User talk:A-cai/2011

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What is going on with the creation of entries such as -qiē-? Are the hyphens correct/necessary? Such an entry was added apparently because the creator believes the term báiqiējī indicates that qiē is some kind of affix that modifies another word, rather than a simple word that can be combined with others. Can't báiqiējī also be written in pinyin as báiqiē jī or bái qiē jī, in any case? 19:57, 1 January 2011 (UTC)

We already have an entry for qiē. The hyphens don't seem to add anything. -- A-cai 23:26, 1 January 2011 (UTC)

The user (and his/her likely predecessors, most blocked) has already added dozens of hyphenated pinyin entries. This is the first I have noticed that has a hyphen both before and after the word. See Category:Mandarin prefixes, Category:Mandarin suffixes, and Category:Mandarin affixes. 01:16, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

As I said before, I can't see any point to the double hyphen entries. I have deleted all the ones that I came across. I will not touch the single hyphen ones for now. If you don't like those and think they should be deleted, you can either raise the subject at Beer Parlor or nominate them for deletion with the RFV tag. Either action will allow the rest of the Wiktionarians to debate and possibly vote on a course of action. -- A-cai 01:32, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

Thank you; as far as prefixes and suffixes ones like -zhuyi ("-ism") make sense to me. But -xié (-shoes) or xié- (shoes-)? The editor who created these responded on a discussion page that these hyphenated entries need to exist because the term xié rarely if ever appears on its own in Mandarin, without -zi or some other character attached to it. I believe that would make it what is called, in agglutinative languages, an inalienable noun--one which cannot appear on its own, but which must have another particle or word attached to it. S/he said that while English cannot have "-shoes" or "shoes-," Mandarin is a different language and in fact does. Do you concur? Note that s/he has created entries such as hóngxié ("red shoes") and xīnxié ("new shoes"), stating that neither can be considered a sum of parts entry. Following this logic, wouldn't we be able to make individual entries for any adjective + "shoes"? "Big shoes," "small shoes," "gray shoes," "purple shoes," etc.--and that editor would consider those all distinct words because, when written in Latin letters using the pinyin system, they look like words? 01:59, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

I try to follow the conventions of established dictionaries where possible. Most Pinyin-based dictionaries that I have come across do not use hyphens in this way. However, there may be some that do, so I don't want to pass judgement on it prematurely. On the other hand, the argument about shoes strikes me as rather problematic, since most Pinyin syllables represent parts of words, rather than whole words. -- A-cai 02:39, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

That seems to be the editor's rationale for attempting to create hyphenated pinyin entries for probably nearly every Mandarin syllable that might appear in a multi-syllable term. 19:57, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

"bu zheteng"[edit]

After reading this article, would you consider making an entry for the term "bu zheteng" (which is supposed to be some kind of northern Chinese colloquial or dialect term), a term which some appear to be attempting to make an English term, due to its purportedly untranslatable quality? 06:36, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

My personal opinion is that it's still a bit premature. Certainly, this sort of phrase can eventually be included in Wiktionary (e.g. guanxi), provided that it can be established that the word has in fact been imported into English. I believe we have a policy somewhere for neologisms that may cover this kind of scenario. Of course, the Chinese word 折腾 is no problem. --A-cai 23:39, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

Thank you, I meant create a Mandarin entry (which I see you already did a couple of years ago), not an English one. I also agree it really isn't an English term. 01:49, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

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

What's with the two yòngbuzháo ? ---> Tooironic 10:55, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

I'm not sure I understand your question. I only see one line for yòngbuzháo. -- A-cai 23:29, 3 January 2011 (UTC)
Try searching the page for "yòngbuzháo", you'll find two instances. ---> Tooironic 01:26, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
I see it now. That's weird! Anyway, I fixed it. -- A-cai 01:36, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. I've just spotted some more problems - under "Z" there is listed 曾经 (曾經) céngjīng, 重叠 (重疊) chóngdié, 重复 (重複) chóngfù, 重新 chóngxīn and 属于 (屬於) shǔyú. What's going on here? :S ---> Tooironic 10:00, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
Fixed. -- A-cai 13:03, 22 January 2011 (UTC)


