User talk:A-cai/2010

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Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2009-12/Treatment of toneless pinyin syllables[edit]

Your opinion with respect to this vote would be most instructive. Cheers! bd2412 T 23:18, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

Since voting has been light so far, I've added another option proposed by User:Mglovesfun, which I think is a good one. This is now option number 4, and not including them at all has been moved to number 5. Cheers! bd2412 T 00:47, 3 January 2010 (UTC)


I do not want to come across as contumelious but please consider casting your vote for the tile logo as—besides using English—the book logo has a clear directionality of horizontal left-to-right, starkly contrasting with Arabic and Chinese, two of the six official UN languages. As such, the tile logo is the only translingual choice left and it was also elected in m:Wiktionary/logo/archive-vote-4. Warmest Regards, :)--thecurran Speak your mind my past 03:01, 2 January 2010 (UTC)


Hi, should we have an entry on 三味? I think Lu Xun may have coined this phrase but am not sure of the figurative meaning. 05:21, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

三味 is a Buddhist term in Mandarin. That definition can be documented. However, it doesn't appear that 三味 is an abbreviation for shamisen in Mandarin. So, the answer would be a qualified yes. -- A-cai 14:40, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

I'll try to find the Buddhist term (I don't know which one it translates as). I was told that Lu Xun used this phrase in a famous article he wrote--do you know which one that would be? Regarding the Japanese usage, do you think that has a Buddhist origin as well? I had always wondered why the shamisen was called "three flavor strings" or "three taste strings" rather than the Chinese name "three strings" (sanxian); do you have any idea about that? I suppose a Japanese etymology dictionary might explain it, but I don't know where to find one of those. 20:56, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

I am only finding that 三昧 is a Buddhist term, for samadhi. Can you find a source for 三味 being a Buddhist term? 21:19, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

I just found the following online:

  • It could be related to the Buddhist term "Samadhi" (三昧):
三味: The three flavours or pleasant savours; the monastic life, reading the scriptures meditation
  • This website gives a very deep explanation (can you make sense of it?):
三味书屋为什么叫三味书屋 [中国文学 艺术]
悬赏点数 10 票数不足,该提问被关闭。 查看投票结果。 6个回答 136次浏览
2 [好评] [差评]
河北过客 2009-2-20 19:05:35 121.42.171.* 举报
  • And about Lu Xun:
At age 7, LX began to stuy the classics in a Shaoxing "private school" (sishu) called the Sanwei shuwu 三味書屋 (Three Tastes Studio; the 3 tastes refer to history, poetry, and philosophy). His teacher was Shou Jingwu 壽鏡吾 (xiucai). It was standard to start with the Bai xing 百姓 (Hundred surnames), then the Sishu wujing 四書五經 (Four books and five classics), the Tangshi sanbai shou 唐詩三百首 (Three hundred Tang poems), but Lu Xun had already done these texts at home, so he bagan his formal education with the Shi jing 詩經 (Book of odes). Lu Xun's first short story "Huaijiu" 懷舊 (Reminiscence of the past), written in classical Chinese, portrays rather negatively the experience of a boy in a very similar school. In reality, though, Lu Xun did not dislike Shou, whom he kept in contact with for years afterward.
  • Here's one more explanation:
寿宇说:“我小的时候,我祖父寿镜吾亲口对我说,三味是指布衣暖,菜根香,诗书滋味长。布衣指的是老百姓, ‘布衣暖’就是甘当老百姓,不去当官做老爷;‘菜根香’就是满足于粗茶淡饭,不向往于山珍海味的享受;‘诗书滋味长’就是认真体会诗书的深奥内容,从而获得深长的滋味。这第一点‘布衣暖’非常重要,这是我祖先峰岚公、韵樵公的思想核心,产业的失败,使他们看清了清王朝的腐朽本质,他们认为在祸国殃民的清王朝当官就是为虎作伥,是害人害己。于是,把三味书屋的办学方向也作为子孙的人生指南,不许自己的子孙去应考做官,要甘于布衣暖,菜根香,品尝诗书的滋味。”寿宇说,寿镜吾生前曾对他说:“这三味的含义不能对外人说,也不能见诸文字,这是祖先韵樵公定的一个家规,因为‘三味’精神有明显的反清倾向,一旦传出去可能要招来杀身之祸。”这也是后来人们主观臆测出来众多说法的主要原因。 21:35, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

I did some checking of my own. It seems that the Lu Xun reference has nothing to do with the Buddhist usage that I had found previously. It also probably is only coincidental that these characters are also used in the word for shamisen. However, it appears that scholars versed in Lu Xun's works do not have a unified theory about what exactly Lu Xun meant by this phrase. Here is a link to an article that discusses one person's attempt to track down the origin of the phrase in Lu Xun's piece:
Since there doesn't seem to be universal agreement about it's meaning in the Lu Xun piece, I'm not sure that meaning would be appropriate to include in Wiktionary. However, a wikipedia article might be in order. -- A-cai 01:05, 7 January 2010 (UTC)


Should we have an entry for 稻粱? It appears in the above sentence "读经味如稻粱." 21:55, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

My initial reaction is that it is a sum of parts entry, and hence, not allowed. However, if you have evidence to the contrary, I would be happy to look into the matter further. -- A-cai 01:20, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

So I suppose the sum of the parts implies that 稻粱 means "rice and millet" or "rice cooked together with millet" rather than "grain"? 06:23, 7 January 2010 (UTC)


What is this Chaozhou heading in 朋友? It doesn't seem to be formatted correctly. Tooironic 04:29, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

