User talk:A-cai/2009

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Dear A-cai[edit]

Would you mind having a look at my Minnanhua-contributions at Sven70?

They were my very first contributions, and I had no idea how to format them, hence my questions:

Firstly, do you think the Minnanhua is correct? [I had to rely on local friends, whether the information provided is actually accurate, I don't know-I don't have any books dealing with Minnanhua, even being here in Taiwan].

Secondly, as I was impressed by your entry about zan praise/terrific! , would you mind giving me a hand with the layout/formatting required by English Wiktionary if you think it would be worth while to add some of those tentative entries on a more permanent basis? I guess it is not just about accessible layout, but also about enabling bots to do their work, isn't it?

Thanks in advance!

PS. I'm writing this with speech recognition software I'm using for the very first time -- if this reads a bit awkwardly, then please bear with me, it should only get better! [I have RSI, so typing a lot is out of the question, but working with a template in combination with Dragon NaturallySpeaking might enable me to contribute!] Once again, thank you for your time!

PPS. Please reply here since 1. my provider does dynamic IP allocation [so it changes at least once every two days and more often] and 2. before I knew what hit me my account Sven70 got indefinitely blocked without me really realizing why [though I now know from guidelines that "disruptive editing" is a big hammer], it might be that my then shorthand has led to a false impression and misunderstandings. -- —This comment was unsigned.

I would be glad to look at your entries. In the meantime, it may be helpful for you to review the following reference pages:
I will now look at your entries. -- A-cai 22:41, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
I apologize for barging in on this convo uninvited, but I have a few thoughts myself (although A-cai's will almost certainly be more comprehensive). First, I don't think that Minnanhua is an appropriate name. While the division of the Chinese languages is a sticky subject, we generally try to stick to the SIL codes, as having an external standard allows us to skip a lot of pointless arguments. My knowledge of Chinese is quite weak, but I think that the content you've been attempting to add should be placed under Min Nan ({{nan}}). From what I can tell, Min Nan is quite diverse, and so regionalized tagging is certainly appropriate (similar to what we have to do with the many dialects of Ancient Greek). The biggest adjustment that you need to make in your formatting is placement of all content under an L2 (language) header (i.e. Min Nan). With all the languages which we deal with here, any content which is not sorted into a language is basically worthless and is nearly always removed unless an appropriate language can be found. If you're willing to work on your formatting, I'd be willing to unblock Sven70 and give you some feedback. Again, A-cai knows infinitely more about this stuff than I, and if we disagree on anything, he should be presumed correct. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 23:23, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
I have found your edits. You will definitely have to learn proper formatting, if you are to continue to contribute. However, here's the real problem as I see it. All of the Min Nan words that you added use non-standard variant phonetic renderings of Min Nan words. Nothing inherently wrong with that, provided that you can demonstrate that such usage is widespread. However, you would need to indicate these things in the entry. Min Nan is not as standardized as Mandarin. Most Min Nan words are written with Chinese characters which are not in dispute. However, there are many that are not. You happened to pick three words for which there is little agreement as to proper rendering. For example:
  • means "now" in (formal) Chinese, and chit-má (即碼 is the closest to a "standard" rendering that we have) means "now" in Min Nan. But rendering chit-má as 今嘛 is somewhat akin to rendering the standard English spelling for "spaghetti and meatballs" as "spigeti and meetbals."
  • 叨 actually is commonly used in the way that you described. But it should be 叨位 (tó-ūi), it is not understood to be tó-ūi when used by itself.
  • 甘 (kám; there is not a lot of agreement as to a standard character for this one. Sometimes rendered as 咁) and 甲 (kap, usually rendered as 及) are used in the way that you describe, but only in non-standard settings. They are not the actual characters that were originally used to represent these two words.
In sum, you don't strike me as someone who has an academic knowledge of Min Nan. Another problem you seem to face is a lack of proper reference materials for the language. While your intentions are good, you may end up confusing people, more than helping them. A better approach may be to consider using the Wiktionary:Requested entries:Chinese page instead, which is much more freeform. Hope this helps. -- A-cai 00:09, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

Thank You Both for lots of information provided in a very speedy way! I will start with A-Cai's last paragraph, to work my way through the rest of your replies in the coming days. I couldn't agree more that I am not someone who has academic knowledge of min Nan-I hardly have any knowledge about it at all, which bothers me since I've been living for about five years now here in the south of Taiwan, and I tend to take an interest to say the very least in the languages of places I live. Allow me to provide some personal background to this topic as this might help to be better understood. I am formost serious about Mandarin Chinese. It was still hard to find the books I needed to make headway with Chinese. With Taiwanese [I don't get my speak recognition program to display min Nan, and typing manually, what I can do is only in the order of magnitude of words, given my RSI] I couldn't find anything I deemed useful. Local people will often tell me conflicting and contradictory information like "Minnanhua" [ it recognizes this, for now...] is not written", even though in karaoke bars Taiwanese songs having Chinese character subtitles as a memory aid. The Taiwanese I submitted I actually got from Taiwanese songs on the local song contests here in the style of American Idol, taken from their subtitles I mean,as explained to me by my local friends, for example 家后 I think to remember [in case we, or me with other Wiktionarians would work together I can try to provide links as I get most of such material from the Internet]. Coming to the conclusion that information about Taiwanese is hard to get led me to try to submit it, my very first contributions to Wictionary as I outlined above. I do realize my formatting was non--existent as I had no idea how to do it, I just hoped an experienced editor would whack it in shape, me learning so from my own entries the required formatting. Also content-wise, I am very grateful for feedback as the sources I have to rely on are often, well, unreliable LOL.[ why that is, I'm not sure, I know they're not trained language teachers, on the other hand, they tell me they speak Taiwanese with their parents, me assuming they grew up with it]. Wictionary, along with the other wiki media, could make such a tremendous difference in this world of contradictions, hence my motivation to contribute! Apologies this paragraph got so long. Thanks once again both of you for such a speedy, positive and focused reply! Thank you!!-- 18:58, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

A point of clarification about Taiwanese (Min Nan). It is mainly a spoken language. While it can technically be written down using Chinese characters, very few native speakers bother to learn the "correct" written forms. As a result, common Mandarin characters that approximate Taiwanese sounds are often used. For more information, you may want to take a look at the Taiwanese Mandarin article on Wikipedia. It has a comparison chart for common Taiwanese words that have been adopted into Mandarin. The article Amoy dialect should also be of interest to you. -- A-cai 21:33, 16 January 2009 (UTC)


dear A-cai, I found the above watching a music program on Taiwanese mainstream TV and couldn't find the entry in wictionary; could it be that wictionary doesn't carry many Chinese/Taiwanese words, or is it my search strategy that doesn't find them? would you say the above is standard Taiwanese notation? They did use it a lot. Would you think, if not in wictionary yet, it would be worth while to input it? I am willing to try to help, tho I may need some guidance. Thank you in advance, Sven 70-- 12:56, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

You have not given me the complete sentence, so I will have to base my answer on what you have given me. My initial impression is that it is actually a sentence fragment consisting of the object identifier "kā" and the pronoun "i" ("he/she"). An example would be:
  • góa kā i kóng (我甲伊講) - I said to him/her
The 甲 is a non-standard way to write kā. The "correct" character for kā is 共. The reason that "correct" is in quotes is that Min Nan does not have an official international standards body that dictates these things. The Min Nan word kā does not have a direct equivalent in Mandarin. Depending on context, the Mandarin equivalent is most often 把 (the Mandarin object identifier) or 跟 ("with"). You are correct that Wiktionary does not have a lot of Min Nan words. However, even if it did, you would be unlikely to find an entry for 甲伊 for the above reason (sum of parts entries are not allowed on Wiktionary). If you're proficient enough in Mandarin, I recommend taking a look at 台語-華語線頂辭典 (Tai-gi Hôa-gí sòaⁿ-téng sû-tián). It is currently the most comprehensive Min Nan dictionary on the web. -- A-cai 13:57, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

Dear A-cai, thank you so much for your prompt and spot-on reply!!

Please allow me first to cut-and-paste lyrics, which might constitute a reference to the non-standard use of Chinese characters in Taiwan for writing Taiwanese [ I only use the latter term out of reasons my speech recognition software, until I find a solution to give in the specific term smiley]:

作词:郑进一/陈维祥 作曲:郑进一
有一日咱若老 找无人甲咱友孝 我会陪你
坐惦椅寮 听你讲少年的时阵 你有外摮
吃好吃丑无计较 怨天怨地嘛袂晓 你的手
我会甲你牵条条 因为我是你的家后
阮将青春嫁置恁兜 阮对少年跟你跟甲老
人情世事已经看透透 有啥人比你卡重要
阮的一生献乎恁兜 才知幸福是吵吵闹闹
等待返去的时阵若到 我会让你先走
因为我会呒甘 放你为我目屎流
有一日咱若老 有媳妇子儿友孝 你若无聊
拿咱的相片 看卡早结婚的时阵 你外缘投
穿好穿丑无计较 怪东怪西嘛袂晓
你的心我会永远记条条 因为我是你的家后
阮将青春嫁置恁兜 阮对少年就跟你跟甲老
人情世事嘛已经看透透 有啥人比你卡重要
阮的一生献乎恁兜 才知幸福是吵吵闹闹
等待返去的时阵若到 你着让我先走
因为我会呒甘 看你为我目屎流


[I use this PROC-based website for most of my music and lyrics queries; in case the link has difficulties, the site's name is: "", a "d." in front takes you to the music section of this site, thus giving: "" -- the "Sogou", as standing for 搜狗, is not standard pinyin; I noticed many companies doing such with the romanization of their names in mainland China, to my regret] -- 17:56, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

I now realize those lyrics might be under copyright, so even on talk pages one is not supposed to display them? How then to illustrate sources? Just by hyperlink? I'll leave it for now, and will understand if you take them out, poor newbie me-confused smiley.

I'll try to reply to things you mentioned in your reply in the below:

As said, by far I am no expert on Taiwanese, but rather a beginner groping in the dark, trying to figure out an almost secret appearing language. I am very visual though, and cannot seem to remember having noticed 共 in the lyrics of Taiwanese songs; 甲 I notice a lot though, albeit I had no idea about its meaning/function until reading your explanation above, so thank you so much!!

This morning, I finally came around to checking out the Amoy-page, which proved to be a real treasure trove!! I especially liked the two tables, which I consider to be of very clear layout, a bit how in the end, after much tinkering, my own molecular biological research data looked, funny how things can be similar. But this aside beside, going through the examples I realized that what I asked you was not a word, as I assumed, in the way and analogous with say "假如" at the beginning of a sentence, positioning in which I kept noticing it, also remembering that yi/伊 also in Mandarin means third person singular, though I guess more so in wenyanwen/文言文 as I never encountered it in my modern materials.

Previously, I actually somehow missed the Amoy/廈門語 page, and it has been quite a while I checked the Taiwanese page, which I hope to come to tomorrow, as well as gradually going through the other wiki-materials you mentioned. I'm also quite keen on checking out the Taiwanese dictionary, let's see and put my Chinese to the test! Thanks again for all the help!!

By the way, I didn't provide more of a sentence for the simple reason that already I hardly ever can remember more than just a phrase, clause or word, even in Mandarin-sad smiley. I'm also hampered by the fact that I only seem to be able to take in so many, read so few, words a day, during which I spend a substantial amount of my time familiarizing myself with the speech recognition. Thanks for understanding and helping lifting the seal of Taiwanese for me!!! Sven 70-- 18:58, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Taiwanese song lyrics frequently make use of Mandarin characters that approximate the sound or meaning of the original Taiwanese word. The reason for this is that most native Taiwanese speakers are not familiar enough with "orthodox" Taiwanese characters (and sometimes there is no agreement as to the "correct" character, in any case). This is why you would be unlikely to find 共 in song lyrics. 共 is pronounced gòng in Mandarin, whereas 甲 is pronounced jiǎ in Mandarin. Since jiǎ is closer to kā than gòng in sound, it is easier for Taiwanese speakers who are not familiar with written Taiwanese to guess at the correct Taiwanese word (if that makes any sense).
As an illustration, here is the first verse of your song with the "correct" characters (in orange) and Pe̍h-ōe-jī romanization.
有一日咱若老; 找無人共咱孝; 我會陪你
ū chi̍t-ji̍t lán ná lāu; chhōe-bô lâng kā lán -hàu; gòa ē pôe lí
If one day we should grow old, and we can't find anyone who will take care of us, I will still be with you
; 聽你講少年的時陣; 你有偌恔
chē tiām í-liâu; thiaⁿ lí kóng siàu-liân ê sî-chūn; lí ū gōa gâu
I will sit quitely on our bench, listening to you tell stories about how suave you were when we were young
食䆀無計較; 怨天怨地嘛曉; 你的手
chia̍h-hó chia̍h-bái bô-kè-kàu; òan-thiⁿ-òan-tè mā bōe-hiáu; lí ê chhiú
In good times and in bad, I couldn't ever complain; I just kept ...
我會你牽椆椆; 因為我是你的家后
holding your hand tightly; because I am your domestic empress
gòa ē lí khan-tiâu-tiâu; in-ūi góa sī lí ê ke-āu
I'm not sure about copyright issues and talk pages. The less you quote, the safer you would be, I suspect. I hope that clears things up for you. -- A-cai 20:30, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
P.S. Here is a translation of the rest of the song:
chorus: I betrothed my youth to your household, I have followed you from youth until old age
chorus: I've been around the block, and seen it all, still nobody is more important to me than you
chorus: It was only when I gave my life over to your household, that I knew how truly blessed I was
chorus: And when it comes time for us to meet our maker, I will let you go first
chorus: Because I can't bear the thought of making you shed tears because of me
If one day we should grow old, and we do have children that can take care of us, if I get bored ...
I can take out our old photos, and see how handsome you were when we were young
Whether we wore new clothes or old, I couldn't care less
I always remembered how much you loved me, because I'm your domestic empress
repeat chorsus
I hope everyone enjoys reading this as much as I enjoyed translating it. The lyrics are classic Taiwanese karaoke :) -- A-cai 21:38, 19 January 2009 (UTC)


