I don't know how to make the Zhuyin display along the side the characters, as it should ideally. Chamaeleon 11:08, 24 Feb 2005 (UTC)

You mean the zhuyin should display vertically along the right-hand side of the character? I don't think it's possible. You can look up the technical spec at -- Curps 04:27, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)

When I try to use vertical writing mode, I get this:


The zhuyin is rotated sideways, and it's still on top! (I'm using IE browser, your mileage may vary).

You can have vertical text if you want... here's some simplified text written vertically, second paragraph cut and pasted from zh Wikipedia "science fiction" article:

你看。 我不看。 没有办法。








-- Curps 04:47, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I can see that display in IE but not Firefox or Opera. Strange. Chamaeleon 09:58, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)

OK, this proposal has been here for four months without objection. I'm going to add it to the manual of style. — Chameleon 22:58, 7 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Emperor naming

content moved to Wikipedia talk:History standards for China-related articles#Emperor naming conventions

Tentative proposal for using different colour for transcriptions

I would like to propose that Roman-letter transcriptions for non-English writing systems should be rendered in a different colour from the rest of the text.

For instance, where pinyin or Wade Giles is given for Chinese characters, or Hepburn is given for Japanese, or romanization is given for Korean, Mongolian, Russian, Arabic, etc., then the romanisation should be given in a different colour to the main text.

The understanding should be that these romanisations are not used in the main text of the article, only in parenthetical notes as a way of indicating the correct pronunciation of unfamiliar scripts.

I realise that this proposal may sound distracting and unnecessary, but I have used it successfully for a long time on my site [5] (e.g., see [6], although I use graphics rather than Unicode for Chinese characters). The colour scheme helps draw a clear distinction between words that are suitable to appear in normal English texts and those that should only occur as "footnotes" etc. I normally use a light brown colour (#666600) for transcriptions which is different enough from black to be noticeable but not harsh or garish in a way that distracts the reader from reading the article. Chameleon's suggestion of rt, rp {color: gray;} (see above) is another alternative.

I can see that this proposal will not necessarily meet with universal approval. However, while it may sound distracting to use different colours on a page, in my experience it is even more distracting to have non-English scripts and their transcriptions indiscriminately cluttering up the page. I feel that the use of a non-distracting brown actually helps readers navigate the material better.

At any rate, I offer this suggestion for the consideration and comment of users.

(Looking again, this might be regarded as an argument for using the Ruby template for all transcriptions...)

Bathrobe 04:40, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I've taken a look at the link you provided; I think I favor not marking up non-English text in a special color. It seems to make the text more distracting for users who are only looking to read the English text. --BenjaminTsai Talk 13:15, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

General issues

Different orders of Simplified/Traditional

Can I please ask, what application there is for two different templates {{zh-st}} and {{zh-ts}} (and other pairs)? Wouldn't it be easier to stick with one or the other?

Also, is it necessary to write Simplified Chinese, as opposed to just "Simplified: characters"? I could understand if it is necessary but it looks as if it takes up space. Neonumbers 11:07, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

There's no rule... Generally I put the one that's official in front. So Simplified for places in Mainland China or Singapore, Traditional for places in Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan, and Traditional for people / places / events before the 1950's.
Also, it's necessary to put "Simplified Chinese", or else people might be confused what language it's in. This is especially necessary if there's also another language given. -- ran (talk) 14:33, July 10, 2005 (UTC)

Question regarding inverted circumflex

All characters with inverted circumflex are showing up on my computer as an empty box. Does anyone know how I can fix this? Is this problem addressed somewhere on this page? Many thanks, Badagnani 23:01, 31 August 2005 (UTC)

Order in the romanisation of Chinese words

Based on what occured at Char siu and Char siew rice, I wonder if it may be good to standardise the order in which we list the romanisation of Chinese terms in the various Chinese dialects when multiple dialects are used. Two potential options exist:

1. List according to the "most relevant" dialect first, followed by the rest. Pros:

  • The most common or likely-used romanised version tends to be listed first.
  • Most romanised versions attempt to adhere to this currently.


  • Disputes arise when it is not clear which version is more common.

2. List with a standard arrangement of dialects. Pros:

  • Less basis for arguments in individual pages, and reduces regional bias.
  • Standardised order helps to improve on standard of visual and factual presentation of Chinese-related pages.


  • Need to discuss the "standard order" of dialects. One option, may be "Mandarin" first always, followed by the other dialects in alphaetical order.
Doing it that way would inevitably distort the "branch and twig" arrangement of families of regional languages. P0M 21:25, 18 September 2005 (UTC)

Other options may be proposed. What do the rest of you think? A third option...a standard infobox, may be used as well.--Huaiwei 09:43, 18 September 2005 (UTC)

The established conventions from my observation, tho I'm not sure if it's written anywhere, is to use the most common name known in English by speakers of English in different parts of the world as the title (e.g. I Ching, Confucius, Dim Sum, Kung Fu, Mahjong, Oolong). If there's no common English name, Pinyin is usually used (e.g. Xiaokang, Guanxi, Ganqing, Fenqing). As for order of romanisation, I would prefer to have the most relevant first, followed by Standard Mandarin and then, if necessary, other spoken variants in alphabetical order. — Instantnood 10:39, 18 September 2005 (UTC)
If there is an "established convention", this point wont be raised in this page. I am not refering to the page title either. I am refering to the order in which romanised words appear in articles irrespective of page title.--Huaiwei 10:47, 18 September 2005 (UTC)
One problem with a standard arrangement of "dialects" would appear when the relevant regional pronunciations happened to be two or more on the low end of the list. If, for example, there was a political faux pa in China somewhere because of the way something sounded in Wu Xi hua and in Tai Shan hua, it would be more direct to explain to the reader what is going on, using the language of instruction as the "standard" way to pronounce things. Whether Wu Xi hua or Tai Shan hua got mentioned first would seem to me to be of no real importance. P0M 21:25, 18 September 2005 (UTC)
Ugh. I just had a look at the article you mentioned. The phrase "most notably char siu bau... and char siew rice" must make the uninitiated reader wonder what difference in flavor or texture or whatever there may be between "siu" and "siew." Was the idea that people who say "char siu" prefer it in buns and people who say "char siew" prefer it in rice? I think I would have said something like, "Call it 'char siu' or call it 'char siew,' some prefer it in buns and some prefer it with rice." Fighting over which regional pronunciation gets pride of precedence seems not only petty but also a disservice to the general reader. P0M 21:37, 18 September 2005 (UTC)
I certainly do agree that fights over regional pronunciation (thou in this case it is more of regional romanisation) are inherently petty. Hence my call to include this as part of the naming conventions to save ourselves from the likelihood of silly edit wars like this in future.--Huaiwei 10:25, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
I appreciate your effort to help Wikipedia set up conventions on the presentation of romanisations, and I'm sure most wikipedians would be most willing to work towards it. In the meantime I do wish everyone can abide with the existing set of conventions, especially the NPOV section. — Instantnood 17:04, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
Few appear to be stepping forth from the looks of it. Certainly dosent help when individuals comes along and starts to bring their politics along with it, thereby discouraging others from speaking up and contributing constructively.
I would strongly call for a quite resolution to this. On hindsight, an info-box format may be best, since it does help to remove the long clustering in the beginning of all our articles, and do be mindful that users without the relevant script installed see a whole bunch of boxes and gibberish. Certainly not pretty, and yes, I do see jibberish with those long lists of Cantonese romanisations too.--Huaiwei 17:23, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
I would support romanization in the most relevant language(s) first, and also pinyin, if necessary. As per the Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Chinese), romanization in the titles and headings should be in whatever is most familiar to English readers, and especially for names, pinyin shouldn't be used if the subject is likely to prefer a different phoneticization. For example, pinyin usage for Taiwan-related articles might be disputed and lead to controversy. One also must remember that pinyin isn't Chinese romanization, it's Mandarin romanization. What sense does it make to first give a romanization from a different language than the original source? Listing the relevant romanization first does a greater service to the reader by providing more relevent information. Consider these case examples (standard word followed by pinyin):