There's a story behind this one. It involves at least one or more lengthy debates on beer parlor about what constitutes a valid language (vs accent) on Wiktionary. Chaozhou is a distinct variety of Min Nan. It is not mutually intelligible with other varieties of Min Nan, such as Amoy. Unfortunately, Min Nan only has one ISO-639-3 code (nan). This will only become an issue if non-Amoy Min Nan dialects are included in Wiktionary. I was trying to anticipate this eventuality at the time, but no Chaozhou speakers ever showed up. Hopefully, Wiktionary's limitations did not scare them off. At any rate, this was one of the sample entries that I used to illustrate the differences between Chaozhou and "standard" Amoy Min Nan. Not long after creating this entry, I decided to table the issue until more Asian language experts arrived on Wiktionary, a process that has taken much longer than I originally thought it would. Since I know Amoy, I still create the occassional Amoy Min Nan entry (under the Min Nan heading), but mainly focus my efforts on Mandarin, which is studied by far more Westerners than any other Chinese dialect. Hope this wasn't too confusing an explanation. -- A-cai 22:28, 9 January 2010 (UTC)


Is this the right way to indicate two different pronunciations in the same part of speech without knowing the etymologies? Tooironic 11:48, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

The right way it not easy to figure out but I believe that you have not done it the right way. You can read about the format here About_Chinese and see an examples of how to do it right here . Btw this discussion really belongs on the "About Chinese" discussion page. Kinamand 15:37, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
I agree, I think it looks better with a second noun L3 header. However, I don't recall this issue ever coming to a vote. A lot of this is just made up as we go. 摸着石头过河, as they say. -- A-cai 22:35, 9 January 2010 (UTC)


Hi, is it appropriate to have an entry for 平康 (short for 平安 + 健康? 00:53, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

If you can find it in another established dictionary, the answer is usually yes. As it turns out, there is indeed an entry at: -- A-cai 22:43, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

Chinese category questions[edit]

Hi A-cai. I'm just finishing up moving all the PoS-style categories to the new naming convention. Before I start on the topical categories I wanted to ask a question. Should I merge all the zh topical categories into the cmn prefix? Should, for instance, Category:zh-cn:AstronomyCategory:cmn:Astronomy in simplified script? The alternative would be to keep the two prefixes separate (and → Category:zh:Astronomy in simplified script) but I don't think that's rights. Thanks. Let me know if you see any problems. --Bequw¢τ 20:44, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

Actually, a case could be made for either one. The zh code is the most well known, and refers generically to "Chinese", which most often simply means standard Mandarin. That has been the default position on Wiktionary to date. On the other hand, cmn refers specifically to Mandarin, which is the language header that we use. I'm honestly not sure which is better. Perhaps another beer parlor discussion is in order? -- A-cai 22:34, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
Now WT:BP#Topical category prefix for Mandarin categories


Any idea as to why this is tagged as a musical instrument? Tooironic 23:08, 16 January 2010 (UTC)

One of the definitions in the Mandarin section is: an ancient mouth organ similar to the sheng, but smaller; no longer used. -- A-cai 12:54, 30 January 2010 (UTC)


The example sentence you gave here is ungrammatical - you used 二个 instead of 两个. (在肯德基我从来都是二个辣汉堡,一杯大可。) Tooironic 19:42, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

Technically, you are correct. I hadn't even noticed. This is actually a quote from this blog post. I added this before I knew how to do a proper citation. Perhaps, another sentence can be located. -- A-cai 12:59, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
Interesting. I've never encountered a native speaker ( it a native speaker?) mixing up 两 and 二. Still, for the purposes of a dictionary, "correct" grammar should be adhered to IMO. I'll go fix that up now. Cheers. Tooironic 11:13, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
I'm guessing that the author of the blog is a native speaker. While "是二个" does seem to be technically wrong, it does not seem to be all that uncommon a phenomenon. However, Google hits for 是两个 suggest that it is far more common than 是二个. -- A-cai 13:17, 10 February 2010 (UTC)

correct=wot ppl use

Ampere定律, Darwin主义, Darwin主义者, Einstein相对论, Esperanto主义者, et al[edit]

Would love your input at Wiktionary:Requests_for_deletion when you're alive again. :) Tooironic 08:03, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Sorry for taking so long to respond, I have added my two RMB at WT:RFD. -- A-cai 13:21, 30 January 2010 (UTC)


Are languages in Mandarin considered nouns or proper nouns? We seem to be very inconsistent here:

Tooironic 12:03, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

While noun is not technically incorrect, I would think Proper noun is more accurate. -- A-cai 13:33, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
I am finally gonna tackle these now. Cheers. ---> Tooironic 22:43, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

Indexing Mandarin entries[edit]

Would love your input for this topic @ Wiktionary:Grease_pit. 囧 Tooironic 11:11, 2 February 2010 (UTC)


How come Simplified Chinese idioms is red here? Have I formatted this incorrectly? My understanding was that Wiktionary was trying to limit using Idiom as a PoS header, so I formatted this as a Verb and put it in the Idioms category. Tooironic 06:27, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