Dear A-cai, thank you so much for an extremely helpful and elaborate answer!!! I hope to reply to it into some depth later on. For now, let me tell you that the Taiwanese dictionary in combination with the character dictionary on wiki media got me further than I am normally used to, which is nowhere Lol! The word in the headline I couldn't locate tho, and it's seems that it's rather central in this songspace [it sounded like Babylon to me at first], which strikes me as a rather untypical Taiwanese one; when I first saw Jolin's/蔡依林 music video, I was convinced it was in Japanese!! [The hello Kitty bag wasn't helping. LOL] To be fair, Taiwanese friends told me this song would be about love actually making people so brave they would even meet at the cemetery, which seems to be the case as far as I can follow the lyrics; could it be there is actually quite some Manderin in this song as apart from some of the especially longer sentences, I seem to be quite able to follow the meaning? Thank you in advance, Sven 70

蔡依林-墓仔埔也敢去 ★ danfeng927制作 初恋爱情酸甘甜 五种气味唷 若听一句我爱你 满面是红吱吱 尤其是小姑娘心内是真欢喜 表面上她革甲真生气喔 啊啊啊 伊伊伊 会会会 巴比补 热恋的人真趣味 欢头喜面唷 爱情热度像火箭 烧滚滚直直去 不管是落雨天或者是风台天 犹原是约做阵谈情爱唷 狂恋的人有勇气 不惊一切唷 无论三更也半暝 墓仔埔也敢去 只要是心爱的时时来面对面 才没来像疯狗乱乱撞唷

In you tube: 20:05, 20 January 2009 (UTC)


dear A-cai, please allow me to submit the following excerpt [its from Stanley's/黃立行 song "Circus monkey/馬戲團猴子]:

I'm not you’re circus monkey I'll break the cage around me I got to get myself out I got to break free now 我足像毒品 无我你粘咪就挡袂条 粘咪冷 粘咪热 无我就开始皮皮抖 逐天困袂去 喘袂去 逐天眠梦有鬼 我叫你吵醒 不知影你置都位 慢慢仔找 原因置都位 我甲你安慰 有我置这 我的话置你的头壳底 but you better remember baby you’re my circus monkey you’re just acircus monkey circus monkey I’ll beat you down 不正囝仔爱黑白讲话 搁讲白贼话就爱煽嘴皮 这是我的土地搁敢偷拿 无礼貌的人客歹势 我忍耐相久 要开始出手 搁敢说这款话 袂记得这是我的厝 我甲你踢 我甲你揍

I went through all the sources I can think of, including the Taiwanese dictionary you recommended, but the only meaning I could find is "sleeve", which is perhaps meant in 袂條, though I couldn't find this compound in my dictionaries either, otherwise, on and by itself used, it seems to make more sense to be translated as something like "But", could it be?

The Taiwanese Mandarin Web page was very interesting, an omission may be "pine apple",鳳梨/菠蘿[蜜]. I'm not too sure about the latter‘s spelling/ Chinese characters. Boluo is what I would buy by halves on a stick traveling through mainland China. Back in Taiwan, I would be pointed out that the "right" word is fengli, the former meaning jackfruit in Taiwan, what in China is used b-l.mi for, with the added "mi" . To me now that is clear, and I won't have many problems switching back and forth as long as not too tired, but I only found out about the confusing, at least to me that is, naming thing over the course of two years, especially the jackfruit one, as here in Asia for the first time I encountered that fruit [I grew up in a small place in Flanders, Boom, biking distance of the stabbing place which is in the news now, and only when I was in high school "Exotic" fruit like mangoes turned upin the supermarkets, in matters providing a context.]

A further interesting aspect of the above I thought lies in鳳梨 being pronounced "honglai" in Taiwanese[and perhaps in places in the south of mainland China too, I stopped shuttling between there and Taiwan, so apart from the occasional visa trip to Macau, where I don't really understand the Cantonese, I am not directly exposed anymore to mainland Chinese culture], which code switched back to Mandarin gives "red comes", red being the lucky color [believe it or not, part of the façade of a-pia's mums House that was blue, got painted over in redby the village folk, so now the façade is red in red, not an aesthetic improvement in my eye, though I guess that's not English, perhaps it's chinglish LOL, all to conjure up better luck for the disgraced former first family [ I don't know if you're still in Taiwan or follow the Taiwanese news up close from abroad, or any way, it might be interesting to the people who read your discussion page]. So now shopping in Carrefour, the red riband pine apples make a lot of sense to me, though it took me three years approximately to find out about exactly why they are considered lucky, and i wish to spare others such an expensive time investment, especially seems really this is not exactly rocket science, but just a case of sharing knowledge about traditions linked with languages.

I guess the latter would need to be submitted on another page, but I cannot readily think of one[Cultural Aspects of South China, not sure], alternatively, it seems to be a little elaborate to be put under a note, which are easy to be overlooked anyway I feel, apart from being in small print, which might not be accessible to every one wanting to use wiki media.

By the way, in one of the Chinese New Year's commercials, featuring the actors of the "Cape seven" movie, tremendously popular here, also featured a white Redish, the local variety, looking like an oversized white carrot,白蘿蔔,on the拜拜table, which disastrously disappeared as eaten by a white rabbit. Luckily enough, another French retail giant, namely Geant, was readily available to help out -- my question: does white radish also carry a lucky meaning? [As you can see, there is heaps of local stuff I still don't understand, in my view courtesy mainly due to bad inter cultural communication.-- 07:19, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

Try the companion character dictionary (台語線頂字典). It is specifically designed for looking up single characters. The character is a non-standard variant, often used to represent the negative particle "bē" (or "bōe"). The original character was probably . 挡袂条 is tòng-bē-tiâu (擋未住 - cannot bear it; Mandarin equivalent: 受不了) Again, few people write Taiwanese, so there are a lot of variations. This (among other things) makes it difficult to learn Taiwanese from these kinds of written sources. A word of unsolicited advice: I have met other Westerners who have attempted to learn Taiwanese in this way. If your studies are not solidly focused on the spoken language, at best, you will learn to read a script that even most native Taiwanese speakers rarely (if ever) use. It's kind of like learning to play an instrument. The music is the sounds that you make; it is not the dots and lines that you write on the music score.
If you're serious about this, here is what I recommend. First, don't make a serious attempt to learn Taiwanese until your Mandarin skills are already well established. There are several reasons for this. First, most of the academic literature about Taiwanese (as well as reference material) is written in Mandarin. Second, it will be much more difficult to find a qualified Taiwanese teacher, if one of your criteria is that they also speak English. Finally, you want to avoid confusing the two languages in your brain. Having said all that, if you're still interested in trying, you will need a decent beginning textbook (including cassettes or CDs). I recommend:
Of course, there is no substitute for a qualified teacher. Try one of the local private language schools (buxiban) where you live. Most of them only teach Mandarin. But there are probably a few that also offer instruction in Taiwanese. Again, good luck in your pursuits.
P.S. The significance of the white radish: the Taiwanese word for "radish" is chhài-thâu (菜頭). The word for "omen" is chhái-thâu (彩頭). The word for "auspicious omen" is hó-chhái-thâu (好彩頭). Since chhái-thâu (omen) is homophonous with chhài-thâu (radish), the radish is considered a lucky omen, especially around Chinese New Year’s. Finally, the Taiwanese word for "pineapple" is ông-lâi (王梨). -- A-cai 13:29, 24 January 2009 (UTC)


dear A-cai, [ is that not a standard opening of a letter; my speech recognition kind of doesn't like to start with it, and sometimes that seems related not so much with unclear pronunciation, though it can be, than with an expected speech pattern] since instead of focusing on my Chinese I was al ready formulating part of the reply out in my head, I better get on with it, though, as in instances before, I'd rather waited till I had assimilated more of the sources you gave me so as to avoid ask you things I could have worked out by myself [I'll try to give examples of such below]

Okay my speech recognition is not working well; perhaps in the middle of this message I'll have to restart my computer, so please bear with me if the message seems incomplete.

I'll try to highlight some points mentioned, as this is a subject I feel there is a lot to be said about, and in my present environment they're just aren't many people amenable to a talk about such matters, and I am conscious to not overload you with my musings!

Taiwanese and what I want to do with it: my purpose with it doesn't go as deep and profound as with Mandarin, though clarifying such asks for some sentences; I do not remember whether I mentioned this before [ though I think I did], but I sincerely would regret leaving Taiwan after so many years without understanding any of the local dialect and tongue.

So the same goes for hakka [and Cantonese in Macau] to which I am les exposed though my former and beloved girlfriend here told me she is hakka and I would have had to learn some haka for her mom, though she told me she isn't fluent anymore herself in it, leaving me with question marks-for example, I haven't spoken my native dialect in ages, but I assure you, I'm less than a few hours home again, and if I want to I speak "Booms" pretty much like anyone else over there again; why that is different here in Taiwan, me assuming they grew up with their parents, I don't know- but then now it occurs to me that is not a given here depending on how busy the parents get and where their parents work, but then they, the children, would likely get shifted towards the grandparents, who would be even more likely to speak dialect, I just can't solve that riddle...

And then dealing with the local people always carries potential for embarrassment to their side, whether questions asked about language and customs, in my experience just name it, frustrating... And it is not that they're always so sensitive about an ex-pat's feelings from their side, from pointing out how big one's nose is [though I know that they tend to perceive such as handsome.] to barging into one's classroom when teaching, assuming good faith in most cases it'll all make sense somehow, only the Meta- communication I would hold for a very helpful never happens, but then already it doesn't happen intra-ex-pat "community", so who's to blame the locals then, not me, I guess,, though frustrating it is.

Back to Taiwanese, I would be happy to be able to figure out the occasional song I like, follow a bit the interspersed Taiwanese in say music programs by also glancing over at the ever present sub titles, and get a feel for the Taiwanese in the commercials I'm exposed to over and again, mainly, not so much use it myself in a communicational setting, nor follow all Taiwanese programs or conversations.

Which brings me to feedback upon the even immediate helpfulness of your replies: -- 05:20, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

In one commercial for I guess an online Mah Jong/麻將 site, an in the end drunk and garishly made up twenty-something girl says in an annoyed way: "m-sai ya" lying on the eatery bench, covering her cleavage [a rare occasion here LOL] with her woolen jacket at the same time; I now take this for meaning " I don't know" [the "Ya" I'm not sure about, there was a distinct IPa-j at the beginning of this syllable over there, tho I stil guess it's something like 啊], having seen this commercial many many times before, not understanding of thing, so this little success experience made me smile and feel good about myself, like in having a sense of achievement, thank you so much!!!

I also came across, looking up characters a lot, more of your contributions, Taiwanese and otherwise I thought, in wictionary; I am aware you cannot allocate too much of your time as you already did to me, and that is where I feel wictionary can and could step in; actually, in the above example it is your entry about 無 which got me on track, along with the IPA you put in other entries, enabling me before that to figure out that the "sai" said in reply by the "Cape seven"- boy in yet another commercial I'm bombarded with constantly trying to follow the mainstream Mandarin news on TV here, actually stands for "知/I know" [when the subtitles are real low on the screen, similar to the ones CNn carries, they tend to get partly cut off, not making my task any easier], this further being reinforced by the intonation of the child actor indicating annoyment as seemingly having been told the same thing over and again.

These two examples of what may seem like small things, actually do a lot in making me more tolerant and understanding for the Taiwanese- spoken part of local culture [before I would have felt like switching off the TV, change channels, or enduring it in a frustrated way mostly], in a big part due to your clear explanations and entries!! [I didn't notice anybody else entering Taiwanese by the way ].

Same goes for your explanations on the non-standard Chinese character notations, which are apparently consistently used as a memory aid for Taiwanese songs in Taiwan, elaborations which at least helped me understand part of songs I've liked for ages like circus monkey. [I still need to pour in more effort into understanding these lyrics, also because my Mandarin is not so solid LOL]

I feel they might help other people who have a similar objective as I do, so would it be possible, as I thought you suggested previously, to give them in under the respective CJ KV-entries with a usage note that spells out that though not standard [though I am not knowledgeable enough in these matters to kno where the standard comes from], these respective characters seem/ are widely used in Taiwanese song lyrics, perhaps providing the standard characters for Taiwanese along with.

I do realize on wictionary we are all "voluntarians" so to speak, and unless you contribute in the framework of some university program, I assume you are too; in any case, I am very willing to help with the eventual entries, though, as mentioned earlier on, I will need some guidance and supervision, and I guess I should start off with easier entries [I noticed for example most of the compounds starting with 無 are still in red, and I know I shouldn work my way thro the very same list in my most extensive dictionary, the "new age Chinese English dictionary, the commercial press, abridged version" [Still over 2000 double column pages of almost A4 size], and doing this4 me necessary vocabulary extension job I think there would be nothing against simultaneously turning some of those links blue as it were, tho I guess my contributions would be limited to pinyin pronunciation and main meanings.

