Why jungo makes no sense.

So in Mandarin Chinese, people will tell you

China = 中国 Zhōngguó.

And while they're right, they're neglecting that that's the word short for

The People's Republic of China = 中华人民共和国 Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó.

Specifically, that 国 'guo' at the end means country, and as any Chinese person will tell you, Chinese culture is not bound by time or place, country or leader.

Only Mainland China could be accurately described as Zhōngguó. But with millennia of history and populations defying national unity, it doesn't make sense to use this etymology in a cultural sense outside of the sixty years of PRC history. So, I guess that for Mandarin (the language) it makes sense to use {jungo} (although jongo is closer), since Mandarin was standardized by the Communist Party. But it should not mean "China" in the broader historical/cultural sense.

So take another look at the full name of the People's Republic of China--

中华 Zhōnghuá Chinese
人民 Rénmín Peoples
共和国 Gònghéguó Republic

that pesky 国 'guo' (= country) is actually not in the part that means 'China,' but the word for Republic, which is a kind of country after all. (Chinese often makes lots of sense like this) The word for China, on the other hand, is 中华 Zhōnghuá {closest lojban: djonxua} and it refers to the Chinese civilization and culture. This term is the unifying identity of Taiwan, Mainland, Hong Kong and overseas communities. This is what I would recommend because of its overarching cultural connotations.

The only runner up would be a more descriptive ethno-political term, since mainstream Chinese culture historically (and even today) consists predominantly of the Han ethnic group, 汉族 Hànzú {xandzu}. Mainland China is over 95% Han, the rest is 55 officially recognized ethnicities (including Tibetan and Uighur), and then hundreds of unrecognized distinct ethnicities that comprise the Chinese rural population.

So, here's my fi'uvla prescriptions:

China 中华 Zhōnghuá djonxua djo'uxa
Peoples' Republic of China 中国 Zhōngguó djonguo djo'ugo
Han Nationality 汉族 Hànzú xandzu xna'azu

  • edit: I no longer support my 'prescription' for the first and third fu'ivla above because "Chinese culture" and "Han ethnicity" have no standard or real definition, other than self-identification. They are more suited for cmene, and PRC and "Chinese language" should either use ISO codes or standardized fu'ivla as described here. -baisong

Created by baisong. Last Modification: Wednesday 31 of March, 2010 15:38:14 GMT by baisong.