The problem is with the {{idiomatic}} template. This template makes use of another template called {{zh-cn}}, which simply inserts "Simplified Chinese" into the text. The word "idioms" then gets appended to "Simplified Chinese" by the {{context}} template (the parent template of the {{idiomatic}} template), resulting in a non-existent category Category:Simplified Chinese idioms. In other words, the {{idiomatic}} template does not currently accommodate the new naming convention that everyone voted for recently. Per that new naming convention, the category should be: Category:Mandarin idioms in simplified script, however {{context}} cannot handle this new naming convention. This is one of those unforeseen complications that both of us were worried about when the modification was initially proposed. The solution would be to fix the {{context}} template, but I'm not sure how easy it will be to fix. Perhaps someone at Grease pit can help. -- A-cai 13:02, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
OK I think I understand that. I will post about it in the GP. However I don't understand why this entry I just created 异类 can't link to the Colloquial tag properly. As far as I can tell, the wording in the formatting is the exactly the same as in the other colloquial entries (e.g. 废话), and yet for some reason 异类 comes up with a red link. Do you know what's going on here? I'm puzzled. Cheers. Tooironic 08:54, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
That's an easier fix. You had inadvertently typed "zn" instead of "zh". -- A-cai 12:29, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
Oh God. Haha. Thank you! Tooironic 23:53, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

none of someone's business[edit]

Added the following translations for this English idiom:

Would love to create Chinese entries for these useful structures but have no idea what PoS they would fall under. Any ideas? Can't remember if a "Phrase" template for Mandarin entries even exists on Wiktionary... Tooironic 10:58, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

I'm not a grammar expert, but if I had to take a stab, I would say these phrases are examples of adjectival phrases. Therefore, technically, "Adjective" should probably be fine for a header. However, you could also make the case that these are verb phrases. This is what happens when you try to apply precise Western grammatical rules to non-Western languages :) -- A-cai 14:15, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

Alphabetically Listing Derived Terms[edit]

I've started doing this for entries that have a lot of derived terms (see 什么). I think this makes it easier to read and look up entries. Let me know if you have any objections. Tooironic 22:05, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

Can't think of any reason not to. As you're learning, we're making a lot of this up as we go :) -- A-cai 23:37, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

annoying templates in 'Chinese words needing attention'[edit]

Hey A-cai can you pretty please remove those pesky templates from the Category:Chinese_words_needing_attention? They shouldn't be there as they are not entries which actually need checking. I've been smashing this list down bit by bit each day, and hope to get down to 1,500 sometime this year! Thanks Tooironic 12:21, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

I'd recommend keeping them as there are only three! But, how you do it is use <includeonly>blah blah blah</includeonly>. Mglovesfun (talk) 12:22, 16 February 2010 (UTC)
That's no reason for keeping them. :P One day this category will be ZERO and on that day I don't want three stupid templates raining on my parade. Tooironic 21:52, 16 February 2010 (UTC)
I tried to remove the category, but it didn't seem to work. You might have to check with WT:GP. BTW, thanks for tackling these. I tried a one point to keep up with all of the words flooding into this category, but found that I had no time for anything else, so I gave up. Try not to get burned out on them :) -- A-cai 22:36, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

Idioms category and context tags[edit]

Would love to hear your opinion @ Category_talk:Mandarin_idioms_in_simplified_script. Cheers. Tooironic 12:10, 19 February 2010 (UTC)


Could you pretty please add the IPA for the variant pronunciation of this hanzi (làodì)? Thanks. Tooironic 08:08, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

  • The IPA would be:
    [ lao˥˩ti˥˩ ]
  • However, I'm curious to know how confident you are in this variant pronunciation? While lào is a valid variant pronunciation for 落, I couldn't find any dictionaries that list làodì as a variant pronunciation for 落地. Equally troubling are the google hits. I came up with 1,100 google hits for 落地 luòdì, but only one google hit for 落地 làodì. Do you have any sources that you can site for làodì as a variant pronunciation? Thanks. -- A-cai 15:16, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
    I just saw it on Wenlin. Maybe I will ask a bunch of native speakers later if I get time. Tooironic 22:41, 22 February 2010 (UTC)


FYI you list this as an adjective but define it as a noun. Tooironic 13:55, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing this out to me. I have modified the definition to better agree with the part of speech. -- A-cai 15:20, 21 February 2010 (UTC)


Please see my post at Wiktionary:Grease pit! Tooironic 22:42, 22 February 2010 (UTC)


I really struggled to think of an appropriate PoS header for this. Is it verb or adjective? Unfortunately out of all the dictionaries I've looked at, only Wenlin lists it. Unfortunately it defines it as a "fixed expression". Bugger. Tooironic 23:46, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

均可 is basically the literary equivalent of 可以. In the example that you provided, it is used as more of an adjective. However, there are other instances where it can function as a verb. For example:
So without being too glib, the answer to your question (is it a verb or adjective?) is yes :) Remember, you can have more than one header per entry. See 可以 for example. -- A-cai 15:08, 27 February 2010 (UTC)


Are you getting what I'm getting?

The following 191 pages are in this category, out of 1,484 total.


   * 米
   * 克
   * 兩
   * 分
   * 寸
   * 尺
   * 斤
   * 佛教

WTF? I asked about it at Grease Pit to no avail. ---> Tooironic 00:37, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

I'm seeing the same thing, but I don't know what to make of it. -- A-cai 13:05, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, what's the problem? Mglovesfun (talk) 13:35, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure, apparently there's a problem with the count. -- A-cai 14:08, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
The problem is the count starts at j, but then lists:
   * mǐ
   * kè
   * liǎng
   * fēn
   * cùn
   * chǐ
   * jīn
   * fójiào

...seemingly random words. ---> Tooironic 00:46, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

To find out why an entry is listed in a particular category (in a particular sort order, such as "j") when it's not obvious from the wikitext you can copy & paste the wikitext into Special:ExpandTemplates and then search the output for the category name. In the case of , the {{yue-noun|ts|tas=米}} call creates [[Category:Chinese words needing attention|r]][[Category:Chinese words needing attention|j]]. The template categorizes under r if missing the rs= parameter and under j if missing the jyut= parameter. I suspect the others are for similar reasons.--Bequwτ 01:52, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
But why is an entry like 佛教 listed, which doesn't even contain an {{attention}} tag? It's not as if it doesn't have its rs= field filled in... ---> Tooironic 08:51, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
It's missing jyut=. --Bequwτ 15:16, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