Could you make an entry for this term? [1] 23:03, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

Here is one more: 官府 [2] 23:30, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

And one more: 皇储 [3] 23:34, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

Please add them to Wiktionary:Requested entries (Chinese). I or another contributor will eventually get to them. Be advised that I have limited time, and I have a number of other words that I would like to add before these. Thanks. -- A-cai 01:30, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

I simply selected them to show you for possible creation because 1) they are classical/ancient terms, which you like and often create entries for, and 2) you have been making lots of classical/ancient entries lately. 01:44, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

I should post something on my User page, because I do get this question from time to time. For the last several years, I have been working on a fresh translation of Romance of the Three Kingdoms for Wikisource. Part of that effort involves creating Wiktionary definitions for each and every word and phrase in that novel. Most of the classical/ancient terms that you see me add are from the book. I just completed Chapter 13 the other day. There are a total of 120 Chapters, so it should keep me busy for many years to come. Part of my challenge is to not get sidetracked with a lot of other tasks, such as creating Wiktionary entries for words that are unrelated to the novel. I don't mind doing them every once in a while, but I really don't have time to do much more than that. Thanks. -- A-cai 02:07, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

I see. It is interesting that there are so many terms in that famous book that do not already have Wiktionary entries. 02:11, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

Not just Wiktionary, many of the terms have never been included in any other Chinese/English dictionary. It's one of the reasons that many students find such works unapproachable in the original. -- A-cai 02:17, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

Poll on formatting of etymologies[edit]

I would like to know your preference as regards the use of "<" vs "from" in the formatting of etymologies in Wiktionary, whatever that preference is. Even explicit statement of indifference would be nice. You can state your preference in the currently running poll: WT:BP#Poll: Etymology and the use of less-than symbol. I am sending you this notification, as you took part on some of the recent votes, so chances are you could be interested in the poll. The poll benefits from having as many participants as possible, to be as representative as possible. Feel free to ignore this notification. --Dan Polansky 10:45, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

Mandarin euphemisms[edit]

Hi A-cai, Hope you're still around. I was wondering if you could help me out with a technical thing. I'd like to have the four Mandarin euphemisms we currently have (杯具, 想要, 有了 and 不常) to be categorised as "Mandarin euphemisms in simplified script" and "Mandarin euphemisms in traditional script". I'd do it myself but I don't know how to...^^ Could you lend a hand with your genius and talent? ---> Tooironic 00:46, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

I have made a few modifications to make your entries work with that category. Unfortunately, this is a situation where someone "fixed" something that wasn't broken. Namely, trying to substitute "zh-cn" and "zh-tw" for the natural language labels "Simplified Chinese" and "Traditional Chinese". This occasionally presents problems when dealing with category labels. Unfortunately, the person that pushed for the changes never stuck around to fix all of the side effects, such as the problem that you encountered. Perhaps someone will come along in the future and remedy the situation. Until then, you can use these entries as an example of a work around. -- A-cai 11:58, 28 May 2011 (UTC)

zh-cn and zh-tw[edit]

These two codes are likely to fail RFD soon, which means they should no longer be used. Could you please avoid adding them to entries, and remove them from any entries you see? Thank you. —CodeCat 13:37, 29 May 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for making me aware of a debate about something that will affect thousands of entries that I've personally (and almost singlehandedly) created over the last four years. -- A-cai 23:27, 29 May 2011 (UTC)
Let me amend CodeCat's request: A-Cai, please continue using zh-cn and zh-tw wherever they are necessary, because the proposed codes that should replace them, Hans and Hant, are not recognized by the relevant templates (i.e. {{context}} and others) as far as I know.
However, there are a number of problematic situations under discussion now, mainly due to the existence of language codes separated from script codes, and the fact that "zh-cn" is, oddly (for today's standards) a script code with characteristics of a language code.
In particular, we have Category:zh-cn:Nature and Category:Traditional Chinese slang as categories whose names are likely to be changed. As you already know, the RFDO discussion does indicate that the replacement of codes and their uses should occur soon. --Daniel 12:56, 30 May 2011 (UTC)