Perhaps let me know what you think; by the way,the character in the topic header was in none of my dictionaries, the sole meaning "Mark" provided in the cJKv-entries might make sense in the last sentence of the circus monkey- song as "mark, [do] not forget [my words]", not sure; I took 卡 to mean "part" in the very first line of those lyrics, would you agree?

Not that I have covered all intended, but seeing that this post is already quite lengthy, along with me feeling the strain of working with the speech recognition for over two hours I guess [though in the end it worked much better compared to when I started dictating this ], I'm going to leave it with this for now [perhaps that's Brabantian, not sure], thanking you once again for the truly tremendous helpyou provided!!

PS, I noticed the previous excerpt not to not containing the parts I referred to, sorry for that and so to make amends:

The "ka"-section :我自己啊无消无息就出去 行我的路卡危险但是卡水无行新的路 足紧就死叫我做你的猴死囝仔?

The other section, at the end:我忍耐相久 要开始出手 搁敢说这款话 袂记得这是我的厝 我甲你踢 我甲你揍 我甲你跩 我甲你捶 尚好唛袂记得 you’re my circus monkey etc.-- 07:23, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

You’re correct in surmising that I am only a volunteer. So while I would love to devote several hours answering all of your questions, I must attempt to manage my time and only address a few of your points. I believe that your idea of creating entries for non-standard characters is a good one. Many of them are used consistently in movie subtitles and in song lyrics, as you pointed out. Moreover, most of them are not documented in any of the Taiwanese dictionaries that I have ever come across. Unfortunately, since I'm only one person, I have had to prioritize my activities on Wiktionary. Since far more people are students of Mandarin than Taiwanese, I made a conscious decision to focus on Mandarin. However, I still create the occasional Taiwanese entry.
Quick responses to some of your specific vocabulary questions:
  • m-sai ya: m̄-chai-iáⁿ (知影; [ m̩˨˩tsai˧˧iã˥˧ ]). The Mandarin equivalent is 不知道 (I don't know).
  • 唛 (trad. 嘜): mài (usually rendered as 莫 or 勿) - "do not" (Mandarin: 別 or 不要); it is a contraction of m̄-ài (不愛). The Mandarin equivalent of the Taiwanese word ài (愛) is yào (要).
  • 卡: khah (較), meaning "relatively" or "comparatively"
That's all for now. -- A-cai 12:24, 26 January 2009 (UTC)


Dear阿才(my speech recognition balks at the pinyin version Right now , I hope I took the right characters)

I tried my hand at in the above. New entrie;, if you have time and resources, would you mind having a look and tell me what can be done better?

personally I would prefer "meaning" instead of "noun" in the third category header, and specifying the part of speech. Further on,but I noticed you start by giving the part of speech determiner., So i went along with that[and perhaps furthermore this is part of wictionary policy., Not sure]

Though, I noticed you put the pinyinunder the part of speech chapter, as I don't know how to write down the IPa notation, I put the pinyin, under the pronunciation header, instead.

For now I have no idea how to put in the categoriesas the abbreviations required seem quite complex; are they obligatory in e new entry?

My speech recognition has been near impossible to use writing this entry ,testimony. The vestiges above for which I apologizeincluding the erratic punctuation!

PS thanks for not yet having archived. our above conversationsas I still read it/ them regularly trying to take up somemore of what you shared generouslywith me, and it saves my painful arms from having to click my way throughto. Your archives, so thanks again!!--史凡 04:50, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

PPS if you know, somebody else who's willing to have a look at my entry. That's more than fine with me too as I know your time's limited and my entry is Mandarin Chinese--史凡 05:04, 19 February 2009 (UTC) Anyway

See w:Template:Pinyintable for a conversion between IPA, Pinyin and other Romanization schemes. -- A-cai 12:00, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

lzh (Literary Chinese)[edit]

See: Wiktionary:Beer parlour#Literary Chinese

A heads-up that there is now an ISO code for Literary Chinese (they don’t seem to be differentiating between 文言 and 古文), and I’ve created a language template for it; hopefully this is of use.

—Nils von Barth (nbarth) (talk) 23:13, 21 February 2009 (UTC)


dear A-cai, I had a look at the table You provided me with and looking at your entries,. I had some of the following questions: sign.

ɤ--. You don't seem to use this symbol much. Is there a reason for that?that it is rather unknown by most Westerners. [Including me.]?

ɪ-- I notice you don't use this one, but the regular'i' in words/syllables such as "ping";, again, is there a reason for that?

ɔ-- I noticed I thought, you use that one in'yong' instead of the Omegalisted in the table; again, I wonder, if you did so because of having given the matter thought, as you seem to do in general, impression taken from your contributions.

Forgive me, if any of the above observations are actually/proven incorrect --. IPA can be a bit confusing for several reasons, I guess one definitely for me being that almost each dictionary I tak in my hand say fer English shows variations in the actual IPA used; whether this is so because of alternative systems or changing official IPA conventions. I just don't know

When I had a look several times at the Wikipedia entry for IPA. It'was so overlydone for and by as it were specialistsI just bounced back -- that is why Iso appreciatetwhat I think you did in the page for Taiwanese, that is provide the specialist information, including the technical terms, important whan communicatingwith knowledgeable people, along with a clarification in simple words. [I like simple,, one could say daily EnglishEnglishto spare sensitivities] understandable to lay people like me.

Would you know of web page that gives da sound for each IP a s symbol like perhaps by sound file, along with providing related/close sounds. In other languages, as well as providing a clear scheme about what is actuallyhappening in one's vocal apparatus, like teeth/tong/lip position, extent of nasalizationand such relevant things in one or a series of diagrams?

Once again, I like to stress. Just how useful I find your contributions, and I'm very much so looking forward Sto your reply!!史凡 05:29, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

The short answer to your question is: yes, you should be able to find sound files for nearly all individual IPA symbols. Unfortunately, they are usually located in an individual article dedicated to that vowel or consonant, and the title of the article is usually fairly technical (ex. the article for IPA "i" is entitled: Close front unrounded vowel). The best way to find the individual articles containing sound files is to follow the hyperlinks in the main IPA article on wikipedia. For example, if you click on the ɔ symbol in the IPA article, you will be hyperlinked to an article entitled Open-mid back rounded vowel. When you arrive at this page, you will see a box on the righthand side with a link to a sound file. Note that all sound files are in a format called OGG. If you have not already done so, you will need to download some free files which allow you to listen to the files in your favorite media player. The instructions are provided, and shouldn't take too long. Good luck! -- A-cai 13:27, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

Year of the Rat[edit]

Hello. A while back, you created the Mandarin entry for 甲子. As you are surely away, this is the first in a sexagenary cycle. I come across these years often enough while reading old Japanese text and need to look them up too often, so I desired to create entries for them. However, I stopped after just a few. The problem is in the phrase "year of the X". For example, 甲子, 丙子, 戊子, 庚子, and 壬子 are all years of the rat. Are you aware of a more accurate naming convention for these? Regards, Bendono 02:26, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

One option is to translate put the literal significance of 甲子 in the etymology as follows:

(1st of a series; Yang Wood in Chinese Wu Xing) + (sign of the Rat in the Chinese zodiac)

I think a format like that would capture the information. -- A-cai 11:32, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

{{ruby-zh-p}} and {{Ruby-ja}}[edit]

While looking at things that use {{lang}} which is in the process of being deprecated (see WT:RFDO#Template:lang) I see these two templates are unused and use lang. Since you wrote the templates, I figured it would be easiest to ask you whether these two templates could simply be deleted. — Carolina wren discussió 22:24, 12 April 2009 (UTC)

It doesn't seem like these two are being used at all. To be honest, I can't remember why I created them. They can probably be safely deleted. -- A-cai 23:34, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
Deleted but without prejudice if you happen to remember why you made them. — Carolina wren discussió 02:22, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

What is rs=日08 in cmn-noun?[edit]

Hi A-cai, In the cmn-noun template for Chinese characters, i sometimes see rs=宀03. It appears to be characters that i cannot read using my browser, although i can read both jianti and fanti online. How do i get the correct rs value? Is it alright to remove the rs value, ie. is it optional? Psoup 07:27, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

rs stands for radical/stroke (see: Section headers of a Chinese dictionary). It is used for sorting words written in traditional characters. For example, see: Category:zh-tw:Nouns. If the rs field is not filled in, then traditional words wont sort properly in the Categories beginning with zh-tw. Hope this answers your question. -- A-cai 10:58, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
Many thanks for your answer. i'll need some time to figure it out. Psoup
Hi A-cai, what does "Chinese words needing attention" mean? i've filled in the entry using the cmn-noun template. Also, what is the use of "pint=" in the template? There does not seem to be any result. Psoup 11:22, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
"Chinese words needing attention" is a category that was created for entries that have formatting issues. Most often, the formatting issue involves an improperly formatted part-of-speech template (or lack thereof). The "pint" variable is for sorting purposes. It stands for "Pinyin with tones." Instead of diacritic marks, numbers are used to denote the the tone. For example, 我 would be denoted as wo3. The categories that sort according to Pinyin order need this variable to be filled in (ex. Category:zh-cn:Nouns). -- A-cai 11:56, 2 May 2009 (UTC)
Hi, can you please explain how to obtain the rs value of a term? i still do not understand after reading Section headers of a Chinese dictionary) and Category:zh-tw:Nouns. For example how are the following obtained?
  • 乾象 rs=乙10
  • 丹楹 rs=丶03
  • 三通 rs=一02
  • 三軍 rs=一02
  • 三角形 rs=一02 (If the rs is missing, the comment "Chinese words needing attention" will automatically appear for the entry.) Psoup 14:13, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
The standard convention in traditional Chinese dictionaries is to sort by the radical/stroke value of the first character in the phrase. What does that mean, you may ask? Every Chinese character is classified according to one of 200+ radicals (see: Index:Chinese radical for Wiktionary's radical/stroke index). Characters with that radical are then sorted according to the remaining number of strokes in the character. For example, the radical for the character 三 is 一. When you take 一 away from 三, you are left with two strokes. Therefore, the rs value would be 一02. The easiest way to find the rs value for any character is to look up the character right here in Wiktionary. For example, if you were to navigate to the page for , you should see:
Han character
乾 (radical 5 乙+10, 11 strokes, cangjie input 十十人弓 (JJON), four-corner 48417)
Do you see the part that says 乙+10? That is the rs value. The "+" should not be included in the rs field, so we are left with rs=乙10.
With the invention of the internet and computers, learning such things has become less imperative. However, in the past, one would have had to memorize which radical went with any given character, if one wanted to find it in a dictionary. I think it is still a good idea to familiarize oneself with the basics of the concept, if one is serious about progressing in the language. -- A-cai 14:44, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
Hi, many thanks for the explanation. For a compound term, it seems that the rs value is only given for the first character, e.g. 乾象. Is that correct? Psoup 14:54, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
Correct. In Wiktionary, we have entries for the following nouns whose first character is classified under the radical 乙 (Note how they are sorted according to the remaining number of strokes of the first character).
乾象 <--- Here is your word
Hopefully, the logic of this scheme now makes more sense. -- A-cai 15:01, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
Yes, it is much clearer now. Thanks. Psoup 16:04, 9 May 2009 (UTC)


Hi, I just wanted to say hi. I am a long-time Chinese learner, although I haven't gone beyond being intermediate. I haven't created many Chinese entries but I have been adding Chinese Mandarin translations (and I can see a lot of red). Anatoli 23:48, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

Welcome to our merry band. As you implied, Wiktionary still has a long way to go. However, on the positive side, I would like to give one specific example of what just one motivated contributor can do, even with a limited amount of time. Every single word and phrase from the first ten chapters of Romance of the Three Kingdoms now has an English definition on Wiktionary. That's thousands of Chinese words, both ancient and modern, that now have an English definition on Wiktionary (it took me just under two years). I'm fairly confident in saying that no other Chinese-English dictionary in the World can make that claim :) -- A-cai 10:55, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
Thank you very much, A-cai. Anatoli 23:19, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

Script templates for Babel[edit]

I haven't yet gotten around to doing the Japanese templates yet, but I figured you might be interested in the Han ones :) — [ R·I·C ] opiaterein — 23:19, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

Chinese translation of philerast[edit]

Hi A-cai. Does the following work I quote give translations (viz. 少年 and 被動者) of philerast, or have I misinterpreted it?:

  • 1994: Huashan Zhou, Tong zhi shen xue, page 47 (Ci wen hua tang)
    插入者必定是擁有權力的成年男人,被插入者則是低微卑賤的奴隸、外國人、女人和(男)少年。成年男人不可與成年男人性交,因這會顛覆男性既得利益者的權力秩序。完整統一的「同性愛」個體/觀念並不存在,只有嚴格對立的「成人人主動者」( paederast ) vs 「少年/被動者」( philerast )。古希臘並無「同性愛者」,只有對應社會權力對立的「主動/宰制者」 vs 「被動/受制者」。

Thanks in advance.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 16:56, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

No, they are not translations. The Chinese terms serve to further clarify the difference in meaning between the two greek terms. The author contrasts the two as: 成人人主動者 ("adult/active participant") vs. the 少年/被動者 ("adolescent/passive participant"). -- A-cai 22:01, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
Aah, OK. What does the above exerpt say, if I may ask? Do you know of any appropriate translation(s) of this term?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 15:40, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
In brief, Homosexuality_in_ancient_Greece#Pederasty more or less explains the same thing as the above text. -- A-cai 20:30, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

your message[edit]