Appendix:HSK list of Mandarin words/Advanced Mandarin[edit]

Why do you have (徵人) after 招聘? ---> Tooironic 08:57, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for catching that. I have already fixed it. -- A-cai 12:54, 14 March 2010 (UTC)
And, again, we have 文明 (衣冠文物) @ Appendix:HSK list of Mandarin words/Elementary Mandarin. Very strange. ---> Tooironic 01:25, 16 March 2010 (UTC)
Fixed. -- A-cai 22:57, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

I hope you don't mind a question...but perhaps the reason for the 模式/方式 and 文明/衣冠文物 is that whoever created the list was making note of the typical Mandarin terms used on the mainland versus Hong Kong? So they aren't required to be the simplified versus traditional variants in all cases, but may simply reflect different vocabulary choices used in different places (just like 打印机 vs. 印表機 on Taiwan). Just curious.--达伟 00:27, 30 March 2010 (UTC)


I tried to add a toneless pinyin entry here as was requested in Requested Entries/Chinese. Do we count bisyllabic words under the PoS "Pinyin syllable"? I'm not sure about this... ---> Tooironic 23:21, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

See zhidao for an example of how I've done it in the past. -- A-cai 22:59, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

Hanzi for Minnan/Taiwanese[edit]

Hi.I just was thinking about something in relation to this topic. If you had at time at some point, could you take a look at Tooironic's talk page, near the bottom there's a section with my question on Taiwanese/Minnan. Just curious about your thoughts on the idea. If you're busy, don't feel obligated. Specifically, the question is located under the 储藏室 ‎heading. Also, there's anothe question there about A-Shan that Tooironic and I were wondering about....Thanks!--达伟 00:27, 22 March 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for the question. Tooironic characterized the situation correctly. We only have a few good Mandarin contributors, and I have been the only one to consistently add Min Nan over the last few years. I have less time to work on Wiktionary now, so I have mainly focused on Mandarin, which is the more popular dialect. However, if you have a request for a specific word, feel free to send a request, and I will try to get to it when I have time. Thanks. -- A-cai 12:57, 3 April 2010 (UTC)


I wonder: does this kind of Taiwan variant pronunciation also exist for 短期? If it does can you add it for me? Cheers. ---> Tooironic 22:14, 24 March 2010 (UTC)

Done. -- A-cai 12:49, 3 April 2010 (UTC)


Hi. I was wondering about the justification for the definition of 阿山 as nickname for someone whose name ends in 山. I speak Mandarin and my understanding is that the 阿 particular can be potentially paired with literally hundred of names to create a nickname, so I don't know why it needs its own entry on Wiktionary. I mean, we couldn't create articles of 阿伟, 阿东, 阿华, 阿利, 阿星, 阿新 or the countless combinations of possible names....Just curious on your opinion.--达伟 00:22, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

You're absolutely correct. Normally, we wouldn't create separate entries for all of these. I made an exception in this case in order to show that 阿山 has a different meaning in Mandarin than in Min Nan. -- A-cai 12:38, 3 April 2010 (UTC)


Hello, does 山高皇帝远 merit an entry? 04:32, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

Yes. In fact, we already have an entry for a variant of this phrase: 天高皇帝远. -- A-cai 12:01, 17 April 2010 (UTC)


Do you think it is necessary to create a Dated category? At the moment we only have Archaic, Colloquial, Dialectal (which isn't used), Literary and Slang. I don't really think the "daughter" sense of 姑娘 can be considered any of them, but it is definitely a dated connotation. What you reckon, old A-cai? ---> Tooironic 12:42, 1 May 2010 (UTC)

I don't think it hurts anything, although I'm not sure how often we would use such a label. -- A-cai 19:17, 2 May 2010 (UTC)
Well we got three so far. More will come as the Mandarin entries continue to expand. ---> Tooironic 14:23, 9 May 2010 (UTC)


Would you mind checking the IPA here? It doesn't look right to me. Cheers. ---> Tooironic 12:57, 1 May 2010 (UTC)

I made some minor adjustments. I think it's closer now. -- A-cai 19:19, 2 May 2010 (UTC)


At [2], under W, it says: 文件 (檔案)... both, more or less, mean file/document... surely this is not a real Taiwan difference in usage? As per usual, the stuff in brackets on this list is confusing. ---> Tooironic 14:12, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for catching that, I fixed it. I originally used a conversion program to get the traditional characters, but sometimes the program tried to use what it thought was a Taiwan equivalent rather than the straight traditional form of the simplified. I've been trying to clean up the mess ever since. Fortunately, it doesn't happen that often. -- A-cai 14:04, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
Unfortunately there are many more examples, e.g. 吨 (公頓) and 合同 (合約). You might wanna do another check. Cheers. ---> Tooironic 12:18, 9 May 2010 (UTC)


Can you help me link this word to the Beijing category? What I put in doesn't seem to work. Cheers. ---> Tooironic 00:21, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

I can't seem to find a Beijing category. Perhaps you could provide me the link. Thanks. -- A-cai 23:43, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps there isn't one... can you make one? ---> Tooironic 23:51, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
I created a {{Beijing}} template, which is supposed to send words to Category:Beijing Mandarin. However, I'm not seeing them show up in the category. Either there is a lag in the database, or I did something wrong. If it doesn't show up in a day or so, I'll assume the latter and seek help from one of the more experienced techies. -- A-cai 00:17, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