Category:zh-cn:Idioms & Category:zh-tw:Idioms[edit]

These will also need to be merged with the new Category:Mandarin idioms in simplified script and Category:Mandarin idioms in traditional script apparently. I dunno how to do it though, perhaps you could help? I think everything will look good once it's consistent. ---> Tooironic 08:54, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

I would hold off changing anything for now. Discussions still seem to be underway at Wiktionary:Requests_for_deletion/Others#Template:zh-tw. In any case, it is likely that an automated process can be devised to change them all en masse, once a decision is made. -- A-cai 12:04, 11 June 2011 (UTC)


I rfd'd your entry, it seems sum of parts to me. :P ---> Tooironic 23:41, 11 June 2011 (UTC)

Wow! That's a blast from the past :) It's hard to believe that I have been doing this for four years. Anyway, this phrase comes from the Guoyu Cidian, for what its worth. However, I'm not emotionally attached to the phrase, so I'll defer to whatever everyone decides. Thanks. -- A-cai 11:58, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

xiāngzào (perfumed soap)[edit]

Why is it directly deleted and block me because xiāngzào is created? Anyhow, toned Pinyin entries are allowed. If someone believed an entry is unattestable, please put it to Request For Deletion such as here (善意第三人).

xiāngzào is attested, references:

See also here for your reference. 14:31, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

I'm sorry, but I didn't delete your entry. It appears that you will need to contact User:Tooironic for an answer to your question, since it looks like he was the one that deleted it. Thanks. -- A-cai 22:24, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

Request to rename script subcategories[edit]

There is currently a request to rename Chinese subcategories for scripts in WT:RFM. Your input would be valued. :) —CodeCat 21:30, 15 June 2011 (UTC)

Xianggu in Min Nan[edit]

Is this correct? 22:57, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

I'm probably not qualified to comment on the etymology of Korean words. However, I do know something about Min Nan, and can tell you that the spelling of the Min Nan word in the example does not conform to Wiktionary suggested guidelines. We use POJ romanization for Min Nan entries. It is a valid Min Nan word, but the spelling should be hiuⁿ-ko͘ (for Wiktionary purposes). However, the larger issue is that the etymology seems highly suspect or misleading (I can't decide which). It is true that a sizable amount of Min Nan vocabulary can be traced to Middle Chinese. This is probably due to the fact that the Empress Wu Zetian had sent Chen Yuanguang (one of her generals) to pacify the area, which paved the way for a large number of settlers to move into the area around modern day Zhangzhou. These Han settlers, most of whom had traveled south from central China, brought their language with them. As time went on, their language mixed with an earlier wave of Han settlers, who seemed to have spoken a more ancient dialect of Chinese. These two strains of Chinese, then, comprise 90% of the Min Nan vocabulary. The other 10% seems to be loan words from the prior inhabitants of the area, whose language has been largely lost, with the exception of the loan words that survive in Min Nan, and possibly other Min dialects (although I haven't researched that part). The word for cockroach (ka-cho̍ah) would be one such example. At any rate, it strikes me as more probable that Min Nan words share a common ancestry with sino-Korean words, rather than those words entering into Korean via Min Nan. If I'm correct, then I don't see why Min Nan needs to be mentioned at all. Why not just say that the Korean word derives from Middle or Old Chinese, if that is the case? I would like to stress, however, that I don't know if the Korean word actually does derive from Middle or Old Chinese. I'm simply saying that if this is the case, that's what it should say. Including the stuff about Min Nan seems to unnecessarily confuse the issue. -- A-cai 01:27, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

