Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Person born in China[edit]

Wouldn't it be more accurate to say "a person of Chinese descent"? --Dijan 20:16, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

"Chinese characters"[edit]

Dictionaries I've checked don't seem to recognize the definition of the noun "Chinese" as "Chinese writing system". And, Stephen, use talkpages if you can't be bothered with proper edit summaries.

Peter Isotalo 13:24, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

My revert button does not provide for edit summaries. Chinese also means Chinese writing. —Stephen 13:39, 25 December 2006 (UTC)
The term "language" includes both spoken and written forms, so the argument would be applicable to all other languages, but here at it seems to be applied only to languages that are somewhat exotic to Westerners. The example "The document was written in German" hardly justifies the specific inclusion of "German alphabet" as a separate definition of the noun German.
Peter Isotalo 14:21, 25 December 2006 (UTC)
The English language doesn't work that way: it is full of all sorts of inconsistancies, with their own logic. "Chinese" can perfectly well refer to the writing system, as it does, while "German" does not. It has something to the writing system being different and unfamiliar to English. The expression "it's all Greek to me" isn't referring to the Greek language, it is referring to the writing. (Note that neither Han characters nor the Greek alphabet are exotic to us, but they are to the ast majority of the speakers and users of English, which usage is being described. Robert Ullmann 14:35, 25 December 2006 (UTC)
"Chinese" alone is no more precise than "German" or "English". It refers to the writing system in the context of the terms "Traditional/Simplified Chinese (characters)". This is quite obvious from the example used in the article. Without the "Traditional/Simplified" qualifier the example would only mean "It was written in Chinese (rather than Hungarian)". There's nothing in such a sentence that indicates that it could not refer to something written in, pinyin, Wade-Giles or other forms of romanization.
I don't see how the use of "Greek" (analogous to "pardon my French") is applicable, though. Why would it refer only to writing?
Peter Isotalo 15:09, 25 December 2006 (UTC)
In the phrase "it's Greek to me" the word Greek refers to the writing. In the phrase "it's in Simplified Chinese" the word Chinese refers to the writing. Usages of the word with the defined sense. Full stop. Robert Ullmann 15:22, 25 December 2006 (UTC)
The phrase "it's Greek to me" can refer to anything that is inexplicable or mysterious to the speaker, which may be anything from writing to abstract concepts like Semiotics. There's no need to make separate entries for "writing", "spoken words", "academic disciplines", "sports", etc.
Since "language" very clearly covers the meaning of "Chinese" in set terms like "Simplified/Traditional Chinese", I can't see the point of setting aside a separate definition for it. There has to be tons of other examples of terms where "Chinese" would be used to describe a very specific concept. A good example would be whether it means "of the People's Republic of China" or "of Taiwan". Not to mention all the communities of over-seas Chinese... Does that mean that every minor context-specific nuance needs a separate dictionary definition?
Peter Isotalo 15:52, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

Translation of the English word "Chinese" into Simplified Chinese[edit]

  • 中国的
    • This refers to anything associated with China.
  • 中国人
    • This refers to the Chinese people alone.
  • 汉语
    • This is the language that was historically spoken by the Han people.
  • 普通话
    • This can be either translated as Standard Chinese or as Mandarin.
  • 中国话
    • This refers to the language spoken in China. It can be contrasted with 韩国话,which is spoken in Korea.

From RFV[edit]


"The logographic writing system shared by this language family." Kappa 13:51, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

Chinese is used for the characters and set of characters all the time. For example, uses it mainly in this sense. Another is I owned a Chinese translation company for quite a few years (Far East Language Service, Dallas), and when we used the word Chinese, we were usually talking about the writing system. —Stephen 15:21, 25 December 2006 (UTC)
Why would "writing system" not be included in the concept of "Chinese language"? Are we going to provide separate definitions for all languages or just the ones that don't (always) use Latin scripts?
Peter Isotalo 15:55, 25 December 2006 (UTC)
I have, as usual, no earthly idea what you’re talking about. Chinese language can mean one dialect of the spoken language at one point in time, or it can mean any of nine or more dialects, or it can mean across a large span of time, or it can mean the written language as a matter of semantics, or it can mean a subset of the written language, among other possibilities. Every word has its own meaning. One word does not necessarily limit or delimit another. We are going to provide separate definitions wherever we find the need for separate definitions. —Stephen 16:15, 25 December 2006 (UTC)
Separate definitions for every imaginable script? Perhaps we should. Perhaps we should also add to zebra "the meat of this animal", just as on chicken. We should add to insect "a type of this animal", as in different insects, just as we list on fish to distinguish plural forms. We should also add to rolled "the state of that which one rolls" as we do on frozen. But for the time being we make special cases when special cases are warrented.
If anything it would seem that there aren't enough definitions listed for Chinese. Comparing with English (and WTF is a proper adjective?), it seems we're lacking "one's ability to employ the Chinese language" and "the Chinese-language term or expression for something". DAVilla 19:30, 25 December 2006 (UTC)
"simplified Chinese": The language wasn't simplified. The writing system was. So "Chinese" must refer to the writing system. Robert Ullmann 16:26, 25 December 2006 (UTC)
It seems strange that definitions that are so obvious to a couple of wiktionarians appear to be completely absent from other dictionaries. To me it looks like the explanations provided are based on personal interpretation of material. Does the inclusion of words in compound terms always mean that the those individual words take on separate definitions?
Peter Isotalo 17:34, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

Proper noun[edit]

The definitions are poorly written. Wyang (talk) 09:41, 1 April 2013 (UTC)