Mandarin phrase category[edit]

After creating my hundredth Mandarin phrase as an "interjection" (谁知道) I'd like to ask if you could pretty please create a Mandarin phrases category template. Thanks. ---> Tooironic 00:05, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

I created a new template called {{cmn-phrase}}. It works the same way as all the others. -- A-cai 00:14, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

楷书, 草书, et al[edit]

What category would be most suitable, do you think? Writing? Calligraphy? ---> Tooironic 10:38, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

I would say Category:Chinese calligraphy, which would be a sub-category of Category:Calligraphy. -- A-cai 21:23, 17 May 2010 (UTC)


Is this an adverb? I dunno. ---> Tooironic 01:43, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

It can be either an adjective or an adverb, depending on the sentence. -- A-cai 00:18, 22 May 2010 (UTC)


I don't think the definition here is entirely accurate. ---> Tooironic 14:16, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

I added a Google reference. Let me know if this works for you. -- A-cai 00:28, 22 May 2010 (UTC)


You added this in 2007. I wonder whether you'd have the time to determine whether there is a better definition, or whether the heading should be "Syllable" (which is standard) instead of Phoneme? Conrad.Irwin 17:14, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

I have changed it to Syllable, per your suggestion. -- A-cai 00:30, 22 May 2010 (UTC)


I'm phasing out External links to Google when they can be replaced with published references. I think this is a much more reliable way to cross-reference our definitions. Cheers. ---> Tooironic 00:35, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

I agree that published references (especially standard dictionaries) are preferable, where possible. However, there are cases where a link to a Google search is the only thing that we are able to provide. In such cases, I try to put the Google search into a standard references template. -- A-cai 00:33, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

Wiktionary:Votes/2010-04/Voting policy[edit]

I urge you to vote. (I don't know which way you'll vote, but I want more voices, especially English Wiktionarians' voices, heard in this vote.) If you've voted already, or stated that you won't, and I missed it, I apologize.​—msh210 17:00, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

& [edit]

According to Wenlin, simp. and trad. have 13 strokes and 14 strokes respectively, however on Wiktionary we list them both as "水+11". Any idea why? Cheers. ---> Tooironic 01:36, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

Unfortunately, the Unihan database is down at the moment. However, I'm assuming that's where it came from. However, Unihan could be wrong. -- A-cai 12:11, 5 June 2010 (UTC)

青保, 劳改, et al[edit]

I'd like to create a category for these special terms, something along the lines of "Mandarin abbreviations". What do you think? Can you help me to create it? I think it would be really useful. A lot of dictionaries don't list these terms despite the fact that they are used and often difficult to decipher per their parts. Cheers. ---> Tooironic 01:54, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

Sounds good to me :) -- A-cai 12:25, 5 June 2010 (UTC)

My proposal for pinyin entries[edit]

I would really appreciate you taking a look at User:Tooironic/xìngshì. I think this formatting policy would make our lives a whole lot easier. I am calling upon all veteran Mandarin editors to make suggestions of improvement at the talk page. Cheers. ---> Tooironic 13:20, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

Well, if you're still interested, I would love to hear your thoughts about it in the BP. ---> Tooironic 01:35, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

look at this, plz[edit]

a certain Tooironic chases me screwing your page

  • you made a list of hanzi, i'm adding pinyin reading to them, all of them by the list
  • yet this noone-from-nowhere erases my efforts calling it vandalizing
  • instead of contributing something useful he sticks to me with groundless statements and threats
  • do something with him, please
  • hope you like the idea of seeing pronunciation with tones near the hanzi you wrote

Stop vandalising that page. Almost every one of your contributions is incorrect. You were warned before but continued to vandalise the page, then wondered why your edits were reverted and your IP blocked. Stop wasting our time, thank you. ---> Tooironic 01:48, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
Dear anonymous, from what I can tell, the main problem is that you are putting a "-" between the pinyin syllables. This doesn't conform to standard Pinyin spelling found in most dictionaries that are published in the PRC. Since the HSK list is a PRC creation, we want to be sure to follow PRC Pinyin spelling conventions. The easiest way to avoid errors is to use a tool such as (Characters must be in simplified form). Simply paste the characters into the window and press the Pinyin button. While the default option on the right of the Window says "interleave", it actually is easier if you select the "separate" option instead. -- A-cai 12:24, 5 June 2010 (UTC)

的 as syllable[edit]

Hi A-cai. I can see that you have made this edit [3] which puts 的 in a not existing category named Category:Mandarin syllables. Was that you intention or have you mistyped a parameter in the inflection template? Kinamand 07:35, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

Something about the template must be creating the category. Not sure how to fix that. -- A-cai 12:05, 5 June 2010 (UTC)


Should this be in Linguistics? Wouldn't Languages or Dialects be more accurate? ---> Tooironic 03:52, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

I guess so. A lot of this is so subjective. -- A-cai 12:06, 5 June 2010 (UTC)


Why did you remove the variant pronunciation here? ---> Tooironic 00:07, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