In each case, giving pinyin the most prominence may confuse a reader unfamiliar with Chinese and mislead on etymology and pronunciation. Listing the pinyinized romanization first for all non-Mandarin words is like listing the Latin spelling first for any and all French, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese words. --Yuje 12:44, 22 September 2005 (UTC)

There's a number of good reasons why Hanyu Pinyin should be given priority in ambiguous cases. It is true that Hanyu Pinyin is the romanization for Mandarin, but Mandarin has become both the de facto and de jure lingua franca of all Chinese. Hanyu Pinyin is also the romanization of choice of almost all Chinese language programs within the United States. Of the programs that teach Traditional Chinese, they have also generally opted to use Hanyu Pinyin instead of bopomofo. --BenjaminTsai Talk 13:30, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

Order in the listing of Chinese characters

There is currently a small dispute in East Asian Tigers over which Chinese script to list first: simplified or traditional. Do members here feel we ought to also standardise this as part of the naming conventions?--Huaiwei 10:17, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

Although there could be some standards for modern subject, I suppose this should be done on a case-by-case basis. For articles on historical works or people, such as Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Cao Cao, Ouyang Xiu, the preference should be given to traditional, since the works were written in the traditional script, and these people, supposingly, never wrote their names in the simplified script, which was a relatively very recent development. For the article on the People's Republic of China, Great Leap Forward, Hu Jintao, etc., the preference would naturally be given to simplified script. As for East Asian Tigers, I would vote for traditional, since (1) the traditional script is used in two of the four countries (Hong Kong and the ROC/Taiwan), and Hanja used in South Korea is basically traditional script, and (2) there are more websites in traditional script than simplified by searching 亞洲四小龍/亚洲四小龙 on Google. — Instantnood 17:16, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
I would strongly oppose the above suggestion. Attempting to give preference for either one script based on political entity is introducing politics into a discussion which need not be political at all. And what would we mean by usages relevant to the People's Republic of China when it includes locations which are not required to use simplified script, or the fact that we do have traditional script used in the mainland as well? And what do we make of articles relevant to both HK and the PRC, for example? The Cao Cao article shows an infobox which lists simplified first before traditional, and I would think that is a good example to follow for all other texts.
I gave East Asian Tigers as an example of a relevant dispute, and not for it to be discussed here. Even if so, I strongly question the rationale of the above. First, 四小龙 gives 75,100 entries on google. 四小龍 a mere 350. Secondly, the term "四小龙" is not exactly used nor coined by the 四小龙 themselves exclusively, but more in the wider Chinese context. So why do we base this on script used in the four entities? Would Taiwan call themselves a "小龙" in relation to the "大龙"? Logically that is highly doubtful. And Korea? Have they even heard of it (there are, btw, a paltry 5 articles in which it was mentioned in a Korean page in google)?--Huaiwei 17:40, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
This is mentioned at Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style_for_China-related_articles#Characters. This discussion should be moved to Wikipedia_talk:Manual_of_Style_for_China-related_articles. I think Instanthood's suggestion is a reflection of the status quo and sounds reasonable. If we arent going to look at the political entity, then what are we to go by? --Jiang 19:06, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
I will move the above conversations over. Meanwhile, how then do you deal with articles such as East Asian Tigers, or articles on food found in multiple places of varying script, and so forth? This call for a standard is to iron out potential differences in disputable cases, so that we can have something to fall back on should they arise. If we agree here that allowances still need to be given such that articles which are clearly relevant only to specific places will use writting systems used in that place, then it can form part of this convention too.--Huaiwei 20:49, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
Jiang and Instantnood's already reflect the current Manual of Style, and furthermore, they make sense. When writing articles relevant to the political entities, the script they use should be listed first. It makes little sense to use Simplified first (or even at all) for Taiwan and Hong Kong, or vice versa for mainland China. For pre-modern historical articles, traditional first is preferable, since that's what was used, and simplified's merging of different characters and simplification of others reduces accuracy when presenting the relevant historical information.
When writing articles that span multiple political entities, an infobox similar to the ones already used for CJK(V) can be used. An example is the chopsticks page. In the case of East Asian Tigers, I would say that the Chinese is entirely unncessary and perhaps even excessive use of characters, since the term was coined in English and then translated into Chinese. --Yuje 11:33, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
Thanks Yuje. I'd say for East Asian Tigers the English and Chinese names have different roots for the same meaning, although one may be inspired by the other. Infobox format may be preferable, but the same order conflict may arise, and could be even worse as it might involve other languages (Korean, Japanese and Vietnamese) too. — Instantnood 12:03, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

Chinese names for Chinese-Americans

I removed the Chinese names from Steven Chu and two other articles for the following reasons,

  • The people concerned were born in the USA (no particular significance with USA, I would have done the same if it had been Canadian or British citizens of Chinese descent).
  • Since Chu and the others are native born Americans, the justification for adding the Chinese language form of the name can only be with reference to their ethnic background.
  • The Chinese-Americans therefore seem to be singled out as a special case. As far as I know, Americans of, say Russian, Arab or Greek descent do not have their names transcribed into the appropriate script
  • African-Americans also do not have there names translated, although I would accept that there would be major problems selecting the appropriate West African language.
  • I am therefore slightly uncomfortable that the Chinese-American group is treated differently for ethnic reasons, especially when they are of non-European descent. I should emphasise that I am not suggesting any degree of racism is involved, but I think that this policy needs to be given some careful thought.
  • I should say that I do not intend to start an edit war on this, I made the changes to initiate some debate, and if the consensus, especially from editors with a Chinese-American background, is to retain this practice, that's fine by me. jimfbleak 09:10, 6 October 2005 (UTC)
I've just seen User:Jiang's comment. I can't see why the issue of whether Steven Chu is bilingual is relevant. Many first and second generation British Asians may speak a different language in the home, but their names are not transcribed into Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi or whatever. jimfbleak 09:21, 6 October 2005 (UTC)
And for that matter many other non-Chinese articles do not transliterate, even if resident in their native country, eg Aung San Suu Kyi Jim

Whether the subject is bilingual is relevant because if they are, then this non-English name is most likely used and not simply transliterated. The question we should ask in determining whether the Chinese name should be "Does the subject use this name himself?" This would imply that a.) the subject is fluent in the languauge if he is to use his non-English name and b.) the name was not transliterated by the media. If we ask this question, then we exclude African Americans and most of the other groups you have brought up. If such a name is being used by both the subject and his community, and not given in wikipedia in whatever languauge it should be given, then it should be added. If there are persons Russian, Arab or Greek descent who interact with Russian, Arab or Greek communities using their non-English names, then the non-English name should be given.

