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Literal meaning[edit]

Is the literal meaning "world language"? This should be added to the entry. Badagnani 04:40, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

That is what the tab on the upper right is for. It is usually considered a mistake to include "literal" (word for word or phoneme for phoneme) translations. The meaning of 世界语 is Esperanto and you can click on and look up the individual characters in the Hanzi tab to see the logic behind the phrase. —Stephen 17:06, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

This makes sense, but I think the eschewing the presentation of any kind of etymology in the article itself (especially for people who don't read Asian languages, who might never think to click on the actual characters themselves) negates the explanation for our users of some extremely fascinating word origins. There is a lot to be learned from such etymologies. Add to this the fact that if one clicks through to the hanzi as you recommend, they may find up to 10 or more different definitions of a particular hanzi, but not know which of them is the appropriate meaning in context of the word in question. Badagnani 19:55, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

Oh, no, this is not to say that there should be no etymology. Etymology sections are welcome in every article. The etymology should focus on character logic and the linguistic roots in Classical and Ancient Chinese. A word-for-word translation would not pass for an etymology. —Stephen 20:10, 17 November 2006 (UTC)
Well, this is something myself and A-cai have been doing for a long time, and I see no issue with it. (I know that that comment is three years old, but just thought I'd better make it clear.) "Word-for-word translations", as you call them, DO pass for etymologies, and it'd be hypocritical not to allow them, as English does the very same thing (see transsexual, uniformity, megawatt, commonwealth, etc). Of course, we will add detailed etymologies when known (see 審美疲勞), but in many cases it can be very difficult to go beyond a break down of components, and that is surely better than nothing. Tooironic 21:33, 9 December 2009 (UTC)