None of the dictionaries that I checked listed the yi as a neutral tone. Of course, if you have a reference that lists it that way, we can always put it back in. -- A-cai 12:08, 5 June 2010 (UTC)
I do have a dictionary that lists that variant pronunciation. I've rolled back. Feel free to add your IPA for both. Cheers. ---> Tooironic 22:35, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
Were you planning on including your dictionary as a reference? I think you should, because it could get challenged in the future. It would also allow users to assess the validity of that reference, since not all references are equally reliable. Just checked another dictionary, and again only found the spelling jìnyībù. Anyway, I'll leave it up to you. -- A-cai 23:33, 18 June 2010 (UTC)
P.S. references for jìnyībù:
  • 1985, Wu, Jingrong (ed.), The Pinyin CHINESE-ENGLISH DICTIONARY, Beijing, Hong Kong: The Commercial Press, →ISBN:Lua error in Module:utilities at line 143: The language code "Mandarin/English" is not valid.
  • 1994, Dictionary of Modern Chinese (現代漢語詞典), Hong Kong: The Commercial Press, →ISBN:Lua error in Module:utilities at line 143: The language code "Mandarin" is not valid.
  • 1995, Pleco Basic Chinese-English Dictionary based on A Chinese-English Dictionary, Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press, Pleco Software:Lua error in Module:utilities at line 143: The language code "Mandarin" is not valid.
  • Sure, I'll add the references now. Cheers. ---> Tooironic 01:45, 19 June 2010 (UTC)


Hello, can you please check the spelling at 缘份? I got the spelling from en:WP but zh:WP gives 缘分. Thank you, 16:32, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

It should be 缘分. I have made the necessary modifications. -- A-cai 00:24, 19 June 2010 (UTC) gives 缘分 as an alternate spelling. 18:16, 20 June 2010 (UTC)


Hello, can also mean "song," as in the Bai Juyi poem title "琵琶行"? 21:41, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

The short answer is yes. Here is the longer answer. In classical poetry, referred to a style of folk song that was a sub-genre of the Yuefu style. There were a number of sub-genres of Yuefu, such as , , , , , etc. The modern word for song, , originally referred to a kind of slow ballad, whereas referred to an up-tempo song. However, the distinction between the two gradually became blurred, resulting in the generic (and now obsolete) term 歌行, which describes a certain sub-genre of ancient Yuefu that dates to the Han and Wei Dynasties. Another sub-genre of Yuefu was , resulting in the modern term 歌曲, which now just means generically "song." In closing, we now tend to think of Bai Juyi as a poet, which he was, but a more accurate term for him might have been lyricist. As far as I can tell,the music that originally accompanied his lyrics has been lost to history, so only the lyrics have survived. -- A-cai 00:17, 19 June 2010 (UTC)

Thank you, I think this very detailed information should be integrated into a usage note at the entry. 06:37, 19 June 2010 (UTC)


I just realised there was a pinyin mistake here - it should have been yàoshi and not yàoshì. Can you verify the IPA reflects this? Cheers. ---> Tooironic 01:43, 19 June 2010 (UTC)

Fixed. -- A-cai 12:00, 19 June 2010 (UTC)

枇杷 and 琵琶[edit]

Do you know if there is any etymological connection between 枇杷 and 琵琶? 21:37, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

This is mainly based on what I found in Chinese Wikipedia and Hanyu Da Cidian. The musical instrument was originally called 批把 (Note the "hand" radical on the left side of both characters). In the musical terminology of the day, referred to a downward strum or stroke, and referred to an upward strum or stroke. Later on, the characters were changed to 枇杷 (Note the "wood" radical on the left side of both characters). The name for the musical instrument also came to refer to the word for loquat, since the fruit resembles the body of the musical instrument. The characters for the musical instrument were probably later changed to 琵琶, in order to distinguish it from the fruit. -- A-cai 00:27, 26 June 2010 (UTC)

Thanks, this is very interesting! This is not just guesswork on the part of Chinese Wikipedians, but also corroborated by the editors of the Hanyu Da Cidian? If so, this information should be added to the entries. 04:55, 26 June 2010 (UTC)

I should note that music scholars regard the "pi-pa" (i.e. "pluck up, pluck down" etymology) as either folk etymology or a later prescription on the part of Han Chinese for the origin of this instrument's name, as it more likely originated with the Persian name of the instrument, which is "barbat" (بربط; apparently other words from Persian were similarly transformed, replacing consonant endings with vowel ones). 04:57, 26 June 2010 (UTC)

By the way, can you tell me where I could buy the CD-ROMs of the Hanyu Da Cidian? I guess it is not available for free on a website. 05:02, 26 June 2010 (UTC)

The best English language website for this is:
However, there are some Chinese language online bookstores that sell it for much cheaper:
Be advised that the dictionary is entirely in Chinese. -- A-cai 12:40, 27 June 2010 (UTC)

包养 and 失足[edit]

Hello, could you please help fix 包养? 04:31, 30 June 2010 (UTC)

Also 失足. 04:34, 30 June 2010 (UTC)

Done. -- A-cai 18:07, 4 July 2010 (UTC)

Wonderful, thank you. 04:32, 5 July 2010 (UTC)


Hello, can you help resolve a Mandarin question at Talk:兆? Thank you, 04:41, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

Also Talk:小弟. 05:06, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

And also Talk:残疾. 05:30, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

Also Talk:改革. 05:31, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

Also Talk:酒家. 05:57, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

Also Talk:胡笳. 06:18, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

Also Talk:翻身. 06:29, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

Also Talk:菜. 06:41, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

Also Talk:蘭. 20:30, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

Done. -- A-cai 00:35, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

Another question[edit]

See Talk:历史. 02:36, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

Also Talk:口子. 02:37, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

Also Talk:乐团. 02:41, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

Also Talk:万岁. 02:44, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

Also Talk:圆. 02:46, 6 July 2010 (UTC)


This doesn't seem quite right to me. First, it's not just literary - it is often used in conversation. Second, doesn't it just mean to murder? ---> Tooironic 02:11, 7 July 2010 (UTC)