If these second generation British Asians don't have Hindi or Urdu names, then we simply dont list them. They don't identyfy with their ethnic background in that manner. The United States has no official language and I don't see why we should eliminate all references to a subject's non-Anglo background simply because he is American. Yes, the inclusion of the non-Chinese name is based on "ethnic background", but what is wrong with that? If the name is used, then it is relevant information to be included in an encyclopedia.--Jiang 12:20, 6 October 2005 (UTC)

I know the US doesn't have an official language, but of course does. I stumbled into this because I try to avoid articles becoming multilingual dictionaries (eg, the French for... the Italian for...) although I appreciate that is not the intent here.
I think it is odd to suggest that British Asians don't identify with their ethnic background in the same way, when many speak the language, attend mosque, gudwara or temple etc, but let that pass for now. The foreign language equivalent may be relevant, but normally on the wiki for that language, or an article very strongly linked to the language, eg China. It seems slightly odd that just one ethnic group has the foreign language alternative form.
As I said before, I have no particular axe to grind on this; I'm not Chinese-American, or even American. I just felt that this matter was worthy of consideration, but if the consensus is to retain Chinese alternatives, that's fine. jimfbleak 16:34, 6 October 2005 (UTC)
The Chinese names are not just alternatives, and are not transliterations of their English names into the Chinese language. Those are their Chinese names, the names that they themselves are using it. Very often there's little connection between their English and Chinese given names. It is of encyclopædic interests to provide their names in the articles. — Instantnood 19:54, 6 October 2005 (UTC)
Generally, I would say that if a person is fluent in Chinese, at least enough so that he or she can understand it when addressed, then the Chinese name should be included at the beginning of the article. If not (and I have known several Chinese-Americans who didn't speak any Chinese but nevertheless had Chinese names) the name falls more into the category of trivia, which can still be included, but later in the article. In borderline or unclear cases, I suppose it falls into the category of "one way or the other, who cares?" - Nat Krause 12:16, 15 October 2005 (UTC)
Whether a Chinese name should be listed for a Chinese-American should not, in my opinion, depend on the person's fluency of some particular language. If a Chinese-American has a Chinese name, then in almost every case the person's Chinese name will not be a transliteration of their English name (as pointed out by Instantnood). If there is a connection between the person's English and Chinese name, then it will almost always be the English name that is a transliteration of the Chinese name. I think, Nat, that you may be giving too little weight to the importance of the Chinese name for Chinese-Americans even when they can't functionally communicate in any Chinese language. The Chinese name was still given to them by their parents, and chances are they will be able to write out (or at least recognize) their Chinese name even if they can't read or write anything else in Chinese. --BenjaminTsai Talk 11:56, 28 December 2005 (UTC)


The detail of which extremely uninteresting and quite frankly unencyclopedic trivia in the form of a wide variety of transcriptions is starting to get out of hand. Not only are leads getting cluttered with the simplified/traditional Chinese-Pinyin-Wade Giles-templates, but now people are including special tables just to cover facts that seem to be there purely to satisfy a very small minority POV (which don't even concern the articles topics for the most part).

Please note that variying transcriptions and romanizations are barely interesting only to the people who already know them, and most of these already know there are more than one standard. To anyone who isn't down with Chinese langauge politics or the differences between pinyin and Wade-Giles most of this is incomprehensible clutter, a lot of which can't even be shown properly in a lot of browsers and operatins systems.

Peter Isotalo 13:48, 11 October 2005 (UTC)

Well, I sort of agree with you. The purpose of including Pinyin and Wade-Giles is not primarily to satisfy the curiosity of people who want to know both. The main purpose is that a given person might already know the name, but they might only know one or the other, and we have to make sure they know it is the same name. For instance, I, being Chinese romanisation nerd, already know that "Tz'u-hsi" is the same person as "Cixi", but someone who doesn't know about romanisation issues could easily be confused. Therefore, many articles need to have both pinyin and Wade-Giles listed (or Pinyin and the old Postal System Name, etc.) I do agree that we should not include additional romanisations just to include them; rather, we should always think about what will be most useful to our readers. I'm not sure if that ever includes alternate systems such as Tongyong Pinyin. One would expect that most of the Chinese people who prefer Tongyong are already using it, hence it would be the title of the article to begin with and we wouldn't need to include it specially. - Nat Krause 12:36, 15 October 2005 (UTC)

Naming style

Does anyone think it's a good idea to use Wade-Giles for articles about the history of Republican China, such as history of the ROC and the second sino-japanese war? It is rare to find any books about these subjects that are in pinyin. I mean, it would be weird to pick up a book and see Song Ziwen rather than T.V. Soong. I think it would be conducive to anyone who wants to go to a library and pick up books about these subjects to know the wade-giles romanization of these figures. BlueShirts 20:21, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

As with any similar subject, I think the article title should be the most commonly used spelling (romanization), and alternative romanizations (incl. Wade-Giles, Pinyin, and Cantonese pronunciation, if relevant) should also be included in the article, as discussed earlier. Badagnani 20:28, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

There is a general need to tie Chinese terms to the Chinese characters and to the pinyin romanization. There are some articles, e.g., on some martial arts topics, where competing systems of romanization are used in the same article. The same technique can be called by two different-sounding names that are really the same Chinese terms. P0M 16:45, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

TfD nomination of Template:Zh-c

Template:Zh-c has been nominated for deletion. You are invited to comment on the discussion at Wikipedia:Templates for deletion#Template:Zh-c. Thank you.

Need Chinese assistance

Can a native Chinese speaker please check the etymology listed at Moo shu pork? I'm not sure "wood shavings meat" is an accurate translation. Thanks! Not sure where to post this request but I know this is where the experts are. Badagnani 07:20, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

If you had been born before the middle of the twentieth century you probably would have seen a kind of packing material (for shipping things like fine China, etc.) that was made of wood but looked sort of like the large-bun size of shredded wheat. (What? They don't make that either?) That takes care of the "mu xu" part, or "moo shu" in whatever romanization that is. The rou4 should be translated as pork. Odd though it may seem to us, if you just use the work rou4 you are talking about pork. But beef is "cow rou4," and mutton is "sheep rou4." The wood product looks like nothing else I can think of, so it's hard to think of an alternative translation. Probably the Chinese restaurants will keep the old way, anyway. P0M 08:56, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

I don't understand the pinyin or abbreviation in your subject, but anyway thanks for this expert assistance! I've made the changes to Moo shu pork; have a look and see if it looks right. Badagnani 09:23, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

Oh, I see, NANS = "not a native speaker." Badagnani 09:24, 3 January 2006 (UTC)