Hi A-Cai. Cheers for the message. Is there any advice you can give me apart from the guides? If you see any errors in my entries, etc don't hesitate to let me know. Tooironic 15:23, 6 June 2009 (UTC)

My only advice would be to try and maintain your enthusiasm for as long as possible. A language like Mandarin Chinese probably contains hundreds of thousands of words, ancient and modern. It will take many years to properly document the meanings of all these words into English. However, it is amazing what just one motivated contributor can accomplish, even part time :)
My one piece of formatting feedback would be that the zh-forms template should preferably go beneath the language header. I originally placed them above the language header, but after entering thousands of words, came to the conclusion that it ultimately makes more sense to have it benath the language header. The primary reason for this is to make things easier for the computer programmers to write automated software that can grab everything related to the Mandarin section of an entry.
Thanks again for your contributions, and I hope you stick around for a while. -- A-cai 15:58, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
Sorry I'm not quite sure what you mean by "language header", can you elaborate? Cheers Tooironic 02:42, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
The part that says ==Mandarin==, ==Japanese== etc. -- A-cai 12:45, 7 June 2009 (UTC)


Hi A-cai, I've created an entry for 狗仔队 but I want to know what you think. I've included an etymology section but I'm not sure if I have formatted it correctly (probably not). Also, now that I think of it, "son of a bitch brigade" isn't really an accurate literal translation of 狗仔队 is it? I'm not sure what the author, Daniel Kane, was thinking. But I thought it was an interesting thing to add nonetheless. Tooironic 02:39, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

Minor formatting issues:
  1. Etymology always goes above the part of speech section (above the pronunciation section, if there is one).
  2. zh-forms and zh-hanzi templates should preferably go below the level two language header
  3. In cases where an Etymology applies to multiple languages/dialects (as is the case here), it is acceptable to create a Translingual section and place the Etymology there.
Also, I reworked the wording in the Etymology section. I more or less translated the relevant section of the Chinese Wikipedia article.
Finally, I added a references section. I am a big believer in citing references. Since all of us are anonymous contributors, a credible reference section is the only reliable mechanism to attest to the accuracy of the information, especially if you are adding information about a language that you do not personally know (for example, I don't speak Cantonese). Template:cite-book and Template:cite-web are particularly useful. In Wiktionary:Useful links/Chinese, I provide links to a number of Online dictionaries that you can cite. I like to cite a combination of print and online dictionaries, plus Wikipedia articles (if one exists). -- A-cai 12:42, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
Thank you so much. It looks brilliant now! I'll try and take your critique on board next time I create new Mandarin entries, and please continue to send me feedback when you can. To be honest I had been avoiding doing references in my entries simply because of the extra time and hassle it creates. With so many Chinese words missing from the wiktionary, it's going to take a while... Tooironic 03:10, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

I sympathsize with your desire to shy away from the more tedious task of adding things like references etc. However, I believe that in the course of time, Wiktionary's only chance at competing with other online dictionaries is in its unique capability to provide an unprecedented level of detail about almost any word or phrase. For example, you would be hard pressed to find an entry like 傾國 in almost any other dictionary. This is because Wiktionary is not only collaborative, it also benefits from being a member of the Wikimedia family. -- A-cai 21:51, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

借口 & questions[edit]

Hi A-cai,

I just created a new entry for 借口 so I could see how well I did with the referencing formatting. Could you please check it for me? Also, I have a question about example sentences. Am I allowed to quote them from print or online dictionaries (with citation) or would that be a breach of copyright? I think I remember seeing some people quoting examples from various online sources - is that a good way to go about it? Sounds like fun but what templates do I need to use? Cheers. Tooironic 07:14, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Update: I created an entry for 音标 with a sentence example from an online article and a reference. Let me know what you think. Tooironic 10:31, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
I added the rs (radical/stroke) value to the pos templates. This is needed for sorting purposes in certain categories. Also, I added more references, just to give you some more examples to look at. The template doesn't seem to recognize ISBN-13 numbers, but it will hyperlink ISBN-10 numbers. Finally, I added a label to the 借口 definitions (see: Appendix:HSK list of Mandarin words/Intermediate Mandarin). -- A-cai 12:49, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for taking a look and the edits. Two further questions:
  1. How do I find out the rs value for each character I make an entry for?
  2. Am I allowed to quote example sentences from print or online dictionaries (with citation) or would that be a breach of copyright?
Cheers! Tooironic 11:52, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
rs value should be for the lead character of an entry. For 音标, you would look up the rs value for . If you click on the hyperlink for , you will find its rs value near the top. You should see:
Han character
音 (radical 180 音+0, 9 strokes, cangjie input 卜廿日 (YTA), four-corner 00601, composition ⿱立日)
The rs value is the second value. You should replace the "+" with a "0" so that it looks like rs=音00. If there were one additional stroke, it would be rs=音01, and so on. (see User talk:A-cai#What is rs=日08 in cmn-noun? for a more complete treatment of this subject)
In terms of example sentences from print or online dictionaries, it really depends on the dictionary, and how much of it you quote. If the dictionary is not copyrighted, then you should be safe. If the dictionary is copyrighted, the sample sentences should be presumed to be copyrighted as well, unless you can prove otherwise. There are certain cases where you can use copyrighted material on Wiki projects. See Wiktionary:Copyrights and Fair use for more information. -- A-cai 21:19, 9 June 2009 (UTC)


OK... Just created a new entry for 阿貓阿狗 while trying to incorporate everything you've taught me. Please be brutal in giving your feedback, I appreciate it! There are two things missing that I think I should include, but not quite sure how to word and/or format it:

  1. The register of the phrase as "colloquial"/"slang" (if it is indeed the case, as I'm not sure myself which labels would really work for this one).
  2. The "tone" of the phrase which, to my knowledge, is a little disrespectful (indeed the baidu entry describes it as "含轻蔑意...贬义成语").

Once we've gone through this I may as well add a duplicate entry for its synonym (阿狗阿猫) as well. Cheers Tooironic 12:56, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

First of all, an excellent entry over all. Although I made a number of edits, they were all mostly related to minor formatting issues. I will go through them one by one:
  1. sample sentence: For traditional entries, the sample sentences, synonyms etc. should use traditional. For simplified entries, the sample sentences etc should use simplified. For entries that are both simplified and traditional, both forms should ideally be used (see: 五原).
  2. quotations: I slightly modified the formatting of your quotation in order to make it come more in line with the guidelines laid out in Wiktionary:Quotations. The convention for quotations is #* #*: #*::, featured word or phrase in bold, Latin text in italics.
  3. Pinyin: I changed your Pinyin to "ā māo ā gǒu", because that seemed to be the prevailing custom for this idiom, based on a quick Google check. It can be difficult to determine when to remove spaces between Pinyin syllables. My approach has been to look for established sources, and copy how those sources do it. In the absence of such sources, spaces should be removed for syllables that form single words. For example, 唱反调 should be rendered as "chàng fǎndiào" in Pinyin, even though 唱反调 is treated as a single dictionary entry.
  4. {{pejorative}}: I added this template to the definition line. This is usually the English term that corresponds to 贬义 in dictionary entries. The {{pejorative}} template is modeled after the more generic {{context}} template. See Template talk:context for more information about the function of this template.
  5. rs value: If the additional number of strokes in an rs value is less than ten, a leading zero should be added in order to ensure that the entries sort properly. Therefore, 阜5 becomes 阜05.
  6. google hits: I like to add links to google hits for idioms and proverbs. I do a search for the exact phrase (I.e. in quotes), both for the .cn and the .tw Google servers. The reason is that there are subtle differences between Standard PRC Mandarin and Taiwan-based Mandarin. There are additional differences in other regions (for example, see Singaporean Mandarin), but I pick the two places with the largest Mandarin speaking populations. Sometimes, these Google hits can show interesting regional differences in a rather simple way. For example, the Google hits for 入境隨俗 and 入乡随俗 clearly show that 入境隨俗 is more preferred by Taiwan based Mandarin speakers, whereas 入乡随俗 is preferred by PRC based Mandarin speakers (see: Taiwanese Mandarin for more information).
Finally, all of the above are merely suggestions, based on my experience of having added thousands of Mandarin words and phrases over the last few years. Some of the suggestions are enshrined in policy or guideline documents, some are not. If you feel that Wiktionary documentation does not adequately describe some of these things, please feel free to add whatever information you think appropriate to those articles, when you feel ready (and only if you feel like it :). I have already added a lot to Wiktionary:About Chinese, but I know that there are probably many areas that need more detail. Thanks. -- A-cai 12:38, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

Chinese translation of English entries[edit]

Forgive my ignorance, but I can't seem to find any info about Chinese translation of English entries @ Wiktionary:About Chinese. Is there any convention as to how they should be formatted? There seems to be a lot of variance to say the least. Tooironic 07:48, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

You're absolutely correct. A section regarding English translations of Chinese words has not yet been written in WT:AC. The reason is that we have only recently wrapped up a major discussion about exactly what the format should be. If you would like to read the debate (I warn you, it is quite long), please see: Wiktionary:Beer parlour#Recurring problem with Chinese vs. Mandarin. In the meantime, the Chinese translation section of child and telephone probably best represent the loose consensus that was reached as a result of that debate. If after reading the WT:BP discussion, you feel confident that a firm conclusion was reached, perhaps you would be willing to draft a section in WT:AC. I would do it myself, but I think it might be better to have someone with fresh eyes take a stab at it. Let me know what you think. Thanks. -- A-cai 11:45, 13 June 2009 (UTC)


Just me harassing you again. I've created an entry for 机关 while trying to add as much detail as I can (all entries from me will be like this from now on). I have run into a couple of issues though:

  1. IPA pronunciation: I can't find the IPA for ji or guan at Template:Pinyintable. Am I missing something?
  2. In this entry I've cited two of examples sentences from the Chi/Eng sentence example database Jukuu. They take sentences from a number of different sources, including dictionaries as well as other random sources. Am I overstepping any copyright by using them here?
  3. Lastly, this entry has 4 definitions. Do I need to put "(Elementary Mandarin)" at the beginning of each one or only the first?

Cheers! Tooironic 09:34, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

  1. IPA pronunciation: The IPA for jīguān is:
  • [ tɕi˥˥kuan˥˥ ]
The Pinyin table does not cover every instance. It does cover all consonants and vowels, plus some unusual combinations. Pinyin "j" is [tɕ] in IPA. "g" is [k]. "i" is [i], and "uan/wan" is [uan]. The examples given for "j" are "jian" and "jiong". For "g", the example for "ger" is given. Does that make sense? If it doesn't, keep in mind that the IPA section is nice to have, but not absolutely critical.
  1. Jukuu: The Jukuu site itself is copyrighted, but the sentences they use may or may not be copyrighted, depending on the origin of the sentence. It would probably be better to use Jukuu as a resource to find sentences, but then cite where Jukuu got the sentence from, if the source of the sentence is not copyrighted. Otherwise, there is a small risk that you are inserting copyrighted material into Wiktionary, which violates our policies, as you know.
  2. Language level: I have been taking my lead on this from HSK Cidian ISBN 7561720785. If I can't find a definition for a word in there, then I assume that the definition is beyond the scope of what HSK is supposed to cover. An example would be the literary definition in 斯文, which comes from the last line of Preface to the Poems Composed at the Orchid Pavilion, by Wang Xizhi. -- A-cai 13:12, 15 June 2009 (UTC)


Just created a new entry for 爱谁谁. Questions:

  1. This is both a pejorative and a slang word. How should this be formatted?
  2. I tried looking at other Mandarin slang words in wiktionary but they are all coincidentally the same in both trad and simp forms. However 爱谁谁 has both trad and simp forms, so how would I input the sorting parameters? (I think this field is different in the zh & tw templates, is that correct?)
  3. I made up my own example sentence. I figure this way is quicker than dealing with a google search, translation, etc. Are original examples are allowed in wiktionary? I suppose they are, as most English entries seem to be this way. I think making up example sentences should be OK for most words, unless they are neologisms/specialised terms which might require an unusual context/reference. Note before I put in these examples I will always double check with a native speaker to ensure that they are correct/don't seem awkward. Cheers. Tooironic 05:03, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
  1. I agree that it a slang word. I'm not sure that I would describe it as pejorative per se. My understanding of the word "pejorative" is that it generally describes nouns or adjectives that are insulting to someone (or thing). In this case, the phrase does not seem to be directly trying to insult anyone. I could be wrong, and welcome your comments if you feel differently.
  2. I used the {{slang}} template in both entries so that you can see the difference in the parameters. Note that I changed the pos header from "Idiom" to "Interjection". It's not that "idiom" is wrong per se; "Interjection" just seems more accurate.
  3. Example sentences are generally welcome at Wiktionary, as long as they are not overly contrived (quotations are preferred). In this case, you have vetted the sentence with a native speaker. That tells me that you are already aware of the potential pitfalls, so not to worry :) My only comment is that, for made-up sentences, you should use "#:" and "#::" (rather than "#*", "#*:", #*::", which is for quotations). The policy for example sentences can be found at: Wiktionary:Entry layout explained#Example sentences.
Finally, I added an etymology section, because it may not be obvious to some readers how the definition is arrived at.
A lot of this is subjective, which is why it will be easier when we finally attract enough contributors of Chinese words in order to have proper debates about this stuff. I would love to see debates on Wiktionary by knowledgable contributors about subtle aspects of different Chinese phrases (for example, is this word "pejorative" or "slang" etc). Including me, we have three steady contributors of Chinese words. By contrast, a rather modest dictionary such as Collins Chinese Concise Dictionary ISBN 0007223919 had 29 editors, plus four special consultants. This may sound like bad news for Wiktionary, but consider that I have been toiling away for more than two years until you and User:Psoup showed up. My hopeful interpretation is that the two of you must have seen enough "good" entries in Wiktionary to be inspired to join the project (When I first came to Wiktionary, the Mandarin portion of Wiktionary was not particularly inspiring). If I'm right about that point, perhaps we stand an even better chance of attracting new blood, now that we have three times the number of qualified contributors for Chinese words :) -- A-cai 11:53, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
Haha. I get some kind of language nerd kick out of it I guess. Thanks for all your help and putting up with my continual vandalism of your poor discussion page. By the way I added an entry for 巴不得 but I can't work out how to put it in both the zh-cn and zh-tw slang categories. Help? Tooironic 16:32, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
Fixed it so that it is now in both slang categories. Also, I modified the etymology section, and made one minor change to your sample sentence (趕快 and 赶快 get us into unnecessary simp/trad issues). Added some additional references, so that readers can know where I got the etymology from. Don't worry about bugging me. I'm sure that as you make more entries, you will become more and more comfortable with formatting issues etc. I'm confident that if you stick around for a while, you'll end up helping some other new contributor who will most likely have the same questions that you had :) -- A-cai 21:43, 17 June 2009 (UTC)