Well, I agree with you, and was very suspicious of the added "presumed" etymology suggesting the word was introduced to Korea by Min Nan speakers. 09:03, 26 June 2011 (UTC)


Was hoping you could take a look at my definition, citation translation and formatting of this entry. I'm sure all three could be improved. Are you familiar with Xu Zhimo's works? I felt this word, 夏虫, was particularly curious. ---> Tooironic 02:22, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

Made a few formatting changes. Let me know what you think. Thanks. -- A-cai 18:09, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

Template:ja-forms in page header[edit]

I'm trying to move language content out of page headers and into appropriate language entries (see cleanup list). I've noticed several pages where you placed {{ja-forms}} in the header of a page that doesn't have a Japanese section (example 1 2). Can we use some standard formatting to achieve the same results (ie having appropriate links). What if we change to a {{zh-forms}}, put it in the (usually) Mandarin section and ensure there is an appropriate link (such as in See also or Derived terms)? We could also add an {{also}} to the header. Thoughts? --Bequw τ 00:36, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

That's fine. I created ja-forms a long time ago because I thought it would be helpful to draw attention to the relationship between japanese and chinese words. However, I'm not sure whether it's worth the trouble. Feel free to change ja-forms to zh-forms if you feel like that is a better approach. The shinjitai form does not need to be so prominent in non Japanese entries. In retrospect, I think "See also" would have been a better approach. That is what I usually do nowadays. -- A-cai 00:50, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

Wiktionary:Votes/2011-10/CFI for Mandarin proper nouns - banning entries not in Chinese characters[edit]


I would appreciate your opinion there. I have set up the vote. The wording is not final before the vote starts. Please have a look and make comments in the talk page if you have any. --Anatoli 00:44, 3 October 2011 (UTC)

Thank you[edit]

Thank you for your kind welcome, and for your response to my question about Classical Chinese entries in the Beer Parlor. Your work on the 三国演义 project looks great, that's exactly the type of thing I would like to work on. I usually read texts like that along with a Chinese-language glossary specific to that text or period when available, as well as an English translation and other dictionaries, and I have been looking for a project to record and share the lexical information I learn in English. I am already enjoying some of your WikiSource projects, and will take your Wiktionary entries as examples.

I wonder if you know anything about linking to one particular sense in a Wiktionary entry from WikiSource, rather than to the entire entry? I can't seem to find out how to do it. Craig Baker 00:17, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

Glad to have you aboard :) I look forward to reading your contributions. In terms of linking to specific senses, I think that would be a great idea in some cases. However, I'm not aware of a way to do that with the current software. You could try posting that question to Wiktionary:Beer Parlour. Perhaps someone else may know the answer. The best I've been able to do so far is link to the Mandarin section (particularly useful in cases when the Japanese section is lengthy). The way you do it is to add a pound sign followed by the word "Mandarin". For example, [[例子#Mandarin|例子]]. If you are on Wiktionary, that would be the syntax. If you want to link to Wiktionary from another project (such as wikisource), you add "wikt:" to the front (i.e. [[wikt:例子#Mandarin|例子]]). Please feel free to send me questions as you get started. I know it can be quite confusing at first. However, with a little practice, the format is really not that bad. -- A-cai 01:34, 13 October 2011 (UTC)


Is 山景 a word? It's in the title of a Beijing opera aria from the Ruse of Empty City. 18:11, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

If you're referring to 我正在城楼观山景, I would say no. In this context, 山 is mountain and 景 is scene or scenery. I would translate the full phrase as, "I am now standing on the city wall looking out at the mountain scene." See w:Zhuge_Liang#Empty_Fort_Strategy for the backstory. You can also see the scene depicted episode 71 (part 3 of 5) of the ROTK TV series at about the 4:30 mark. -- A-cai 02:09, 14 October 2011 (UTC)