Need help with Chinese at Paeonia lactiflora

Hello, I've just added the Chinese characters and pinyin for Paeonia lactiflora (Chinese peony) which wasn't there before, but I'm not sure I have everything right. Could someone with expertise in this flower/herb go check it out for me? Thanks! Badagnani 04:35, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

This one, too: Rock's Peony. Badagnani 04:50, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

Rock's Peony, an important symbol of China, could also use some more information about this aspect, which is only dealt with there in a cursory way. Badagnani 23:58, 13 January 2006 (UTC)


The instruction how to use a template is too difficult. I think many Wikipedians, who are not too familiar with all the wiki-html, are scared to use these templates. So in the end, we must edit their articles again to apply this system for such complex issue (which needed A LOT of discussion it seems to me when I read this discussion page). Even I dont understand the example table in the end. So I'd suggest to make it look like this, i hope someone helps: - Template Name - Looks like - Code

Template zh-stp (Simplified, Traditional, Hanyu Pinyin)
Looks like simplified Chinese: 中国; traditional Chinese: 中國; pinyin: zhōng guó
Code {{zh|s=中国 |t=中國 |p=zhōng guó}}

LiangHH 08:52, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

I did it. If you find any mistakes or if you want improve the style, feel free. But it took me 3 hours of work! ^^ LiangHH 08:09, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
So to apply a template, do we copy what's listed to the right of 'code' above and customize the contents? So I copy and paste simplified Chinese: 中国; traditional Chinese: 中國; pinyin: zhōng guó, for example, then edit it to simplified Chinese: 苏恳; traditional Chinese: 蘇懇; pinyin: Sū Kěn. Is that how a template is used, or am I missing something? Sorry for being a stupid newbee! :) Dragonbones 04:42, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
You see yourself, it works! But I also needed time to figure out. And I hope we can make it easier somehow.亮HH 19:34, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Alternate spellings

Should alternate spellings be noted in an article at the end?

A guy who edits Wang Chang Yuan thinks so. See how all of these alternate names are at the end of the article. WhisperToMe 00:42, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

only the correct version should be mentioned. the others are wrong - they belong as redirects, but should not be presented as alternate versions of a name. Hanyu Pinyin should not contain dashes, and the given names should not be separated by a space. --Jiang 08:45, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

He posted this on my talk page:

This is not a contest to see who can be more precise in their Chinese romanization. We've got the pinyin there, and the alternate spellings are there to assist Wikipedia users in pursuing more information about this individual. When it comes to Chinese names, or any other names commonly spelled in other alphabets, there are many romanizations, some of them "wrong" ones, often the preferred romanizations of the individuals themselves. Wikipedia is a starting point for people finding more information about subjects. All the romanizations I listed are ones for which there are Google hits (websites). Removing them means that those doing research will not have access to those websites unless they're very clever and try many permutations of spelling, which most people will not do. Badagnani 17:10, 29 January 2006 (UTC) "

WhisperToMe 17:16, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

It is well established Wikipedia convention to redirect misspellings and mistaken names to the article, but not list these misspellings and mistaken names in the article itself. Most of these are not "alternate spellings". These are incorrect spellings. Correct spellings are 1) the spelling used overwhelming in the media or in published material and 2) the spelling used by the individual in question. Wang Chang Yuan cannot alone be using so many different names. --Jiang 03:20, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

direct unicode

wikipedia seems to be shifting towards using direct entry of unicode characters for foreign text in wikipedia rather than entities making the articles much easier to edit (long strings of mostly meaningless numbers are very hard to edit).

also the comments about big5 and gb make no sense to me, html entities have been unicode for as long as wikipedia has been arround afaict and the raw text of wikipedia went straight from windows-1252 to UTF-8. Plugwash 14:48, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Remove Wade-Giles

Wade-Giles is a useless thing. Nobody uses it. To improve the quality of Wikipedia, Wade-Giles should be removed from China related articles. Edipedia 20:54, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

English texts first published before the 1980s use W-G, so it remains prevalent in the field of history. Topics of historical importance should use W-G. W-G isn't uniformly applied in WP, it is just in certain articles.--Jiang 05:05, 3 August 2006 (UTC)
Agreed. Wade-Giles should never actually be used in real life. However, names, such as Sun Yat-sen, Chiang Kai-shek, and other historical figures from the Chinese Civil War and the Second Sino-Japanese War are still better known in the English language by their Wade-Giles names. Similarly, a few postal code names, such as Canton province and Szechwan province, are still better known than either their Pinyin or Wade-Giles names in the English language, because of their significant influence on Western culture. Taiwan, for example, is typically referred to as Formosa in historical documents from the Second World War. Way over here in New Orleans, our local World War II veterans still remember either attacking or avoiding the Japanese island of "Formosa". Taiwan didn't become formally known as "Taiwan" in the English language until after the First Taiwan Strait Crisis in 1954. For those of us Taiwanese that came to the United States before the 1990's, Wade-Giles personal names were assigned to us by commercial translation services. Our Wade-Giles names are still being used, since Taiwan originally used the Zhuyin Phonetic System, and few of us actually understand how to transliterate names. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, so archaic historical names should still be mentioned for things like dynasties, provinces, historically significant cities, and people from the 20th century. The Yale System, on the other hand... now there's a worthless system of transliteration.
Winston Ho  ?? (2007 Apr. 19, Friday).


Should tones be added consistently to all pinyin throughout Wiki?

There's quite a bit of pinyin without tone marks on it on Wiki pages. Chinese is a tonal language, and pinyin without tones is like English minus a few letters! :( Since adding the tone marks does not detract from legibility, I strongly recommend adding them. I found that this will break internal links if not done carefully however. For example, if there's a link to Huangdi and I edit it to Huángdì, the link breaks. But if I edit it to (begin double brackets) Huangdi|Huángdì (end double brackets), it still works. Dragonbones 08:11, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

Tone marks in names necessary? (copied over by Dragonbones from Chinese language talk page) I noticed that tone marks were added to names of cities, provinces, dynasties, etc. in the History section, and was wondering if they are necessary, given that many of them have essentially entered the English vocabulary? I thought that one of the style manuals might have mentioned something about this, but I can't seem to find it in Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Chinese) or Wikipedia:Manual of Style (China-related articles). --ian (talk) 16:33, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