I thought this one would make for an interesting entry. ^_^ Any comments? I wasn't sure what to do about the 儿 here so I created duplicate entries for 把我这X字倒过来写 (note without the 儿) to ensure the user can find it properly (searching for it without the 儿, interestingly, won't bring up the 儿-version as a suggestion). Don't suppose we have any established policy for 儿化? We could do a redirection for one of them into the other but I think I remember reading that wiktionary doesn't like that so much. Tooironic 17:22, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

I'm thinking that it would be better to strip the entry title down to its essence. In my view the 把我这 does not necessarily need to be included in order to convey the same meaning. In fact, your sample sentence merely says 我“崔”字倒过来写。(leaving off the 把 and 这 entirely). Really, the part that needs to be defined is X字倒过来写. I removed the 儿, because that seems to be the prevailing custom in most dictionaries. For example, you would look for 家伙, even though many people say 家伙儿. However, Wiktionary has no hard fast rule about this. In terms of the "X", I think we can leave it off. For example, if you look up 点钟 in most dictionaries, you will find a definition, even though a number almost always appears in front of the word. I think your phrase is a similar example. Therefore, I think it would be more appropriate to make the title of your entry: 字倒过来写. If you feel that there should be more variations, we can always add them as separate entries. Finally, don't forget to bold the phrase in your example sentences. I will make the changes described above. Let me know if you object to any of the changes. We can always change things around, if need be. -- A-cai 21:11, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
Genius! I can't believe I didn't think of that. I agree with everything you said. I wasn't going to worry about the whole 儿 thing but I wanted to make sure first. Thanks heaps! Tooironic 23:10, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

Wiktionary:Requests for deletion/Others#Category:Min Nan[edit]

FYI: Wiktionary:Requests for deletion/Others#Category:Min Nan. —RuakhTALK 13:56, 18 June 2009 (UTC)


It's taken awhile, but I finally managed to create nice detailed entries for NB and all its alternative forms (牛逼牛比、etc). As you've probably guessed, I would like to expand the amount of Mandarin slang entries on wiktionary, as it's looking a bit abysmal at the moment. Comments are welcome. Tooironic 06:37, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

Woops. I just realised I put them all as nouns, when in fact they really function as adjectives. Will go change that now. Tooironic 12:02, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
Sounds good. Slang is always a popular item. When I started, I mainly focused on all of the words that I had learned that couldn't be found in other Chinese-English Dictionaries. In fact, that is how I came to Wiktionary in the first place. I had learned all of these words, and was considering submitting them to a commercial dictionary. One day, I discovered Wiktionary. Even though it had almost no decent Chinese entries at the time, it allowed me to directly input new words, rather than waiting for someone to eventually add it somewhere. What's more, Wiktionary is free, available to anyone with access to the internet, and is visible to Google.
Once I had entered in all of those words and phrases, I started to look around for a new set of words that I could work on. I tried doing HSK words for a while, but quickly became bored. We need these words, but they are fairly conventional and have already been defined in a number of print and online dictionaries. Then, somebody posted a note at w:Talk:Lantingji Xu on Wikipedia, asking if someone would be willing to translate the piece into English. When I looked around, I discovered that Wikisource was the Wiki repository for source documents (such as English translations of foreign language prose and poetry). After translating it, and a couple of other pieces for Wikisource, I discovered that someone had been attempting to add a bilingual version of Romance of the Three Kingdoms to Wikisource. I thought the person was crazy (it has 120 chapters!), but admired the audacity. Unfortunately, the translation had copyright issues. Before long, I hit upon my own crazy idea. I could prepare a fresh bilingual edition of Romance on Wikisource. Moreover, I could define each and every word and phrase in the novel on Wiktionary! I thought Romance would be particularly ideal for this for several reasons:
  1. Romance is one of the four classic Chinese novels, and has had a huge influence on Chinese language and culture.
  2. Romance is written in a mixture of Classical Chinese and early modern Vernacular Mandarin. By translating this one novel, I would be covering a wide swath of vocabulary, from ancient to modern.
  3. Romance is highly episodic, and has a lot of action in it. That meant that it would probably continue to hold my interest, even after several years (I estimated that it would take 10 to 20 years to finish).
After nearly two years, I have managed to translate the first 11 chapters. I have also noticed something. Typically, I only need to create a few new definitions per paragraph, at this point. Apparently, the first ten chapters contained the bulk of the staple words used by the author. That should mean that I will be able to move faster from now on.
Anyway, I'm hoping that Romance of the Three Kingdoms will serve as a model for other major literary works. -- A-cai 12:39, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
What an achievement - my hats goes off to you! (你太牛逼了!) Imagine how awesome it would be if all the four classics could be translated on wiki one day, with all the corresponding definitions... one can only dream!
I'd also love to do a translation project one day, when I feel my wiki skills are up to it (I'm still a newbie really). Not to mention my translation skills - I am after all only 21 and not even finished my Masters in Translation Studies yet (not that it would necessarily make a difference - I still need to embark on my first years of professional practice before I have any confidence I'm not completely stuffing it up). Anyway, I think I'd prefer to translate something modern, by contrast. Something well-known so that people would want to see it translated, but also something with smaller chapters that can be translated in chunks. Any suggestions? You're right, the HSK words are really boring, and that's why I haven't really gone out of my way to add entries for them, I've just been adding entries for words as I come across them. 加油! Tooironic 01:25, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
Actually, I do have something in mind. As you may already know, Lu Xun is widely considered to be the founder of modern Chinese literature. For an author's work to be added to Wikisource, it must already be in the public domain. That means that the author has to have died more than 70 years ago (Lu Xun died in 1936), and the work has to have been published prior to January 1, 1923. As it turns out, Lu Xun published a collection of short stories called Call to Arms (《吶喊》) in 1922. This collection of short stories contains some of his most important and influential works. Of these short stories, I would probably first tackle A Madman's Diary (狂人日記), followed by Kong Yiji (孔乙己) and The True Story of Ah Q (阿Q正傳). Of course, I am more than willing to help you get started, when you feel ready. -- A-cai 13:01, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
Great! I can't believe I didn't think of Lu Xun... Would you be able to set up a starting 'template', if you like, for A Madman's Diary? The one you use for Romance is a bit confusing for me, I wouldn't know how to replicate it correctly. Some instructions on how to input the translation step-by-step would be helpful too. Once I've had a good read of Madman I can attempt to start to translate it chapter to chapter, as well as create the wiktionary entries. Cheers! Tooironic 08:58, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
I got everything set up for you at Wikisource. You will probably want to create an account there, if you have not already done so. I have added the preface and the first paragraph. The preface is in Classical Chinese, but the rest of the story is in vernacular Mandarin. Let me know if you need help with the Classical Chinese portion. Here is the link: A Madman's Diary. -- A-cai 01:33, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
Thanks heaps. I don't feel particularly qualified to attempt to translate the Classical Chinese preface so I might leave that to you hehe. Once I feel I've comprehended everything in the story I will start translating and creating entries for the vocab. Cheers. Tooironic 02:39, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
No problem. I have finished translating the preface. I have also created Wiktionary entries for all of the words in the preface. The rest is all yours. Good luck! -- A-cai 00:52, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

P.S. Be sure to proofread the source text, if you use the Chinese Wikisource version. I have found a number of typos in the past. -- A-cai 01:02, 25 June 2009 (UTC)


I've tried to do a nice detailed entry for , do you think the formatting is acceptable? I've tried to add as many compounds as I can, and arranged them alphabetically under headwords and tailwords. I've also added quite a few possible definitions with example usages/compounds. Tooironic 05:35, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

In terms of formatting, don't forget to add the appropriate parts of speech. Also, I took out "mandarin: " in your compounds section since it is already under the Mandarin header. Finally, I changed the "headword"/"tailword" labels so that the {{rfc-header}} template won't complain. See and for some more examples. Otherwise, it looks pretty good :) -- A-cai 13:13, 21 June 2009 (UTC)


Hi A-cai. I've edited 's compounds using the advice you gave me for . Let me know what you think. Notice how I put 九牛一毛 under (other) as here 牛 is neither head nor tail word. Also I used the table-ising template to make the list look pretty. Finally, I put 蜗牛 under both wōniú and guāniú (PRC and Taiwan pronunciations) for easy reference. Cheers. Tooironic 02:33, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

PO & po[edit]

Have I formatted these entries correctly? Wasn't sure, because they're not strictly characters/syllables. Tooironic 15:34, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

The main thing is that these two aren't really Chinese characters. Accordingly, I removed the {{zh-hanzi}} template. Furthermore, I replaced the {{cmn-verb}} template with {{infl|cmn|verb}}. Also, you can use the {{zh-ts}} template for the synonyms section. I went ahead and changed this for you. -- A-cai 01:08, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

tai˨˩tɕi˨˩ -mlt[edit]

'd we talk?skype: sven0921 --史凡 08:05, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

Help with Chinese translation[edit]

Hi there. Can you help with Wiktionary:Translation_requests#Chinese_characters_to_English? Cheers. SemperBlotto 13:14, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

Translating Chinese[edit]

Hi, EncycloPetey told me to ask you about any questions I have about Chinese translation, and I do have a question. I have been adding a Chinese translation to English words, but I have noticed that there are a lot of templates to use for this. Do you have any recommendations? -- —This comment was unsigned.

The {{t}} and {{zh-ts}} templates are the most common ones used for this purpose. See the translation section of telephone for an example of their usage. -- A-cai 22:49, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
Thank you! I will use those next time. Oh yeah, sorry I didn't sign it. Ethansmith 02:25, 10 July 2009 (UTC)


[mnan]def?--User:史凡 (歡迎光臨!請也用skype: sven0921為我RSI !) 17:25, 10 July 2009 (UTC)[edit]

勞捐=word?corect?--史凡/ʂɚ˨˩fan˩˥/shi3fan2 (歡迎光臨/Welcome! 請也用/Please also use skype: sven0921為我/since I suffer RSI!) 05:54, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Yes. Means strain. -- A-cai 11:30, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

tx+aded:)-canu chek?--史凡/ʂɚ˨˩fan˧˥/shi3fan2 (歡迎光臨/Welcome! 請也用/Please also use skype: sven0921為我/since I suffer RSI!) 15:56, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

It is not 勞捐 is incorrect. It should be 勞損. I already fixed it. -- A-cai 16:10, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

mygaffe-tx+史凡/ʂɚ˨˩fan˧˥/shi3fan2 (歡迎光臨/Welcome! 請也用/Please also use skype: sven0921為我/since I suffer RSI!) 00:19, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

MDBG db[i use itsreader[edit]

ok ref?how2ad?--史凡/ʂɚ˨˩fan˧˥/shi3fan2 (歡迎光臨/Welcome! 請也用/Please also use skype: sven0921為我/since I suffer RSI!) 09:42, 13 July 2009 (UTC)


'd u pl monitor my chin-edits?tx!:)--史凡/ʂɚ˨˩fan˧˥/shi3fan2 (歡迎光臨/Welcome! 請也用/Please also use skype: sven0921為我/since I suffer RSI!) 10:58, 13 July 2009 (UTC)


IPA rite?[gues tones not:/..--史凡/ʂɚ˨˩fan˧˥/shi3fan2 (歡迎光臨/Welcome! 請也用/Please also use skype: sven0921為我/since I suffer RSI!) 11:46, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

tx4ur corection'n'i agree!:)--史凡/ʂɚ˨˩fan˧˥/shi3fan2 (歡迎光臨/Welcome! 請也用/Please also use skype: sven0921為我/since I suffer RSI!) 23:55, 14 July 2009 (UTC)


Categories: zh-tw:Verbs | Mandarin verbs | Chinese hanzi | Chinese words needing attention<wotstil missin?

my wu-ref isrealy from2005;italso gavethe meaning"iluminate"...tx4cleanup!!--史凡/ʂɚ˨˩fan˧˥/shi3fan2 (歡迎光臨/Welcome! 請也用/Please also use skype: sven0921為我/since I suffer RSI!) 00:33, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes, an automation routine could be written that would convert traditional to simplified or vice versa. However, such routines are not 100% reliable, so the automation would need to be checked by a knowledgable human. For example, means "to sink" (trad. 沈重 or 沉重, simpl. 沉重) in traditional, but is also used as the simplified form of (瀋陽沈阳, Shenyang). -- A-cai 00:48, 15 July 2009 (UTC)


from tw tv-news>=make amistake?--史凡/ʂɚ˨˩fan˧˥/shi3fan2 (歡迎光臨/Welcome! 請也用/Please also use skype: sven0921為我/since I suffer RSI!) 10:00, 14 July 2009 (UTC)


fromEPs talk-p,fyi[topic:how2hide longlist]


dun!only,rel-terms>compounds--mind havalook?ok likethat?:)--史凡/ʂɚ˨˩fan˧˥/shi3fan2 (歡迎光臨/Welcome! 請也用/Please also use skype: sven0921為我/since I suffer RSI!) 23:06, 14 July 2009 (UTC) Yes, what you have done with those templates is correct. However, the editor who inserted the list of compounds did not format the list correctly. Right now, it is formatted as a Translations section, with "Mandarin:" in fornt of every entry and with the {{t}} template. A compounds section should not use either of those features.