I think it means both - plan to kill, to murder. Can we leave the original sense and add a second one? Also, it's not just a verb but a common noun with the same meanings. --Anatoli 02:23, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
I've done some more research. I'm not an expert in criminal law, so this is a tricky one for me. According to Wikipedia's description of the common law definition of murder, malice aforethought is a required element of murder. Therefore, I'm no longer sure that there is much of a distinction between "to plot murder" and "to murder". Take a look at my modifications to the entry, and see if you think I have satisfactorily resolved the issue. -- A-cai 12:40, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
Looks good, however I don't see how it can mean "to have someone murdered"...? ---> Tooironic 09:13, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
In other words, the person that does 谋杀 does not necessarily have to be the person that physically commits the crime. For example, in the Chinese article for Charles Manson, it lists his crimes as murder and conspiracy (谋杀、共谋), even though Manson was not present at the time of the killings. -- A-cai 12:26, 17 July 2010 (UTC)


Can you please add the IPA for the variant pronunciation? Thanks heaps. ---> Tooironic 09:13, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

Done. -- A-cai 13:12, 17 July 2010 (UTC)


Your input here would be much appreciated. ---> Tooironic 10:27, 15 July 2010 (UTC)


A glance at the etymology would be greatly appreciated. Ƿidsiþ 20:04, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

I feel like it would be better if the etymology included more of the history of the term. Perhaps the information in the last few paragraphs of this article could be incorporated into the etymology. -- A-cai 11:58, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

morning sickness[edit]

Apparently the Min Nan for morning sickness is 病囝, you might wanna add that translation to the English entry. ---> Tooironic 15:08, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

Done. -- A-cai 13:37, 31 July 2010 (UTC)


An informant tells me this is also pronounced xiěyì in Taiwan, could you confirm for me? Cheers. ---> Tooironic 01:32, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

In the standard Mandarin of Taiwan, can be rendered as either yè or yì. I believe that yè is considered to be the more proper of the two, although yì is also widely used. I checked both Guoyu Cidian (maintained by Taiwan's Ministry of Education) as well as Dr. Eye (one of the most popular software dictionaries in Taiwan). Both list the pronunciation as xiěyè, whereas the PRC dictionaries that I checked all list the pronunciation as xuèyè. My guess is that there may be some people in Taiwan that pronounce it xiěyì, but that it would be regarded as a non-standard pronunciation. -- A-cai 17:44, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
Sounds good enough for me. Adding it as a Taiwan variant. ---> Tooironic 03:30, 11 August 2010 (UTC)


What do you think about my formatting here? I rarely do pinyin entries but I thought this one was actually useful to distinguish the three possible readings. ---> Tooironic 13:18, 12 August 2010 (UTC)

I made a few modifications. See if you like it any better. -- A-cai 11:50, 14 August 2010 (UTC)

Min Nan noun entries[edit]

Are the Min Nan nouns you've added part of the Taiwanese variant or the variant as it is spoken in Xiamen, Fujian province? I notice that your entries differ from the entries in my dictionary, "English and Chinese Dictionary of the Amoy Dialect". For example, you've listed "service" as "ho̍k-bū" whereas my dictionary reads "tsit hūn". Another example would be your presentation of the noun "bûn-ha̍k" as literature whereas my dictionary reads "tsu-chheh". Öljylautta 02:42, 16 August 2010 (UTC)

Wiktionary includes words from the dark green areas under the language header Min Nan
For purposes of Wiktionary, entries under the header Min Nan are limited to Quanzhou-Zhangzhou speech (which includes Taiwanese and Amoy). These forms of speech are mutually intelligible, and are considered by many to be the "standard" form of Min Nan. In cases where variations exist within the dark green areas, a section can be included in the pronunciation section. For example, see gōa-gú and gōa-gí. Other forms of Min Nan, such as Teochew, only have a tiny number of entries on Wiktionary, at present. This is partly because we currently lack contributors who are knowledgeable in those areas that are willing to create entries for us. It also has to do with the fact that, while the language header is meant to distinguish mutually intelligible forms of speech, Min Nan is in fact a collection of at least three or more non-mutually intelligible forms of speech (Quanzhou-Zhangzhou, Teochew and Hainanese). The reason we use Min Nan, instead of say Amoy, as a language header is that Wiktionary's policy is to only allow language headers that have a matching ISO-639-3 code. In the case of Min Nan, that code is "nan" (Mandarin is "cmn").
Out of curiosity, may I ask when your dictionary was published and by whom? Based on your description, it sounds as though some of the terms may be a bit dated. I don't recognize tsit hūn, and I'm assuming tsu-chheh is 書冊, but have never heard anyone use that term to mean literature per se, although its meaning is closely related. The Min Nan wikipedia entry for literature is Bûn-ha̍k. See Appendix:Sino-Tibetan Swadesh lists for a convenient comparison of basic words. -- A-cai 13:00, 21 August 2010 (UTC)


I have a suspicion this is Taiwanese Mandarin, can you confirm it for me? Cheers. ---> Tooironic 12:46, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

Oh, and same with 嘿咻. Thanks. ---> Tooironic 13:27, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

If I had to take a wild guess, I would say that both terms probably entered Mandarin from English via Taiwan. However, both terms seem to be well known in the PRC as well. I have not yet been able to find a definitive reference that says for sure. At one point, I had assumed that 狗仔隊 originated in Taiwan, only later to discover that it had originated in Hong Kong. So, I wouldn't want to say its Taiwanese Mandarin, unless we had some reliable source that says so. Thanks. -- A-cai 12:23, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2010-10/Treatment of toneless pinyin other than syllables[edit]

Don't forget to vote. ---> Tooironic 00:15, 9 November 2010 (UTC)