I searched the style manual before adding them. I added them on the principle that pinyin needs tones to accurately represent the tonal language, and the tone marks, although perhaps not necessary for recognition by English speakers of words like Beijing, do not IMO detract from the readability of the word either. If there is disagreement on whether it is desirable however, I would suggest establishing a consensus on tonemark style and inserting relevant guidelines to that effect in the above cited locations. If enough other editors object (and I do not yet know that to be the case) then I would recommend a standard parallel to that used for the insertion of Chinese characters:
Certainly at least those words which do not have a Wiki page (say, on a particular imperial consort named Geng) should have both the tone marks and the Chinese character added, since otherwise it is hard to figure out what the pinyin refers to.
And for those which do have their own page, then a further choice point would be involved: IF they are also common in the English vocabulary (say, Beijing) we would not add the tone marks on other pages unless there was a risk of confusion between two identically spelled words (like the two Jin dynasties); we would add the tones at the beginning of their own (e.g., Beijing's) page. If they do have their own page but are NOT common in the English vocabulary (say, Emperor An, or Xu Shen), then I would advocate a standard slightly more liberal than that on insertion of Chinese characters -- namely, I would argue that we should add pinyin throughout, because it is less intrusive than characters. Dragonbones 01:48, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
I agree that tone marks should be added where needed to disambiguate, but I'm a bit less sure about adding them to text in the main article (i.e. not in a parenthetical that lists both the characters and the Pinyin). My feeling is that the main text should probably follow the convention of written English, which means the tone marks are used only if one would normally use them outside of the encyclopedic context (but that might just be my own stylistic preference). From what I can tell (of the few books that I've seen), publications that use Pinyin romanization usually don't include the tone marks except for pedagogical reasons; I guess that's why the Chinese provinces of Shanxi and Shaanxi are spelled differently in English for disambiguation.
Thats the only example I know which is avoiding tones and mixing-up at the same time. There are many other Chinese words, which would be written the same without tones, and there is no such rule in English. ?HH 07:17, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
A parallel in another language would be Japanese: names like Tokyo and Yoko Ono are routinely written without any diacritics in running text, but in strict Hepburn romanization the macrons are always used (To-kyo-, Yo-ko Ono). (Hope this wasn't too rambly :-) --ian (talk) 18:05, 24 March 2006 (UTC)
I agree (with Dragonbones). People who don't understand them will sail right on by, but they may prevent confusion for users whose vocabulary is large enough to interpret a romanized syllable in more than one way that happens to be appropriate to the context. P0M 01:12, 25 March 2006 (UTC)
Unlike some of the old Wade-Giles marks, pi-nyi-n to-ne ma(rks a(re no- hi-ndra(nce to réada(bíli(ty. Readers who don't understand them, will sail right through the text, barely noticing them. For other readers, the tones provide critical information. The common usage of pinyin without tones in English texts is a matter of convenience to the printer, not a stylistic decision made with readers' needs in mind. Using the tones only on first occurrence in an article will minimally inform the careful reader, but many of the readers of these articles will be learners of the Chinese language. They will appreciate the reminder offered by consistent usage of the tone at every occurrence of the word, at no expense to anyone except the volunteer who took the time to insert it. After all, these people are reading an encyclopedia, not Time Magazine. Bertport 14:29, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

I agree with Ian on the history articles. The usage of non-tonemarked name for historical dynasties is pretty much standard in English writing on Chinese history, which is why the current rush to tonemark them seems pretty peculiar to me. I can see specific historical characters like Zhu- Yuánzha-ng getting tonified, but Hàn or Sòng dynasty seems a bit too much.
Kelvinc 19:55, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

I looked for the Chinese gaymovement Tongzhi but I got some emperor. So there I created a fork page leading to Tongzhi (emperor) and Tongzhi (gay movement) with explanation with tones and characters but some idiot deleted it. :( I think such addings in brackets are better since noone, even me and my sinology fellows, has a convienient way to enter Pinyin. You can't expect every layman to enter pinyin. They can read it in the discription. I'd be in favor of such thing but so far we neither got a convienient way to enter pinyin, nor do many people seem to be able to. ?HH 07:17, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
A couple of comments on the issue of broken links:
1: mediawiki has redirects you know
2: if your going to be using the form with full tones in body text shouldn't you be using it in article titles too? Plugwash 09:18, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
As for entering pinyin well we have the charinsert box but i guess that doesn't count as hugely conviniant. OTOH its generally likely to be only a few words/article anyway. Plugwash 09:18, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

I'm not convinced by the argument that pinyin with tone marks doesn't harm readability. I don't know the technical details, but there are certainly computers and/or encodings and/or fonts around which translate tone-marked text into garbage. Tone marks for the first mention as reference are fine, but we shouldn't be adding them to every occurrence of pinyin throughout the text. HenryFlower 09:40, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

Tone marks in article titles

I don't have very strong feelings about using tone marks in article text, but I've started this discussion at Naming Conventions about whether or not we should have pinyin-with-tone-marks in the actual titles of articles. - Nat Krause(Talk!) 01:29, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

Adding Chinese Characters

IMHO, adding Chinese characters more often would be a benefit. This is particularly helpful for web cut & paste searches, and it helps English/Chinese readers. For example: Shu Jing (??), is to me, is much better than Shu Jing. Personnally, especially due to the difficulty of the language and the many ranges of experience for those reading it, I feel it is extremely helpful. I agree this is an English wiki, but for Chinese articles, assuming or insisting English/Chinese readers should only see English is an unnecessary demand. The addition does not harm English only readers.

Insisting on a consistant pattern of English first, characters in parenthesis next, seems fair.

Good feedback. I thought I was alone in thinking that way. There is a huge advantage with Chinese characters, and that is that it reduces ambiguity. I'd like to see Chinese characters in every article where a Chinese name is mentioned, so one doesn't confuse Shanxi (??) with Shanxi (??). Wikipedia writes ?? as "Shaanxi", but that is not the correct pinyin, even though it is the standard Western way of making a difference between the provinces. Mlewan 18:02, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

Use of "Municipality" for ???

See Talk:Municipality of China. - Nat Krause(Talk!) 20:31, 11 April 2006 (UTC)

A couple more heads-ups

See Template_talk:CEG for discussions on how to list the names of the 56 ethnic groups that officially live in China. See Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Tibetan) and Wikipedia_talk:Naming conventions (Tibetan) for newly proposed Tibetan naming conventions, mostly related to romanisation. - Nat Krause(Talk!) 22:18, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Need Chinese language help

Hi, we need Chinese language help at Chinese wine. There's a wine which isn't yet discussed that is sold as "hung-lu" wine. It is reddish in color, with a sharp smell and is sold by the Oriental Mascot brand (which also makes mijiu and formerly also made Shaoxing jiu). The largest photo of this wine is here, but the characters aren't easily readable. I think "hung-lu" isn't Hanyu pinyin. Can someone provide information about this wine, the characters, etc.? Thank you! Badagnani 22:31, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

The picture is too small to read the text, but I guess by the sound of the name to be ??? (lit. red dew) which yeilds a few thousand pages on google. Kowloonese 01:52, 25 April 2006 (UTC)
FYI, that would be hung-lu in Wade-Giles romanisation, and hónglù in Hanyu pinyin. - Nat Krause(Talk!) 02:14, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

Easiest way to add Pinyin to articles?