I also do not know whether "Compounds" is an acceptable section header. We try to limit them to only a few standard headers so they can be checked by bots and to keep entries consistent. "Compounds" is not a header used in the languages I normally edit. --EncycloPetey 23:55, 14 July 2009 (UTC) "--史凡/ʂɚ˨˩fan˧˥/shi3fan2 (歡迎光臨/Welcome! 請也用/Please also use skype: sven0921為我/since I suffer RSI!) 01:15, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

Chinese (Mandarin) entries[edit]

Hi A-cai,

I find Mandarin entries a bit too complicated compared to other languages. I've been adding translations mainly, not the entries - Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic and some others - often German, French and Polish. Chinese is not an easy language, no doubt but if I add and an entry, what I need is jiantizi, fantizi (if they are different), pinyin, part of speech, English meaning and categories. If I were to create an entry for 化妝, 化妆 (huàzhuāng) - noun and verb, what would be the quickest way? Do I really need to show different romanisations and IPA? Also, not sure I can get the "rs" like in 天气 (rs=大01). Thanks in advance. Anatoli 04:36, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

aded!canexplain pervoice medium!World Games r on,yo-hoo!best--史凡/ʂɚ˨˩fan˧˥/shi3fan2 (歡迎光臨/Welcome! 請也用/Please also use skype: sven0921為我/since I suffer RSI!) 10:55, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
You are absolutely correct. In terms of formatting issues, Chinese is probably one of the most difficult languages we have to deal with here at Wiktionary. As you pointed out, Chinese has two written standards, simplified and traditional, plus Pinyin romanization. Ideally, each Mandarin entry should contain at least these three things, in addition to an accurate English definition. I would consider IPA etc. a nice-to-have, but not essential. Also, I'm a big believer in citing references. I usually do a mixture of on-line and print references. Finally, see What is rs=日08 in cmn-noun? for a more complete explanation of the rs variable. As I indicated in an earlier post, it is theoretically possible for a computer program to do much of the heavy lifting in terms of formatting (including conversion between traditional/simplified/Pinyin etc.). Perhaps, someday we can prevail upon one of our Wiktionary programmers to write an web interface that would incorporate such features. Until then, I feel your pain :) -- A-cai 00:02, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
Thank you and 史凡 very much. Do you mind if I occasionally create entries without references and rs tags? I agree jiantizi/fantizi/pinyin/English is essential but I think rs and references are nice to have. I respect you're the old member and contributor but creating entries with lots of info is time-consuming and we all do it for free :). In 化妝:

If the entry were simply like this (without zh-forms, rs, references and derived terms): '''EXAMPLE:''' ==Mandarin== ===Noun=== {{cmn-noun|t|pin=huàzhuāng|pint=|tra=化妝|sim=化妆}} ''(cmn-noun or cmn-verb, etc. producing the entry's title)'' # [[makeup]] ===Verb=== {{cmn-verb|t|pin=huàzhuāng|pint=|tra=化妝|sim=化妆}} # to [[put on]] [[makeup]] '''END EXAMPLE and similar for jiantizi''' then I could be able to create these without having to look at extra dictionaries or sources. I could use a template to create quick entries without extra hard work. Would you rather me not create anything at all in a simplified form like above? Anatoli 00:32, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

First of all, let me emphasize that anything I write on this talk page is merely my opinion, albeit based on several years of experience with Wiktionary. The effect of not adding the rs value is that the entry would not be sorted properly in certain categories. This is not a major tragedy, because the {{cmn-noun}} template will place entries with missing rs values into Category:Chinese words needing attention (meaning someone else will know that it needs to be added to the entry). In terms of references, they are not mandatory. However, a reference section does help someone like me, who is trying to verify the accuracy of the information. However, please don't feel like you have to add everything at one go. We ultimately want all of our entries to be as complete as possible, but the work does not necessarily have to be done by the same person. In short, as long as you're adding good information, your edits should be welcome. -- A-cai 23:14, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
  • "tong wen tang"ad-on converts automaticly jian-fanti![gotit-downloadlink- fromuser:Tooironic
  • icanhelpu w/rs[4acai:this'dbe automated2,no?wotwhen difrent radicals exist like 4hanzi支/元?
  • uneed<nowiki>x</nowiki>2cite like abov,orjust[[x]][=internalink;)
  • acai:isit pland2hav jian/fan entrys synchronize[like difrent edits onboth pp.?--史凡 - 請也用/Please also use skype: sven0921為我/as I suffer RSI! 04:06, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
Thank you both. I use Wenlin if I need to verify - I've got it home and at work. Yes, it can give the radicals too but I usually enter the words I know and sure about their meaning. I see the context in the short stories I read .I won't promise references but will try to use rs tags if I create new entries. 史凡, it took me long 5 minutes to read your notes. There's still a lot to translate in English entries, good translations are a good base for new entries. Anatoli 04:45, 17 July 2009 (UTC)


*doesnotwork w/hanzi>'forms' :o--史凡 - 請也用/Please also use skype: sven0921為我/as I suffer RSI! 04:25, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

valid entry?[edit]

維安 (traditional, Pinyin wéiān, simplified 维安) 1. (Taiwan media) to keep the peace [edit] Related terms * 維治安 --史凡/ʂɚ˨˩fan˧˥/shi3fan2 ( 請也用/Please also use skype: sven0921為我/since I suffer RSI!) 18:39, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

19:35, 9 January 2009 SemperBlotto (Talk | contribs) deleted "滴水不漏" ‎ (No usable content given)[edit]


agree?--史凡 - 請也用/Please also use skype: sven0921為我/since I suffer RSI! 07:52, 16 July 2009 (UTC) tx4edit!!:D--史凡 - 請也用/Please also use skype: sven0921為我/as I suffer RSI! 05:53, 17 July 2009 (UTC)


layout ok?--史凡 - 請也用/Please also use skype: sven0921為我/since I suffer RSI! 08:21, 16 July 2009 (UTC)


ithink headers not ok[abbr?rel terms?syn?--史凡 - 請也用/Please also use skype: sven0921為我/as I suffer RSI! 14:12, 16 July 2009 (UTC)


rel term-ok?--史凡 - 請也用/Please also use skype: sven0921為我/as I suffer RSI and thus cannot type very well! 08:44, 17 July 2009 (UTC)


def ok?G hits:many i/cn2,but al seem2point2tw content-wise>stl tw-tag?--史凡 - 請也用/Please also use skype: sven0921為我/as I suffer RSI and thus cannot type very well! 09:17, 17 July 2009 (UTC)


cmn-def:agree?or isit4th tone?tw-specific[shout]?[dunno how2look4that i/Gogl


=nobody answerd thedoor?pos?--史凡 - 請也用/Please also use skype: sven0921為我/as I suffer RSI and thus cannot type very well! 10:49, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

If I may make a suggestion: rather than posting a note on my talk page for each new entry, you can add the {{zh-attention}} tag to the entry. This will ensure that the entry is placed in Category:Chinese words needing attention. I periodically check that category, and fix entries as needed. Unfortunately, my time is limited, and I may not be able to get to each of your entries in a timely manner. However, as long as the word is in Category:Chinese words needing attention, I or someone else will eventually get to it. Thanks. -- A-cai 11:01, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

Variant Pronunciations[edit]

Hi A-cai. I have created a new category for dealing with variant pronunciations. I decided to do this after compiling quite a large list (e.g. 勉强,一模一样, etc). Seeing as no other dictionary (to my knowledge) collects this kind of info, I think it would be very useful to have on wiktionary. I describe more about it in the category itself. Please let me know if there are any formatting issues. The first word I have added one for is 侮辱. Cheers. Tooironic 00:03, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

Take a look at 侮辱 again. I have provided a reference which verifies the variant pronunciation. Instead of using alternate pinyin, I added IPA pronunciations. My reasoning for this is that most standard Pinyin dictionaries only list wǔrǔ. However, an argument could also be made for using "or" in the Pinyin section. For example, see 擁擠. Again, these are only suggestions. Think it over, and decide if you like my proposed format or perhaps you have an idea for a better format. -- A-cai 00:46, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for that. Looking at both, I think the 侮辱 format is probably more appropriate; given that hanyu pinyin is not technically a pronunciation guide but a form of "standard" romanisation, it is probably better to list alternate pronunciations under the pronunciation heading. That being said, I would like to keep tagging them under Category:zh-cn:Variant Pronunciations so they can all be easily indexed. If you have any qualms about this do let me know before I start adding more of these variants (got a huge list to go through). Tooironic 08:10, 3 August 2009 (UTC)
Take a look at 勉强 for me. I've tried adding the variant prounciation in IPA form but I'm terrible at it. Is it right? If I have any chance of getting through all of these (check out my user page for the full list) I may as well just add pinyin and perhaps you could add IPA for them at your convenience. Tooironic 08:12, 15 August 2009 (UTC)
I wouldn't worry about it too much. The IPA is probably something that is more helpful with beginning words. One would assume that by the time you get to a word like 勉强, the student will have already mastered pinyin. I tend to add IPA only if I'm not too pressed for time or if I feel like it. Not very systematic, I know. However, it does prevent boredom or burnout from setting in. -- A-cai 12:34, 15 August 2009 (UTC)


There isn't a template for "phrases", is there? How do I format this entry correctly? Tooironic 11:18, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

That's right. We don't have a template for "phrase". It just seemed too vague. In this case, I think {{cmn-inter}} (interjection) might be more appropriate. However, I could be wrong. -- A-cai 16:23, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I know what you mean, I just thought "phrase" would be more appropriate. I mean, is 至於嗎 really an "interjection"? Heaven knows. Plus we could collect these "phrases" together for a wiktionary "phrasebook" much the way Japanese has done. At any rate, we need a consensus. If we agree the "phrase" category is too vague, I suppose we should then edit out the Mandarin "phrases" that can be found on wiktionary already. Tooironic 08:19, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

3Q and 88[edit]

Can you help me come up with a way to format these correctly? I'm having trouble with the whole numbers thing. I figure you can sort them into pinyin quite easily for the ch-versions, but what about the tw-versions? Cheers! Tooironic 10:20, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

Hi, Tooironic. 好久不见了! Why don't you sort 3Q and 88 the same way as and ? You're doing a great job. I am still focusing on translations rather than new entries. They are immediately searchable whether you enter the English or Chinese form. Anatoli 01:41, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
Hey, thanks. Sorry I didn't reply to your email, I feel really bad! So bloody busy as per usual... About 3Q/88, that's not a bad idea, I wonder what A-cai thinks... Tooironic 06:32, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
Don't feel guilty, I am the same type, trying to do too many things. A-cai, hi, and sorry for using your talk page :) I have created a few Mandarin entries. Anatoli 06:48, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
Seems like your solution is reasonable. Another option is to use {{infl|cmn|initialism}}. That is what I used for entries like SPP, LKK and PLP etc. -- A-cai 11:34, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
I like the idea of grouping it under Initialism; on the other hand, I think words should be categorised according to their function, as opposed to their form. Perhaps it would be better to keep them as "Verb", "Interjection", etc, while adding something like an "Initialism" tag (much the same way as we define slang in Mandarin). After all, they function in real life texts in all sorts of ways, it is really only coincidental that they happen to have abbreviated forms. What do you guys think? Tooironic 00:09, 3 September 2009 (UTC)


It seems there is no "determiner" category for Mandarin... what do I do? Tooironic 11:59, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

We don't have a specific template for determiner. If I remember correctly, I never created a determiner template because I didn't feel that there were enough words to justify it. However, if you think one is needed, one can be created fairly easily.
In terms of your entry, I think a case could be made that 更多 is a sum of parts entry, even though your English definition is a single word. In my opinion, it may be preferable to create a more complete entry for . In the entry, we should explain that is a prefix that functions as a comparative, in much the same that the English suffix -er (e.g. better, taller) is used in English. In some cases, can be translated as "even" (e.g. even more 多. 多 is many when by itself, but changes to "more" when preceded by words such as 更 or 比較). My fear is that an entry like 更多 would set a precedent for creating entries such as 更好,更坏,更高,更冷,更美 etc. Similarly, we would want to avoid creating entries like 很好,很坏,很高,很冷,很美. Having said all of that, if you feel strongly that 更多 should be an entry in Wiktionary, I'm open to alternative points of view. In particular, if you have already found it in another dictionary, that would tend to make me reevaluate my opinion. Let me know what you think. Thanks. -- A-cai 12:04, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

we hav2GET RID OFthat SOP-FIXATION inE-dict's,n other1sBAD anyway.--史凡>voice-MSN/skypeme!RSI>typin=hard! 12:51, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