OK, but you've created lots and lots of entries for 2-character terms that also don't seem to be actual words, but which are turns of phrase (which seem to me often to be sum of parts) that appear in classical Chinese literature. Maybe you add them as entries because they're "literary only" terms that are not immediately clear to speakers of modern standard Mandarin. 18:54, 14 October 2011 (UTC)

The video clip is excellent, and helps me to understand the Beijing opera aria much better. 18:54, 14 October 2011 (UTC)

As is evidenced by your comments, deciding which things are "words" and which things are not is fraught with difficulties, and can often be the subject of heated debates in Beer Parlour. As you know, sum of parts entries are not allowed in Wiktionary. However, there are times when an entry could be viewed as sum of parts by one person, but as idiomatic by another. You gave the example of literary entries that might not be readily obvious to some speakers of modern Mandarin. Here, it really depends on that person's education and background. Generally, I like to be able to find the word or phrase in at least two reputable dictionaries. If I can't, then I try to have a good reason for making an exception to this rule. For example, there might be a detailed wikipedia (or other encyclopedia) article on the subject. Alternatively, I might find the word explained in the footnotes of a book. There is no hard/fast rule, but I generally try to have a justification ready in case a given entry is challenged. Believe it or not, I often decide not to create entries that actually are listed in reputable dictionaries. For example, 继进 is listed in the on-line Xinhua Dictionary, but not in Guoyu Cidian. Similar to your example, since this one can be properly understood by breaking it down to its component parts -- 继 (continue) + 进 (to advance) -- I have decided to not create an entry for it. On the other hand, this is not the way a typical modern speaker would say it, so I can understand why Xinhua created an entry for it. My point is that even the experts can have difficulties agreeing on such things. Unfortunately, your word is an even weaker case than my example, since I could not find it even in the largest dictionaries. I hope this rambling explanation helps :) -- A-cai 00:31, 15 October 2011 (UTC)

I had the same difficulty recently when translating the Song Dynasty ci "洛阳春" by Ouyang Xiu; the term was "红纱"--it doesn't seem to appear in any dictionaries. Maybe it just means "red fine silk," but there seem to be other implications for its appearance in this poem, namely that the poem's subject is a newly married woman whose chamber is decorated with this expensive fine red silk. But sources don't seem to indicate whether this is a correct assumption. 01:43, 16 October 2011 (UTC)


I'm thinking of RfDing this entry as it seems to be SoP. What do you reckon? ---> Tooironic 09:46, 15 October 2011 (UTC)

I added some citations. Let me know if you still have objections. Thanks. -- A-cai 12:15, 15 October 2011 (UTC)
Ah, I didn't realise there was an English, and Wikipedia, entry. Looks good to me. Cheers. ---> Tooironic 09:37, 18 October 2011 (UTC)


Hello, can mean "plastic" on its own, as it does in the term 膠袋 (plastic bag)? 01:44, 16 October 2011 (UTC)

And should we have an entry for 膠袋? We don't have one for plastic bag. 01:46, 16 October 2011 (UTC)

By itself, probably not. , like many Chinese characters can more properly be thought of as a morpheme. It can take on the meaning of plastic in certain contexts when used in combination with other morphemes, but would seem odd when used by itself. An English example would be helio-. In English, we wouldn't say, "The helio is shining today." That would sound silly. However, we have no problem understanding that heliocentric refers to the sun. As for 膠袋, that's a tricky one. I would say that one could make a case for its inclusion, but it's not a slam dunk. -- A-cai 13:20, 16 October 2011 (UTC)

Thank you; I made an entry for 膠袋. 22:33, 17 October 2011 (UTC)

Was there a reason that you made it a proper noun? That appears to be a typo. -- A-cai 23:44, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

Fixed. Maybe I copied the template from a pre-existing entry that was a proper noun. 03:38, 19 October 2011 (UTC)


Does 龙凤呈祥 merit an entry? 22:33, 17 October 2011 (UTC)