Could anyone please tell me what is the best way to go about adding pinyin to english articles on chinese subjects? For right now, i can just copy and paste the unicode characters where needed, but that takes alot of time. Keith

It depends on which keyboard you use. With a French keyboard there is no problem to create à for example. However, I don't know of any clean method to do all vowels on Windows. You could use "insert symbol" in for example Word and then paste it here, I guess. With MacOS X you can activate the "US Extended" keyboard and then do
alt+a and then <vowel> to create the first tones: a-, i-, e-, o-, u-
alt+e and then <vowel> to create the second tones: á, é, í, ó, ú
alt+v and then <vowel> to create the third tone: a(, i(, e(, o(, u(
alt+` and then <vowel> to create the fourth tone: à, ì, è, ò, ù
u and then shift+alt+u and then shift+alt+<a, e, v or `> gives u"-, u"', u"( or u"`.
(Copied from text I had already written on Chinesepod.)
Mlewan 06:26, 21 May 2006 (UTC)

Problems with Tonemarks

OK, I know this is not the current pattern, but using numeric tone indicators is, I propose, a better way to handle pinyin (i.e., Shan1hai3 Jing4). Because:

  • Using the special characters puts a burden on wiki writer to use special key constructs or "special" cut & pastes. The article above implies the writer has to make hardware or software changes, in addition to whatever changes they have made for their current English/Chinese strategy. There has got to be a better way. Lookups, special software, or special charts should not be necessary.
  • Special characters interfere with cut & paste to external text schemes. Even that handy chart below can not solve this. It assumes the user always has a fixed way to transfer info; and this is unrealistic. For example, the pinyin characters work in cut and paste for MS Arial Unicode, but not in older fonts.
Of course, any system we try will have drawbacks; I believe this would be the simplest strategy - for the writer - going forward.
mamgeorge 13:31, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
Good point; a lot of casual readers whose computers are not configured properly are going to see empty boxes, BUT, usually just on the third tone mark. If you're having trouble we'll help you get your computer set up properly to see it. I don't think Wikipedia will want to go back to all numeric tone marks. Badagnani 19:17, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
Using numbers is non-standard. We do it the standard way here. If you personally are having trouble inputting the correct tone marks, no problemo. Just enter the numbers and we shall clean up after you. — Gulliver ? 13:22, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
Isn't it quite difficult to find entries where people have used tone marks? They risk staying in the system for long. I would suggest people who have problems typing proper pinyin to write without any tones at all, and that better equipped people who stumble upon the entries then correct them. Adding numbers like in Shang4hai3 will make the entries look like typos to people who aren't familiar with the system. Mlewan 05:27, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

Consolidating templates

It occurs to me that the array of different {{zh-etc., etc.}} templates can now be combined into one master template using the #if functionality. This is what has been done on Template:Cite book, where there are many, many possible values but only "title" is mandatory. For a much simpler example, I have implemented this already for the "t" and "o" values on Template:bo-ctw. As far as I know, the only factor which prevents us from merging all of the zh- templates into one would be controlling whether traditional or simplified characters appear first; there probably is a way to do this, but I don't know what it is. - Nat Krause(Talk!) 05:14, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

Update: see Template:Bo, which is now useable for almost all combinations of Tibetan names. We could use a similar format for the Chinese templates. - Nat Krause(Talk!) 19:06, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

Template:Chinese name

I just went about removing a bunch of notices inserted by User:Ling.Nut. There is no consensus to use the template. The template is ugly, redundant, and unnecessary. Please do not insult the intellegence of the reader.--Jiang 19:40, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Jiang, I strongly agree that a consensus decision on this question would be very beneficial. Having said that, I am aware that the issue is far, far less cut-and-dried than your somewhat curt and peremptory remarks might suggest. I respectfully request that you reconsider your accusation that I am "insulting the intelligence of the reader." I am not certain that you are aware of the situation as it stands in the States. As I have seen firsthand, Wikipedia is becoming the resource of first resort for American high school students, undergrads etc. in their report-writing research. Moreover, as I again have seen firsthand, it is not necessarily common knowledge among Americans that Chinese names are ordered family-name first. I do not know whether you have yet encountered this particular cultural blindspot, but I have een it among both teenagers and adults. I believe it is important to give prominence to this cultural difference, in the interest of greater intercultural understanding. [It may be a small thing -- of course it won't bring peace, love and understanding to the world -- but every little bit counts.] To Chinese, the family-name/given name order is as obvious as anything could possibly be. That is not the case for many (but not all, of course) Americans. There are no 'unambiguous cases.'
I can definitely see how some people would perceive the Chinese name template as a distraction or an eyesore when it's placed atop a page. It does detract somewhat from the aesthetic presentation of the article. On the other hand, I still have concerns. Taking the example of Jiang Jieshi, I do see that 'Jiang' is described as a family name in the infobox along the right margin. However, I personally doubt that detail would register in the minds of many people (casual readers, high school students etc), because it is not given any prominence on the page. So the question comes down to this: which is more important, form or function? It's a judgment call. I would like to see a consensus decision regarding this issue.
You did state that some Japanese pages have a solution to this issue which you personally find satisfactory.. Thank you for the information. I will take a look at those.
[Note that this conversation was initiated by the (thoughtfully and respectfully articulated) concerns of User:Neo-Jay. His remarks and mine can be found on our respective discussion pages.
Thanks, Ling.Nut 00:14, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

It is a question on where we want to draw the line on what is common knowledge and what is not, and how prominent to make a notice, if any, for these articles. There are many things assumed in articles that are not explicitly expressed. Articles written in American English do not make it explicit that the spelling is American. People have and do try to change the spellings in articles, but that doesn't mean we should make a prominent notice declaring "This article is in American English."

No other encyclopedia or media source makes on explicit note on Chinese surnames. Some enycopedias have capitalized the surnames. News articles don't usually make a note: though notes on people with no surname (e.g. Abdullah, Megawati Sukarnoputri) are made.

Examples of less prominent renderings of notes on names are at Junichiro Koizumi and Vincente Fox. --Jiang 02:31, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Jiang, thanks for the explanation & examples. I don't buy into either the first or second argument you present. Perhaps more importantly, however, I do see virtue in the examples you gave, so I'll talk about those first. In most respects I like the nihongo template used in Junichiro Koizumi, as well as the use of a simple <ref> tag for Vincente Fox. Neither option is quite as transparent and salient as the Chinese name template, but they clearly represent a stylistic compromise.
I disagree with the choice of a superscript question mark ? as the linked character in the nihongo template. I think that it's too hard to see, since I didn't even notice it at all until the second time I looked at the template. It looks too much like a cryptic diacritic over the last letter of the name. A square-bracketed superscript [1] would be better; that would follow the familiar convention used by the <ref> tag. But if people can accept either one of those options as an aesthetic compromise, then I certainly can too.
My problem with your argument about "... where we want to draw the line on what is common knowledge" is the word we. In this case, we are the authors/editors of the articles. We tend to be people who are relatively more acquainted with the topic being discussed, which also means that we are probably extremely familiar with the Chinese convention for presenting peoples' names. It might be easy to fall into the trap of assuming that others share our familiarity. [Note that the repeated emphasis on we is straightforward emphasis; not intended to be antagonistic.]
My problem with "no other encyclopedia..." is that I feel no urge to color within the lines that other reference sources have set in front of us. If we play follow the leader with other encyclopedias too often, then we will simply become their clones. Redundancy follows close behind. I am not sure that redundancy is in the best interests of Wikipedia readers. That's especially true in cases that sacrifice ease of access to information in the name of aesthetic presentability.
But I like the idea of compromise. I feel there is definitely a need to address the issue of Chinese surnames, and to do so in a standardized way. Ignoring this need is a disservice to other Wikipedia readers. 'Nuff said. Ling.Nut 21:10, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Template typo?