Ah, yes, I didn't think of that. Well, going through the dictionaries around me, I can group them into two categories:
  • CAT. A: Dictionaries who list it as its own word:,, wenlin, 《中文字譜》 (online version: and (CE-DICT);
  • CAT. B: Dictionaries who don't: 《现代汉语词典》, Collins Chinese Dictionary and Oxford Concise Chinese Dictionary.
So I guess the answer is not so clear cut. I get what you're saying about the possibility of creating all the superfluous 更-prefix entries, but on the other hand, that could be a good thing. After all, if a beginner enountered a word like 更壞 and didn't know either character, s/he would instinctly look it up as a word simply because it looks like one (N.B. CAT A dicts list this one as a word too). At any rate, you have languages on wiktionary like Finnish and Italian who list every word they can in every grammatical deriviation possible - why not afford Chinese that same luxury?
Of course I wouldn't support such a proposal for "words" like 比較好, 比較漂亮, etc, because they are made up of three or more characters. But if you have a bisyllabic word that is more than the sum of its parts, I don't see why it shouldn't be included - if anything, it would increase the usefulness of the dictionary. Have I convinced you yet? :P Tooironic 00:02, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
I would say that if you found it on Wenlin, that should be sufficient. Wenlin's dictionary is based on the ABC Dictionary by John DeFrancis, if I'm not mistaken. I would be less inclined to believe a dictionary such as nciku, because I'm not sure that their editorial oversight is as good as a conventional print dictionary. Mainly, I'm trying to anticipate potential objections from other contributors. Of course, there's no harm in adding the entry. If someone doesn't like it, they can always place an {{RFD}} or {{RFV}} template on it. In such cases, you would need to make your case on the appropriate page. -- A-cai 01:04, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
Yes, there is a Wenlin entry: 更多 gèngduō v.p. more; still more Anatoli 05:06, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
Ok, take a look at the entry again. I left a lot of the reference template blank. Feel free to add more information, if you wish. I think it should stand up to scrutiny as it currently stands. -- A-cai 12:28, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

Loan Words[edit]

Hey A-cai, is there a category for Mandarin loan words? (e.g. 卡拉OK, 粉絲, etc) Would be a great feature! Tooironic 00:50, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

Yes, the categories are Category:zh-cn:English derivations and Category:zh-tw:English derivations for 粉絲. 卡拉OK would probably be Category:zh-cn:Japanese derivations and Category:zh-tw:Japanese derivations. -- A-cai 12:23, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
OK, check out 卡拉OK (added Japanese derivations and Variant Pronunciations categories). Tooironic 23:39, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
I simply added to Category:zh:Russian derivations (automatically) and User:PalkiaX50 created the page and have just created Category:zh:Mongolian derivations. Should these have -cn/-tw ? See 俄罗斯 and 俄羅斯 derived from Russian Россия (Rossíja) via Mongolian Орос (Oros). Anatoli 00:59, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
Cool, except the Mongolian category should go under 'Etymology'. Come to think of it, that whole category needs tidying up. A-cai help please! Tooironic 22:57, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
It IS under "Etymology". "etyl" tag generations derivations (from/to) categories. Anatoli 23:59, 23 September 2009 (UTC)


Help! I tried to create a Symbol category for this emoticon but failed miserably. Tooironic 12:22, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

I fixed it. -- A-cai 20:52, 16 September 2009 (UTC)


Not quite happy with this entry. Not sure if ellipsis like this is allowed, but not sure how else to do it without using 某人. We could just limit it to 身上 as some dictionaries do, but I think it would make the slang usage harder to search for. Thoughts? Tooironic 10:16, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

Made a few cosmetic changes. Overall, I think it looks pretty good. I have used the "..." technique for certain phrases as well (see: 除了...以外). I have seen it used in a at least one other dictionary (HSK Dictionary). Obviously, it is not the preferred way. However, in my view, sometimes we may not have a choice. -- A-cai 11:47, 20 September 2009 (UTC)

Capitalising proper nouns[edit]

What's the consensus on capitalising the pinyin of proper nouns? It seems my capitalised entries have been in the minority, yet I've never seen them written in small caps before. Tooironic 11:12, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

Sorry, I should have been more clear. What I mean is, take for example, Category:zh-cn:Countries. The majority of them are ordered in lowercase pinyin, but there are still a number (e.g. 波兰, 俄罗斯联邦, etc) which are not. Should I change these to lowercase pinyin for consistency? Cheers, Tooironic 05:38, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
For sorting purposes, I have been ordering everything in lowercase Pinyin. -- A-cai 13:50, 25 October 2009 (UTC)


Sorry for harrasing you again. Just noticed while editing this entry that it appears in both the Beginner and Advanced Mandarin categories. Mistake? Tooironic 22:53, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

Take another look. It should make more sense now. Let me know what you think. Thanks. -- A-cai 00:07, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
Yep it does, thank you. Tooironic 00:39, 26 September 2009 (UTC)


Please note the audio file here is pronunced as yīnwéi, not yīnwèi as labelled. Tooironic 23:49, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

From what I can tell, these audio files were uploaded en masse to wikimedia commons from something called the shtooka project. I'm not sure how easy it would be to contact the original project members to have them correct the file. We may need to ask a Chinese native speaker to volunteer to record a new speech file with the correct pronunciation, and them have them upload it to commons as a replacement file. -- A-cai 23:42, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
Ah OK. I'm surprised no one has thought of doing what Wenlin did, and just have a native speaker pronunce all the syllables into a database from which virtually any pronunciation can be pooled from. Tooironic 00:41, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

'dnt soundnatural tho[c mdgb..--史凡>voice-MSN/skypeme!RSI>typin=hard! 11:12, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

Indicating measure words for Mandarin nouns[edit]

Has wiktionary ever added information like measure words for Mandarin nouns? I attempted to add such information when I created the entry for 竖琴, please let me know what you think. Also, could you help me create a category for nouns with measure words? I think that would be really useful too. Cheers. Tooironic 07:26, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

cat-umean whendifrent from個?ilike daentry:p--史凡>voice-MSN/skypeme!RSI>typin=hard! 08:31, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
No, I mean including information in countable noun entries as to their appropriate measure words. Tooironic 11:08, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

eh-dosnt evrychin.noun take1?--史凡>voice-MSN/skypeme!RSI>typin=hard! 12:10, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

See 自行车. -- A-cai 11:00, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
To Tooironic. I have updated 竖琴 and 架 so please take a look at it to see how to do it right. Kinamand 06:05, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
OK thankyou, now we just need to get that category created... is A-cai still alive here? Tooironic 13:30, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
Sorry for not responding, I got sidetracked by another project. The entry for 竖琴 looks fine to me. -- A-cai 12:02, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

Nested translations[edit]

Hi A-cai. Hekaheka, Anatoli and I are having a discussion about the proper punctuation for nested translations on my user page (User talk:Tooironic), could you please provide some enlightenment? Thanks, Tooironic 22:59, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

Hi A-cai, it's sorted as far as the ** or *: is concerned. I used your translation for child as a reference. Anatoli 00:03, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Mandarin Pinyin Nouns[edit]

Hiya. Can you please take a look at the mini-discussion at Category talk:Mandarin nouns and provide your esteemed opinion? Cheers, Tooironic 03:52, 29 October 2009 (UTC)


In Appendix:HSK list of Mandarin words/Elementary Mandarin I found "人民币 (民眾幣)". This has to be a mistake right? Tooironic 03:37, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

Good catch! Yes, that is a mistake. I have already fixed it. -- A-cai 13:55, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
Also in Appendix:HSK list of Mandarin words/Intermediate Mandarin 圣诞节's traditional lists a variant instead (耶誕節). Tooironic 23:50, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
Fixed. -- A-cai 13:02, 12 November 2009 (UTC)


Hey A-cai I was wondering if you could help me clean up zh-cn:Slang/zh-tw:Slang. When I first started beefing up this category I added every colloquial term I could. But now I realise that many of these would probably not be considered "slang" in the truest sense of the word. What other - more precise - categories could we put some of them in? I know there's also zh-cn:Colloquial, zh-cn:Dialectal, etc but I'm not sure what the real differences are between them. For example 的一比/的一米 is probably both slang and dialectal right? 福大命大造化大 is probably just colloquial. 没问题 a mere interjection, etc... Tooironic 04:42, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

This is a tough issue, because not everyone is going to agree on the distinction between slang, colloquial, idiomatic etc. At times, these labels seem to overlap, and times they seem to be distinct. However, in general, I think Category:zh-cn:Idioms, Category:zh-cn:Slang, Category:zh-cn:Colloquial etc. can accommodate most of these kinds of situations. My own understanding of these terms would be that slang refers to highly informal terms, whereas colloquial refers to words and phrases that are primarily only found in the spoken form of a language. An idiom is usually a phrase whose meaning cannot be readily discerned from its component parts. I'm a bit hesitant to use a category such as Category:zh-cn:Dialectal, because it seems too vague to me. I prefer using categories such as Category:Taiwanese Mandarin, which is a sub-category of Category:Regional Chinese. -- A-cai 14:09, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
OK, I guess I will start moving some of the Category:zh-cn:Slang into Category:zh-cn:Colloquial where appropriate. If we can have a good amount in both I will be happy :) Tooironic 23:05, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

宅男 & 宅女[edit]

Hiya, do these new slang terms really mean nerd? My understanding was that they really described a homebody kind of person. Tooironic 06:11, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

For some reason, the hyper link in the article was not working, but I fixed it. I based the definition primarily on the description in the Chinese Wikipedia article for 宅男, as well as a Google search of the term. However, I agree that nerd is not necessarily a 100% perfect fit. Roughly paraphrasing the Chinese Wikipedia article, 宅男 generally refers to males who are socially awkward, and prefer to stay at home all day long playing video games etc. It is generally a pejorative term, however it can also be used in a self-deprecating or humorous way when referring to oneself. In other words, it seems as though both nerd and homebody could be an appropriate translation for this term, but it really depends on the context. I have also seen dork as well. -- A-cai 14:33, 31 October 2009 (UTC)


What do you think of this entry I just created? I think it could be quite useful as many dictionaries don't list this as a word (because of the 了 obviously). And yet, it functions as one, and without the 了 the meaning would change entirely. Tooironic 05:28, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Seems alright to me. I would say to be bold in adding new entries. Someone may challenge it later, but then you would have an opportunity to defend your actions. In this case, it doesn't show up in many conventional dictionaries. However, a website such as could work as a source almost as well.
BTW, I recently came across a news article that you may be interested in. It reports that in 2008, 359 new words were coined in China, according to a report by the National Language Working Committee (国家语言工作委员会). Many of the words originate from the internet. The number one word was 山寨, which already has its own Wikipedia article: Shanzhai. This list seems like an excellent source for newly coined words that we could add into Wiktionary. Here is the link to the news article: Thanks. -- A-cai 13:45, 10 November 2009 (UTC)
Ah yes, I enjoy reading these kinds of articles. Chinese slang is a never-ending source of amusement! Cheers. Tooironic 23:43, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Just added an entry for 山寨, let me know what you think. Tooironic 23:59, 11 November 2009 (UTC)
Looks good. I made some minor changes to the formatting, not that your formatting was wrong. In the case of the Wikipedia tag, I think it looks more professional to have it in the references section. However, that is more of a personal preference. Also, I added a little more to the Etymology 2 section in order to give it some more context. Thanks for creating the entry. I think these are the kinds of entries that make Wiktionary stand out over other dictionaries. -- A-cai 12:51, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
I actually prefer it up the top - hehe - I think it's easier for the user who looks it up, and my feeling is a lot of people don't even look at the references section. But it doesn't matter. Also, I think having a simplified version of 山寨廠 is a bit redundant, as Cantonese uses traditional characters almost exclusively right? Thanks for your help. Tooironic 23:09, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
In Hong Kong, they still use traditional characters. However, Cantonese is also widely spoken in Guangdong Province. Since Guangdong Province is part of the PRC, simplified characters are used there. I realize that you probably already know this, however, there may be other Wiktionarians out there that are not as familiar with the Chinese language, who are reading this page.
If you like the Wikipedia tag at the top, that's fine. We can have it in both places I suppose. Again, these are personal preferences. I don't believe there is a Wiktionary policy about how to insert links to Wikipedia. -- A-cai 23:38, 13 November 2009 (UTC)


Pretty sure no other dictionary has this as a word, except my slang book I'm using as a reference. :) Not sure about the translation though - any ideas? Tooironic 23:52, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

It seems like 這不,我就來了麼 could as easily be translated as "Isn't that why I came?" as a rhetorical statement, which would make 這不 a sum of parts entry. The fact that it shows up in at least one reference source is good. However, generally we need at least three attributable uses. So, I think this one is very questionable. -- A-cai 14:13, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, you're right. The more I think about it, the more SoP it seems. I've nominated it for speedy deletion. Tooironic 01:58, 22 November 2009 (UTC)


