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Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (Chinese)


Poll - title format for articles of Chinese emperors

Poll deadline: TBD

Table of contents

Part 1: the Article Title The examples used below are on Han Gaozu (漢高祖), birth name Liu Bang, the first emperor of the Han Dynasty

1)(XXX) of (name of dynasty) China

e.g., Gaozu of Han China
+specify which of the Chinese Empires
-assumed reader knowledge that the name was a dynasty
-Without "Emperor" in the title, one may assume it's, say, a philosopher

2) Emperor (XXX) of China

e.g., Emperor Gaozu of China
+close in name to western monarchy
-redundancy of the word "emperor" (see "Note on redundancy" in part 2)
-no English refernce of what dynasty the XXX is belonged to.

3) XXX

e.g., Gaozu
+comforatable to readers with considerable acquaintance of Chinese language
-no mention of dynasty or China-related.
-there many emperors by the same names in China. Some names are used by emperors in virtually every dynasty. With such ambiguity, even Chinese historians cannot understand unless reading the content.

Part 2: What Goes in XXX

Han Gaozu above, for example, has two official names: Gaozu (temple name) and Gao Huangdi (高皇帝 -- posthumous name). Some of later emperors have, in addition, era names.

The following is conventions that have been used by Chinese historians and in popular literatures (in both Classical Chinese and vernacular Chinese) for centuries (and still used in all occasions). Those of:

  1. the early dynasties (Han, Jin, Southern and Northern): posthumous name + di
  2. the middle (Tang and Song): temple name (end in zu or zong)
  3. the last two dynasties (Ming and Qing): era name
  4. smaller dynasties: treated as an ordinary person and voided all rules above - uses his/her first and family names (see Chinese name).
    • Exception: the first emperor is always referred to as Shi Huangdi ("The First Emperor").

Should the above traditional conventions be employed in Wikipedia? Or do we artificially select one of the above? If so, which one?

Note on redundancy: emperor is the English translation of "di" (or "huangdi" in full).
If option 2) of part 1 is used in combination with option 2) of part 2 ("Han Gao huangdi"), it creates "Emperor of Han Gao Huangdi of China". Redundancy occurs. However, although uncommon in native English words, such repetition occurs in proper noun loanwords, e.g., "Sahara Desert".


Currently somewhat established conventions:

Mongol Yuan Emperors

The use of the names of the emperors of the Mongol Dynasty in Wikipedia has been fairly consistent, in that it almost always uses the khan-names, because the official language of the Mongol Empire was Mongolian. They are sometimes referred to by their Chinese temple names.


Sorry, kt2, I know the above issue isn't resolved... Heck, it hasn't even begun. Well, two Canadians can't change the world, can they? ;-) Anyway, here's another issue for all:

Native terms and Romanizations

Some pages, like Lianjiang, got this long -- but necessarily so -- native characters and Romanizations string. What I've done is to adopt the Korean method and make it like:

Lianjiang (連江[?]; 连江; Liánjiāng; Lien²-chiang¹) is a county...

As opposed to the old way:

Lianjiang (Traditional[?]: 連江; Simplified: 连江; Pinyin: Liánjiāng; Wade-Giles: Lien²-chiang¹) is a county...

I don't suggest this method used on all China-related articles, as they look fine now. So no need to change. But as Jiang pointed out, Korean Wikilink-pattern may look deceiving, since Traditional Chinese[?] and Simplified Chinese articles are non-existent.

My suggestion is to simply make those two pages -- stub or not. That relieves Jiang's concerns (does it, Jiang?).

More (not much now!) Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Korean) from months ago -- Actually just two posts, that's it! (Very quiet, like here.)

--Menchi 00:10 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)

My main concern is that with this more concise system, you rely on people to know what character or romanization system you're using (or if they don't they'll have to click on the link or put their cursor over the link to find out). Either the reader knows (that one set of characters is in traditional and the other side is in simplified; one set or romanization is in Hanyu Pinyin and the other set is in Wade-Giles) beforehand or clicks on the link. Whereas with the current system, this information is discovered by simply reading it. There seems to be benefits and drawbacks for both--conciseness vs. clarity. And yes, those two articles are important and should be started.

--Jiang 00:58 5 Jul 2003 (UTC)



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