Shouldn't all these template examples with zho-ng guó be Zho-ngguó? Keahapana 19:58, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

(moved from main page)

Very well, let's discuss, there are two China's or countries currently in existence due to the division of China by the Chinese Civil War. There is no justification to use Hanyu Pinyin on ALL Chinese related articles. Hanyu Pinyin should only be used as it pertains to any People's Republic of China (PRC) related article and Tongyong Pinyin]] should be used as it pertains to any Republic of China (Taiwan) article. If both China's are involved in a particular article, then both Hanyu Pinyin and Tongyong Pinyin should be used in parenthesis side by side for equality and neutrality in accordance with Wikipedia policy. To establish the pro-PRC Hanyu Pinyin as the so-called "standard" policy of all Chinese articles is to push to the general audience a pro-PRC point of view that is absolutely unacceptable and appalling given the criminal acts of murder committed by the PRC government on innocent students at Tiannemen Square. Sincerely, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of China (Taiwan) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 22:53, 10 September 2006.

Hanyu Pinyin is the standard used in English-speaking academia around the world when rendering Chinese characters in latin script. Wikipedia should only reflect this academic consensus. It is common usage, not the standards set by governments, that should decide what gets put into Wikipedia. Tongyong Pinyin is used nowhere except on ROC government website and on street signs of pan-green controlled localities in Taiwan. We add TY in addition to HY in certain articles for reference, and name certain articles of geographical places that are now rendered in TY, but I see no justification to delete HY from articles.
It's pointless to make political arguments here.--Jiang 23:13, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

Hanyu Pinyin is only the so-called "standard" because the majority of all countries and businesses have been either enticed or pressured into using their system. But from a point of neutrality, Tongyong Pinyin as used on the Taiwan Republic of China (Taiwan) should have equal footing with Hanyu Pinyin as used on the China People's Republic of China. And if we agree not to delete Hanyu Pinyin from articles, then we must agree to add Tongyong Pinyin to the article alongside Hanyu Pinyin.

Sincerely, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of China (Taiwan) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

That's simply your theory on the prevalance of Hanyu Pinyin. That is not reason not to use it. This encyclopedia should provide information that is both useful and informative. Why censor material just because you don't like who created it? Are you going to delete articles on a certain mathematical theory because the mathematician who created it was an adulterer? Besides, HY is used in Taiwan, in schools geared towards foreigners and in street signs for localities such as Taipei.
If half (or even a third) the world used TY instead of HY, then we should include both. But this is hardly case: no one uses TY pinyin except the ROC central government and local governments controlled by pan-green. Political origins are not relevant. Utility and commonality are.--Jiang 23:31, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

Wiktionary links?

Is it encouraged to link to the characters' entries in Wiktionary (as in the lead here), optional, or frowned upon? To my eyes the blue Wikilinks are slightly less legible on a white background, and very few articles seem to do it. elvenscout742 18:36, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

Need new template

Can someone make a new template "needhanzi," for articles about Chinese people or things that have no Chinese characters, such as Cheng Yu? Badagnani 09:42, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

Done. See Template:Needhanzi. Just use {{needhanzi}} if you find an article on a Chinese subject that needs Chinese characters. Badagnani 09:48, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

Chinese Taipei

In articles, the name "Chinese Taipei" should only be used when the organisation itself refers to Taiwan as such. Depending on the context, it may be preferrable to add a footnote explaining that Chinese Taipei is more commonly known as Taiwan but not add (Taiwan) as parenthentical.

I want to add this to the manual of style, it has been discussed in Wikipedia:Village pump (policy) #Chinese Taipei and Taiwan. Can it be? --Aleenf1 05:26, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

If is not in common usage, you still need the disambiguation. The name was a compromise and does not represent an actual place. So add the footnote at least. Wenzi 09:20, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Please vote (Chinese surname categories up for deletion)

A new editor has just added a number of categories for Chinese surnames, which I believe to be very useful. As is usually the case at the Categories for Deletion area, the people who frequent that place generally try to delete every new category, regardless of whether they understand its use. In this case, they seem not to understand the utility of being able to have a category for everyone with the name "Liu," for example. Please voice your opinion here. Badagnani 03:40, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

Hokkien in zh-* templates

In the Jay Chou article, User: added the Hokkien version of Jay Chou's name to the list at the beginning of the article. There is no template that includes a Min Nan parameter though, so it's currently just stuffed inside the zh-tsp template's pinyin parameter. Should versions of the zh-* templates with a Min Nan parameter be created? — heycam 22:08, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

The Hokkien argument could be added to existing templates without disruption. However, a Hokkien name should be added only when there is some particular reason to do so.—Nat Krause(Talk!) 23:32, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

When should "box-style" format be used?

Wikipedia:Manual of Style (China-related articles) only mentions the use of box-style format for prominent biographies. It would be better if there was more clarity as to when the box-style format can be used. For example, Hong Kong-style milk tea has two different names ???? and ????? each with Mandarin and Cantonese romanization. Should inline text format prevail? Or would this situation allow box-style format? Furthermore, for consistency throughout the Chinese articles, there should be a guideline for box-format usage. For example: Biographies, Geography, Organizations, etc.

The Hong Kong article has the strangest solution, instead of listing the pronunciation of ?? and ??????????????, it has a page of it's own at Pronunciation of Hong Kong. I don't think it's appropriate to have an article just for the pronunciation of Hong Kong. — Nrtm81 06:53, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

The box format works well for many non-biography articles, especially when a photo is integrated. Kaoliang and huangjiu are examples, though all photos have been removed due to the mass deletions of the past weeks. Jiaozi features a photo. I wouldn't specify a hard and fast rule; let editors use a box if they prefer. Tofu has a particularly large box because it encompasses many languages and the box creates a very nice solution. Badagnani 07:09, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
I proposed above the following conditions:
  1. There are more than four items to be listed;
  2. An image does not already occupy the upper right hand corner; and
  3. Another box does not already occupy the upper right hand corner.
If (1) is true and (2) or (3) are not, then the image or box should into a box containing the characters/romanization.
I prefer the in-line style as long as they are not many items to list. Sometimes, if there are multiple terms, the terms are within the scope of the article text. In any case, the box that should be used is Template:Chinesename and not Template:Chinese. The dark blue is hideous.--Jiang 11:19, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
I prefer inline style for all cases. We may consider moving all romanisations to footnotes, leaving only the words (i.e. the characters) on the first line. — Instantnood 14:59, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
Jiaozi has four items (simplified, traditional, pinyin, and Wade-Giles) plus a photo. I suppose Cantonese wasn't added since some editors felt it wasn't relevant as they don't prepare these as part of Cantonese cuisine. I'm not sure if you count a photo as one of the four items in your first point. I do feel that if a photo is used, a box is permissable even if only the pinyin and Wade-Giles are given (though Cantonese and probably Min Nan, if relevant, could easily be located for many items as well). Badagnani 11:32, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
I don't intend the photo to count. I don't see how Wade-Giles in relevant in the article; it can be removed as this is not a history-related topic. The box does not allow for the Japanese variant of the term, gyo-za, to be properly explained. I'd rather have everything in the same place; if we're going to have some text explaning that gyo-za and jiaozi refer to the same thing, then we might as well keep it all in-line.--Jiang 18:15, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
User:Yao Ziyuan has created a new box template that does incorporate most of the Asian languages, so that could be done. (I forgot what it's called, though.) Badagnani 22:42, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
Oh, sorry, here it is: Template:CJKV -- it's inline rather than a box. I see that gyoza is well described below, in its own section of the jiaozi article, which I think it preferable. Probably even better would be to have a separate article for gyoza, solving the problem entirely. Badagnani 23:19, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
You can see some uses of the template in article Lichun and etc. Yao Ziyuan 23:22, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Standardization of naming format for Taiwan geography articles

I've noticed since creating the Min Nan templates and slowly applying them to Taiwan-related articles that there is a wide range of naming conventions for Taiwan geography articles.