The Min Nan definition there is all over the place. Tooironic 08:14, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

Looks like somebody changed the formatting from what I originally had, which made it go haywire. I changed it back. -- A-cai 14:18, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

Double categories[edit]

Is it present practice to put entries in both their categories and their parent categories? E.g. 茄子 has been put under both "Foods" and "Vegetables" - oh, and "Fruits" too! Surely this is a bit overkill, at least with the "Foods" category - my impression was that this category was used when no other, more specific, category existed. Tooironic 09:33, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure if there is a hard fast rule about that or not. In general, as categories grow, we more or less organically adjust as needed. In other words, if there are too many words in the "Foods" category, only including it in a sub-category is a valid solution. -- A-cai 14:20, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
I think from now on I'll try and give entries as many categories as possible as it does improve the usefulness of the entry. (e.g. 三角巧克力). Tooironic 02:07, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

卧室 and 臥室[edit]

Me again. FYI, I added the simp to 臥室 and painstakingly reconfigured all the formatting. Do let me know if I've stuffed anything up. Thanks! Tooironic 12:39, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

Oops! Missed that one. Thanks for fixing. Looks good. -- A-cai 14:23, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

new categories[edit]

Hi A-Cai, FYI please note these new categories I've created: Category:zh-cn:Sweets/Category:zh-tw:Sweets & Category:zh-cn:Trademarks/Category:zh-tw:Trademarks, as exemplified in 三角巧克力. I'm thinking of moving the one entry from Category:zh-cn:Desserts/Category:zh-tw:Desserts into the Sweets category and deleting Desserts as IMO something can be a Sweet without it being a Dessert, but not vice versa. Thus Sweets would be a better, more encompassing title. Let me know what you reckon. Cheers. Tooironic 07:02, 18 November 2009 (UTC)


I've seen: {{t|cmn|叩頭|sc=Hani}}, {{t|cmn|叩头|tr=kòutóu|sc=Hani}} and {{t|cmn|叩頭|sc=Hani|xs=Mandarin}}, {{t|cmn|叩头|tr=kòutóu|sc=Hani|xs=Mandarin}}, which is the standard formatting? Tooironic 08:31, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

Based on the explanation at Template talk:t, the sc variable specifies the appropriate script template for that language. In this case the appropriate template should be {{Hani}}. The language script templates seem to ensure that the foreign language text is displayed correctly. The talk page recommends not adding the xs variable, which is added by a bot, as needed. The xs variable apparently helps the software to run faster. So, as a human, I would only add the sc variable. Thanks. -- A-cai 12:22, 21 November 2009 (UTC)


I've never heard of this idiom. I asked half a dozen mainland Chinese and they have never heard of it either. Is it a Taiwanese expression? Tooironic 07:27, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

These are always difficult things to determine. The google hits suggest that the term is in fact very popular in Taiwan, and the term also appears in Guoyu Cidian (maintained by Taiwan's Ministry of Education). However, the phrase also received one million hits from .cn sites, suggesting that it may be popular in certain parts of the PRC as well. The only way to know for sure would be to survey a sample of people from various parts of China to see if they are familiar with the phrase. One thing that makes me suspect that it is not used universally throughout mainland China is that the phrase does not show up in any of the standard PRC published dictionaries, such as Xinhua. Wish I could give you a more definitive answer. -- A-cai 12:37, 22 November 2009 (UTC)


I know you think the Dialectal tag is a bit unambiguous, but I'm starting to think it might be OK for expressions like these for which etymologies are a bit murky. I asked a number of Chinese friends about this term and most just say "it's 北方的". I then Baidu'd ([1]) it, and got the same result. Perhaps something like a "Northern Chinese dialect" category is needed - what do you think? Tooironic 12:27, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

That may be the best we can do with this one, unless it can be pinned down to a specific area within northern China. -- A-cai 12:40, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

Regional Chinese categories[edit]

As per our discussions for 不咋的 and 回家吃自己 I think it would be useful to create new categories for Chinese words and expressions particular to different parts of the Chinese-speaking world. I propose they be named thus:

Of course some of these may never get any entries - I have merely tried to include as many as I can for the sake of completeness. Note also that these would apply only to Mandarin entries, not entries for other dialects. (Similar to American English, British English, etc.) I'm not sure what the parent category might be - "Regional Chinese" perhaps? Or maybe no parent category at all? Any ideas? Suggestions? Objections? Tooironic 22:46, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

Have you seen the categories in Category:Regional Chinese? Perhaps you could use those as a guideline. -- A-cai 19:23, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

Cardinal numbers[edit]

See 万万; no Cardinal number template? Tooironic 00:13, 24 November 2009 (UTC)


Hey I'd really appreciate it if you could add IPA for these to help users distinguish between jiāoxué and jiàoxué. I would do it myself but I lack the prerequisite talent! Thanks heaps. Tooironic 01:18, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

Done. -- A-cai 19:31, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

New Guide: How to Create a Basic Chinese Entry[edit]

Hi A-Cai. I just finished a new guide for wiktionary entitled How to Create a Basic Chinese Entry. Questions and comments welcome! Tooironic 01:13, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

Very nice. Make sure to link your article to Wiktionary:About Chinese and add Category:Chinese language to your article. -- A-cai 12:54, 26 November 2009 (UTC)
Sure. I added it to Chinese language, but as for About Chinese, where should I put it? Tooironic 08:04, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
I would say you could probably put a link somewhere near the top. -- A-cai 13:43, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

Category:Mandarin nouns ending in "-zhǔyì"[edit]

What do you think about this category I just created? I was inspired by Category:English nouns ending in "-ism". I think categories like this for suffixes could be useful, however I'm not sure if I should leave the wording as is or have different categories for Simp and Trad forms. What you reckon? Tooironic 11:53, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

I would say that it's like it is for now. We can always adjust in the future, if the category grows. -- A-cai 13:45, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

的话 / 的話[edit]

Not sure if this is considered a "particle" or not? Is that the best PoS to allocate it? Tooironic 15:10, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

I can't think of anything better, off the top of my head. -- A-cai 13:48, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

告诉 / 告訴[edit]

Hi, did I differentiate the two verb pronunciations properly, formatting wise ("Verb 1", "Verb 2")? Also, if you could type out IPAs for them that would be fantastic. Tooironic 15:51, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

I couldn't find any precedent for numbering the verbs. I slightly rearranged the entry, based on the explanation in WT:ELE. Accordingly, the Etymology section is numbered, but none of the other headers get a number. -- A-cai 14:11, 29 November 2009 (UTC)


Can you tell me why, when you click on this entry, the title up the top comes up with 拉麵 not 拉麵? Weird. Tooironic 09:20, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

OK that's really weird. For some reason wiktionary automatically switches the simplified mian to the traditional mian, even when I typed that message! Tooironic 09:21, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
Never mind, it was a problem with my browser. Tooironic 09:23, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

Chinese category names[edit]

I'd appreciate your thoughts on Wiktionary:Beer parlour#Chinese categories. Thanks. --Bequw¢τ 21:59, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

Beer parlour[edit]

Hey A-cai, would love your contribution to the 'Toneless pinyin' discussion at the Beer Parlour. Cheers. Tooironic 21:50, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

一二三四五,上山打老虎 & 你拍一,我拍一,一只小猫坐飞机[edit]

What you think of these entries I created? Do they qualify as "proverbs"? I wasn't sure what to put them under. The English equivalent, eeny, meeny, miny, moe, is a "Noun", whilst the Finnish, French and Italian equivalents put them under "Phrase". Tooironic 22:31, 9 December 2009 (UTC)

I'll have to think about this one. They don't seem like proverbs to me, but I can't think of a good alternative at the moment. Perhaps we need a new header titled "Nursery rhyme". -- A-cai 02:19, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Derived terms[edit]

I was so proud of my 救生 entries that I decided to use a Derived terms template - is this allowed for non-English entries I wonder? It's pretty! Tooironic 05:23, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

Very cool. I can't think of any prohibitions against off hand. -- A-cai 23:42, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

-地 adverbs[edit]

Do we presently include -地 adverbs (e.g. 安靜地, 急忙地, etc)? Or are they considered some-of-parts like -的 entries? Tooironic 05:10, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

From what I can tell, most dictionary do not include such entries, so I think we're safe in leaving them out. I think its we can treat -地 the same way we treat -的. -- A-cai 00:24, 13 December 2009 (UTC)


Can you please add IPA for both méiguī and méigui pronunciations? Cheers. Tooironic 03:08, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

done. -- A-cai 12:58, 13 December 2009 (UTC)

Switch-around Words[edit]

If you check out my Userpage you can see a list of Chinese anagrams / switch-around words I've compiled. I'm thinking they could be useful as a kind of note for learners, you know, something along the lines of: "not to be confused with:...". Some good examples are 到達/達到, 人工/工人, 往來/來往, etc. Not sure what the title of the header should be though - Anagrams? See also? Or maybe just a See also line up the top of the page? What do you think? Tooironic 08:23, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

I think See also should work for now. We can always change it later on, if we think of something better. -- A-cai 23:43, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
They are literally anagrams, are they not? bd2412 T 02:13, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

new Chinese contributor[edit]

达伟 (talkcontribs), probably needs to be taught formatting and templates and whatnot. L☺g☺maniac 16:37, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the heads up. It looks like User:Tooironic has already taken the initiative. -- A-cai 13:35, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

Chinese categories vote[edit]

Your opinion of Wiktionary:Votes/2009-12/Chinese categories would help many (including myself) to know if the proposed changes are agreeable to the primary Chinese contributors. Though you appeared to support it in the BP, I don't want to put words in your mouth:) --Bequw¢τ 01:26, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

Mandarin words ending in "-le"[edit]

Please check out 對了 and 有了. Not sure if I've formatted the category correctly here. I figured they deserved one because 了-words are so rare and thus noteworthy. Tooironic 12:07, 26 December 2009 (UTC)

Chinese categories[edit]

Is it really necessary to cram the section "Categories:" at entries with various "in simplified script" repeatedly? If that kind of information is necessary, a CatScan may be made in, for instance, both Category:Min Nan in simplified script and Category:nan:Birds. --Daniel. 17:04, 26 December 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure I understand what you are proposing. Could you explain a little further? -- A-cai 19:08, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't think that multiple information in each topical and lexical Chinese category as explained at Wiktionary:Votes/2009-12/Chinese categories would be desirable or helpful. For instance, if that proposal goes into effect in the entry , it might contain "Categories: Mandarin nouns in simplified script | Mandarin verbs in simplified script | cmn:Emotions in simplified script | Min Nan nouns in simplified script | Min Nan verbs in simplified script | nan:Emotions in simplified script". I could count six categories with extense names; in words where it is stated both "traditional and simplified" such as 蝴蝶, the quantity would be basically doubled. Since the script is needed, the simplicity and readability could be improved by means of additional categories just for them, such as "Category:Mandarin in simplified script", which, returning to my example , would result in: "Categories: Mandarin in simplified script | Mandarin nouns | Mandarin verbs | cmn:Emotions | Min Nan in simplified script | Min Nan nouns | Min Nan verbs | nan:Emotions". --Daniel. 20:24, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
This would trade decreased utility of the native categories (someone would have to use an external tool, which is slower and could break, to find word lists that are currently provided natively) for smaller, page-footer sections. Maybe that's useful, but why are we worried the length of text in the footer? It's not like it's getting in the way of someone searching farther down for definitions. --Bequw¢τ 23:34, 26 December 2009 (UTC)

巴's rs[edit]

Under , its radical is listed as . Is this a mistake? Tooironic 11:40, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

Yes, it appears to be a mistake. I changed it so that it matches the information I found in both the Unihan database and Kangxi Dictionary. -- A-cai 21:00, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

"Turtle" radical vandalism[edit]

Hi A-cai, the vandal seems to have also hit Index:Chinese_radical/龞 and Index:Chinese_radical with the turtle radical vandalism, perhaps other pages as well. I don't know enough to know if this isn't a real radical so will leave the repair up to you. 00:48, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

I changed everything back to the way it was for the above pages. Hopefully, there weren't any other pages that we missed. Thanks again for calling this to my attention. -- A-cai 01:30, 29 December 2009 (UTC)


I think you've confused this word's meaning with 音譯. To my knowledge, transliteration involves transferring the sounds of words into similar sounds in the target language. But 字譯 refers to translating the components of words, phrases, sentences, etc in a literal fashion. I've ammended this definition accordingly. Tooironic 05:28, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

I can see how one would arrive at that conclusion. However, I have seen transliteration translated as 字譯 in several online sources:
Of course, those sources could always be in error. However, I haven't had time to research the issue more thoroughly. -- A-cai 14:05, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
Don't tell me you're trusting google translator? :P I think this is a case of habitual mistranslation/Chinglish - the original translator probably mistook "-literation" for "literal" translation. Tooironic 04:47, 2 January 2010 (UTC)


Hi, is 应弦而倒 a saying we should make an entry for? 00:27, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the question. Generally, if a word or expression has been used in three or more established sources, such as a book, periodical etc, and is not a sum of parts entry, it is eligible for inclusion in Wiktionary. I would say that 应弦而倒 easily meets these criteria. Please see Wiktionary:Criteria for inclusion, for more information. -- A-cai 02:14, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

Thanks, I don't have enough knowledge to make this one, so I'll add it at Requested Entries. 02:19, 30 December 2009 (UTC)