Can't 公公 also mean eunuch (the ones who served in the royal palace)? 23:45, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

Yes. However, you would want to add an archaic label if you were to include that definition.. A-cai 11:58, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

入境随俗, 入鄉隨俗, et al[edit]

As far as I know, the {{also}} tag is only used for slight differences in script, so those Vietnamese entries should be linked in the See also section only. ---> Tooironic 23:46, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

Looks like someone already removed it, but thanks for the explanation :). -- A-cai 12:04, 13 December 2010 (UTC)


What part of speech would you give this? I just realised Proverb is totally wrong. ---> Tooironic 00:04, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

I would usually use the idiom header for something like this. However, if you want to be really precise, I guess you could use the verb header, with the idiom tag on the definition line. -- A-cai 11:51, 13 December 2010 (UTC)


Hello, can you help at Talk:花好月圆? 03:12, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

Done. -- A-cai 14:26, 27 December 2010 (UTC)


Can you determine what the first definition (in Chinese) means at 宮保? 03:23, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

The person was attempting to explain the origin of the term. However, we cannot accept it, unless the explanation is in English. This information is covered in the Wikipedia article that I cited. -- A-cai 14:26, 27 December 2010 (UTC)


Thank you for help repairing other Chinese entries. Can you figure out what the original editor meant at Talk:金剛? 22:46, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

See Vajrasattva. I think the original editor was trying to explain that 金剛 refers to the Vajra, which is held by Vajrasattva, but phrased it really awkwardly. -- A-cai 00:06, 28 December 2010 (UTC)


Can you please help at Talk:板? 22:48, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

See Talk:板 for response. -- A-cai 00:09, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

Category:Mandarin derived terms[edit]

Ddpy (talkcontribs) has been creating subcategories (with only a few entries each) in Category:Mandarin derived terms. What do you think: is that harmless, or is it better to provide such information in the ====Derived terms==== and ====Etymology==== sections of the entries? — Beobach 21:00, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

I think the derived terms should be listed under the "Derived terms" headers at each individual entry, without any of these categories. 21:20, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
Seems like a lot of work for not much gain, but that is my opinion only. Perhaps you might consider raising this issue in a larger forum such as Beer Parlor. -- A-cai 00:27, 29 December 2010 (UTC)


Can you help at Talk:jook-sing? 21:20, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

See my response at Talk:jook-sing. -- A-cai 00:39, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

I guess it is okay, but Wikipedia does not mention the spelling 竹昇, which someone had added to the Wiktionary entry earlier. Can you determine if 竹昇 is a valid alternate spelling? 01:12, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

Based on the etymology provided in the Wikipedia article and elsewhere, I would say no. The character 昇 is used as the traditional form of 升 only when the meaning is "to rise" (ex. 上升/上昇). When it is used as a unit of measurement, as appears to be the case here, then 升 is used in both traditional and simplified scripts. -- A-cai 15:12, 29 December 2010 (UTC)


Hello, can you help at Talk:鄵? 01:12, 29 December 2010 (UTC) Done. -- A-cai 01:35, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

Thank you; I am just trying to tie up loose ends in all characters, primarily the Vietnamese readings, but where a character has no definition whatsoever listed, I try to add that while I am at each entry. 01:49, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

Sounds like a noble undertaking. According to Category:Han_characters_needing_common_meanings, that's one down, 7800+ to go :) -- A-cai 14:51, 29 December 2010 (UTC)


Can iǒng be deleted? I think it was a spelling error in the Mandarin reading, which I have fixed. 01:31, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

Done. -- A-cai 01:36, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

Thank you; I have found one more strange pinyin and think it is wrong also: zhǔng. 01:47, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

Here is a third one: zhuěn. 02:03, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

And here is a fourth one: shàp. 02:16, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

Done. -- A-cai 14:41, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

I have found two more that seem strange: ḿ and , but in this case these readings are indeed found in some reputable dictionaries and databases (though, confusingly, not in any list of pinyin syllables). Do you have any knowledge about these two? 21:35, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

I like Pleco, so I checked it just now. It lists "m" readings for , and , so the reading for seems correct. However, it only lists huǎn for . I checked another dictionary called Xinhua, and it only listed wǎn for ! So, that one may not have an "m" reading. -- A-cai 01:50, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

Thanks, the "m" reading was in the Wiktionary entry from the very beginning, thanks to Nanshu: [4]. But it's not clear where s/he got that reading. Also, do you know why, if this is a valid pinyin reading/spelling for at least two characters, why "m" isn't included in any pinyin tables (supposedly listing all pinyin syllables) that I have found online? 22:16, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

That's a great question. I wish I knew the answer. I just checked another Chinese/English Dictionary: the Pinyin Chinese-English Dictionary →ISBN. It also lists ḿ and as valid readings for . -- A-cai 01:27, 31 December 2010 (UTC)

Is Pleco something one has to pay for? "M" is probably a holdover from Middle Chinese, which is regarded as so unusual that makers of pinyin charts don't even want to include it, for fear of confusing learners who may spend a lifetime never using any syllable with this reading. Interestingly, the strange "zhǔng," "zhuěn," and "shàp" readings do seem very Middle Chinese-sounding. 01:50, 31 December 2010 (UTC)

On iPad, iPod touch and iPhone, Pleco is a free download. However, there are certain add-on features, such as the flashcard system, that you have to pay for. Not sure about the Windows Mobile or Palm versions. Apparently, they are working on an Android version, but no word as to when it will be released. At some point, they also plan on releasing a desktop version, but my impression is that that is lower on their priority list. -- A-cai 01:58, 31 December 2010 (UTC)