  1. the division name, e.g. township or city, is sometimes included in the article name, e.g. Rueifang Township, sometimes not, e.g. Puli, Nantou
  2. the division name is sometimes included in the Chinese (see Beidou, Changhua) and sometimes not (see Yuanlin, Changhua)
  3. there is no consensus about whether or not to say that the place is a political division of the Republic of China (see Talk:Guantian, Tainan)

My opinions are:

  1. the division name should not be included in the article name; when disambiguation is needed, it could be {place name}, Taiwan (depending on the consensus for #3)
  2. the division name should not be included in the Chinese but should be spelled out in the introductory sentence, e.g. Beidou is an urban township in Changhua County ...
  3. Taiwan is the common English name for the area governed by the Republic of China so Republic of China need not be specified in every Taiwan geography article; also, non-Taiwan places governed by the Republic of China are few and unambiguous (Kinmen, Matsu, etc.)

Is the best way to obtain a consensus to edit the style manual with the above,enforce it and follow the Wikipedia:Consensus flow chart? WilliamDParker 21:49, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

I've just found old discussions about Taiwan vs. Republic of China but I'm still not clear what the consensus is for Taiwan geography articles about political divisions. WilliamDParker 15:57, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Use of Hakka and Min Nan in Taiwan geography articles

I think the Min Nan and Hakka names for Taiwan place names are indispensible for many places in Taiwan. Should they both be applied across the board to Taiwan places or only to places judged relavant to the languages (e.g., Hakka only in Hsinchu, Miaoli, etc.)? WilliamDParker 21:56, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

Since Hakka is used even in the MRT system in Taipei together with English, Mandarin, and Min Nanese, I would think it is alright to use the same set of languages across the board.--Huaiwei 22:55, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
How are you going to spell them, especially Hakka? In IPA? —Babelfisch 07:55, 27 April 2007 (UTC)
For Min Nan, at least Pe?h-o-e-ji-; for Hakka, I'm less sure, but perhaps pha?k-fa-su" makes sense. WilliamDParker 14:00, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

Need input about whether Trad. or Simplified should come first in template

Hello, in the Template:Chinesename we have "st" as the first parameter (lists simplified and traditional in that order), but now there's a dispute whether the simplified or traditional should appear first in the lines just below. Input would be greatly appreciated; please contribute at the discussion page of the template itself. Badagnani 21:59, 9 June 2007 (UTC)

I have no problem with the "st" tag. Changing that would be a nightmare. I do have a problem with the description and order. It is currently
No question there are more people using Simplified Chinese nowadays because of mainland China's population. But Traditional Chinese is used in Hong Kong, Taiwan and among overseas Chinese. I'll just wait till others generate more opinion. The fact that English wikipedia is practically censored from mainland China, I see even less reason to have simplified Chinese come first. I think all templates should list Traditional first, since most items are named by the Traditional names historically. So that it will be:
Benjwong 22:10, 9 June 2007 (UTC)

OK, what about things like Three Gorges Dam or the Great Leap Forward, or whatever, which are PRC things? Badagnani 22:13, 9 June 2007 (UTC)

The template is not used on those pages. Those are fine with simplified listed first. Correct me if I am wrong but the pages that use the template is usually "items" or "objects". I don't know how many items began exclusively in the PRC after 1950 and not found anywhere else. But Traditional Chinese objects, there is an endless number of them. Benjwong 22:26, 9 June 2007 (UTC)

I mostly use the templates for foods and people. Badagnani 22:35, 9 June 2007 (UTC)

I think I am going to ask the pple at wikiproject Hong Kong to see which template is preferred. I like Template:Chinesename more because it is simple, but it does not go in depth like Template:Chinese. But then we can modify Chinesename to do more, since it has an easy syntax. Benjwong 22:55, 9 June 2007 (UTC)
I question the practicallity of the above, when Hong Kong predominantly uses one script, but may not represent global usage trends. Pop the same question over at Wikipedia:SGpedians' notice board and you are probably going to get quite a different response.--Huaiwei 19:35, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
I think this is pretty simple case. Neither should be forced first or second, it simply should be selectable, just like templates with North and South Korean spelling. It might introduce some duplicate code, but we do already have inline templates with both traditional and simplified as first item. Monni 07:44, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

I would be okay with that--I like this kind of procedure, relying on the judgement of editors for particular pages, for most things on Wikipedia. But it's not clear how to modify the code to allow for this switching. At least I haven't figured it out. Regarding the depth that Template:Chinese goes into, what depth are you talking about? I think they contain the same information. Badagnani 23:40, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

Korean template uses extra parameter (context=|north) to decide which variation to use, so we could use for example "order=ts|st" or "first=t|s". We could also make additional parameter "ts" which has the variations swapped around. Monni 16:50, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
The Korean templates use the switch flag on html code. Is there any way of using the switch/context on wikitables, which is what Template:Chinesename is made of? Benjwong 13:47, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
See User:Monni1995/Sandbox#Chinese Name. Monni 16:05, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
Impressive!!! You made it look easy. Would you like to copy paste the contents of your test template from User:Monni1995/Chinesename to the actual template itself? Benjwong 16:50, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
I was going to wait for few more users to comment if it needs further adjusting... If no-one has anything to add/fix, I will update the original next week. Monni 16:56, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
Sure. I tried preview-calling out your sandbox template and it worked out great on a few articles. Benjwong 17:14, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
I was trying add alternate boxes in my own userspace User talk:Benjwong/Sandboxtest. It apparently jumps down half the page if any alternates are called. Do you guys think it is possible to incorporate alternate names? I think it will be beneficial to so many of the food items with alternate names. What do you think? Benjwong 06:05, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

Question about notability of an unlicensed Chinese video game for the NES

I wrote an article about Super Donkey Kong - Xiang Jiao Chuan, an unlicensed video game from China. People on Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Video games questioned its notability. I am asking someone well-versed with Chinese to search Google with the game's Chinese name and see if you can find websites that discuss this game. WhisperToMe 13:44, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

Birthdays in... lunar months?

I found at least three article, Wang Hao De, Sun Suzhen and Zhang Tianran that give birthdays as born on the 19th day of the 7th Lunar month in 1889. This conventions seems odd, and I saw nothing about it in the MoS. I was thinking this may be something specific to their religion, but I'm not sure. Could someone give this content a glance over, and perhaps convert it into standard months? Thanks for your consideration.-Andrew c 21:51, 30 June 2007 (UTC)