Yes. For future reference, you can also check some of the dictionaries that I've listed at Wiktionary:Useful links/Chinese. This may save both of us time. I don't know about you, but it's increasingly a rare commodity for me these days :) Pay attention to whether your phrase is in traditional or simplified. In this case, you have provided simplified, so you would want to check a simplified dictionary, such as Xinhua online Chinese dictionary (third bullet under Mandarin section). -- A-cai 23:54, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

senseid links[edit]

A user in the Beer Parlor said that {{senseid}} could be used to link to particular senses. I have confirmed that this works from Wikisource. I was thinking of adding senseid links for 三国演义 as I read it; what do you think? If you would rather I don't, just let me know. Craig Baker 01:42, 19 October 2011 (UTC)

Please do. I'm glad to have any help I can get. Sometimes, the only way to know whether something will work is to try it. I think where the senseid would be particularly useful would be for single character words, many of which have specialized meanings in classical Chinese, as you know. Unfortunately, it would mean a lot of work, since our single character entries are not that great as of yet. You might try experimenting with a shorter piece at first, such as Departing from Baidi in the Morning, just to work out the kinks. I'm curious to see what you come up with :) -- A-cai 02:05, 19 October 2011 (UTC)


Hello, can you find any reference for the origin/meaning of the term 過江龍? It strikes me as being similar to 下山虎, which I'm not sure if we need an entry for either. Thank you, 23:42, 27 October 2011 (UTC)

Neither are listed in the two large dictionaries that I checked. Can you provide more context? Perhaps that could help me to better understand what you had in mind. -- A-cai 18:35, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

They are the names of famous Chinese qupai (named tunes), and at least in the case of 下山虎, one finds it used as the title of a famous genre of Chinese vertical watercolor scroll painting depicting a tiger in a rocky mountainous landscape. Perhaps both come from lines in old poems. 22:41, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

I think this video explains about the origin of the title "過江龍." Maybe it's not a dragon after all, but a dragon boat 龙舟? 01:32, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

Some websites connect the term "过江龙" with the poet Qu Yuan (who is commemorated with dragon boat races). 18:26, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

Also, the phrase is often discussed alongside "小泥鳅" (which is also hard to determine the meaning of), on the Internet in the context of international business. 18:26, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

Mixed script Mandarin entries, 3qorz[edit]


You're invited to vote on Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2011-10/Mixed script Mandarin entries.

User:Dan Polansky flagged your entry 3qorz for verification. This entry may also be affected by the vote, although it wasn't specifically targeted. The reason for the vote were entries like "Alzheimer病", "Planck常数" and "Hyde公园". --Anatoli 09:56, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

Nouns and proper nouns[edit]

Hey, I've started a discussion in the Beer Parlor. I'd really like to know the community views on this. Any additional input would be great. Thanks. – Krun 14:06, 11 December 2011 (UTC)

Min Nan words derived from Japanese[edit]


I heard these words (members of family , like ‎歐巴桑, ‎歐吉桑, 卡桑) are also used colloquially by Mandarin speakers as well, not only Min Nan speakers. Could you confirm, please? --Anatoli (обсудить) 07:30, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

That is generally the case in Taiwan. However, the pronunciation of the words does not seem to change from the original Min Nan version when speaking in Mandarin. In other words, this is either a case of code switching or of Min Nan words that have been imported into Mandarin. To use an English/Spanish analogy, when is a word no longer Spanglish but rather a proper English word that has been imported from Spanish? It can be difficult to pinpoint the precise moment in time that this transition occurs. I'm kind of on the fence in the case of the family words in question in terms of how to categorize them. -- A-cai 22:51, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, happy with your explanation.--Anatoli (обсудить) 23:01, 13 December 2011 (UTC)


Is it just me, or is the speaker here pronouncing qing3shi4, not qing1shi4? ---> Tooironic 01:40, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

No, you're right. She's saying 请示. -- A-cai 03:01, 15 December 2011 (UTC)