情侶

Discussion in 'Chinese Language' started by 朱真明, Jan 20, 2016.

  1. 朱真明

    朱真明 进士

    In the 規範 and 萌典, 情侶 is defined as follows:

    規範- 戀愛中的男女或指其中的一方

    萌典- 戀愛中的男女

    In the Chinese-English dictionaries they have chosen these words as the translation:

    sweethearts, lovers, a lover

    According to Merriam Webster, sweetheart means:

    "a person you love very much
    —used to address someone you love"

    and lover means:

    "a partner in a romantic or sexual relationship"

    According to the Chinese dictionaries, 情侶 means, a romantic love between a man and a woman. The C-E dictionaries translated terms refer to a non-gender specific love between two individuals.

    So............. Who is wrong???????
     
  2. mikelove

    mikelove 皇帝 Staff Member

    I don't see anything in 情侶 to suggest it couldn't be used for a non-gender-specific relationship - 侶 by itself is usually translated as 'companion.' About the only Chinese terms where this might really be an issue are ones that explicitly mention men and women; 夫妻 "married couple" is 夫 husband + 妻 wife and might be confusing when used with other combinations.
     
  3. 朱真明

    朱真明 进士

    I was thinking so, I have found Chinese dictionaries especially 萌典 to be quite conservative. I wonder how Audrey really feels about this???
     
  4. mikelove

    mikelove 皇帝 Staff Member

    Nothing to do with Audrey - original definition was probably written decades ago, possibly by somebody who without any deliberate bias simply thought that 男女 was the best way to describe what they were thinking of.
     
  5. 朱真明

    朱真明 进士

    In my viewpoint, if what you said is correct then the 萌典 dictionary is technically wrong and misleading. That being so, why wouldn't it be updated (if there isn't any politics involved)?
     
  6. Abun

    Abun 进士

    The 萌典 is just a software which presents data from another source, namely the license-free dictionaries by the Taiwanese Ministry of Education. That's not to say Audrey wouldn't be able to change entries for the 萌典; the data does pass through her hands. However since she says in her documentation that the data is from the 教育部國語辭典, that would essentially be falsification of the original data. Even when the original data is flawed, I don't think I would change it out of my own accord, either, if I were in her place.

    Concerning your original question, I am absolutely sure I have heard 情侶 used for non-男女 couples before. But no matter which genders the two are, the term usually tends to sound an outward assessment to me. For example you might hear 晚上去淡水碼頭的差不多都是情侶 (meaning that there is a lot of couples who to the outsider look like they are head over heels in love). I have also heard it used for people who are in a sexual relationship but not officially together. I would avoid to use it if I myself am part of the relationship, though, because to me that would sound like "this person who I have sex with but who I don't want to call my boyfriend/girlfriend". Cf. this to 伴侶 which refers to a person with whom you're in a stable relationship. 伴侶 is also the word I hear most often for homosexual couples.
     
  7. 朱真明

    朱真明 进士

    I don't think that Audrey should change the definitions especially since she isn't in that position. I am quite curious though on why definitions like this still remain after all these years which indicates political involvement. I really dislike the idea of educational materials being manipulated to suit political agendas. If I were in Audreys position (which i'm not entirely clear of lol) then I would send a list of all the terms that require alteration with the reasons and evidence for each one. If I didn't receive a response that gives good reason or evidence that suggests they shouldn't be altered, then I would want nothing more to do with them.
     
    Abun likes this.
  8. mikelove

    mikelove 皇帝 Staff Member

    Heh, if you think political involvement is a problem in dictionaries from Taiwan...

    For what it's worth, though, this discussion has prompted me to go through our upcoming new edition of PLC and clean up all of the non-inclusive language there (after having previously worried mostly about cleaning up political talk like "Taiwan Province" or "These ancient artifacts prove that such-and-such uninhabited island has always been a part of China"). We don't have the rights to arbitrarily edit most of the dictionaries we distribute, but we can do whatever we want with that one. (though FWIW it defines 情侶 as "sweethearts; lovers" without any reference to gender)
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2016
    alex_hk90 likes this.
  9. 朱真明

    朱真明 进士

    Just a note, I just wanted to make it clear that I am not biased in any of this. That is, if 情侶 meant a relationship specifically between a man and a woman then so be it. My argument isn't that it should be changed. Also I only used this definition because it was the first I came across, there are actually many more entries quit like this. As surprising as it may be, the 規範 generally contradicts the conservatism that I have seen in the 萌典.
     
  10. feng

    feng 榜眼

    朱真明: Are you just asking about these specific dictionaries, or are you looking for words? I have no thoughts on the dictionaries, but if you are looking for terms that are either usable for all relationships or specific to non-heterosexual ones, I could ask on some Chinese web sites.

    While the Chinese part of 萌典 is the MoE's dictionary (though the audio is for a different MoE dictionary), the various translations are presumably 萌典's own doing (the MoE dictionaries are Chinese only).

    Building on part of Abun's comment, terms that might be translated along the lines of "lover" in English (i.e. not specifically boy/girlfriend or husband/wife) can be tricky, in either Taiwan or the PRC, or in a difference between the two. Some of those words can mean a romantic, primarily sexual, or paid romantic-sexual relationship, and I can not always get a consensus from Chinese speaking friends, even for a specific instance. I don't use them, and am sometimes not sure when I come across them in reading the web.
     
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2016
  11. 朱真明

    朱真明 进士

    I'm not looking for specific words but am just trying to resolve contradictions. I used this specific term only as one out of many examples. Even if the contradictions are not resolved, if this example stimulates thought on the the methods of using and defining terminology rather than accepting dictionaries as authoritative (which I wish I could) then the point would of been made.
     
  12. feng

    feng 榜眼

    Could you elaborate? Contradictions? Your comments here and on a separate, though very similar, thread make your concerns seem very specific, but perhaps I have misunderstood.

    Dictionaries are not supposed to be authoritative. Not in the sense of "The dictionary says you're wrong." They just report standard language usage, and that changes over time. Sometimes language changes slowly, sometimes quickly.

    While Chinese lexicography has gotten past "big: something that is big", it is a work in progress o_O
     
  13. 朱真明

    朱真明 进士

    Clearly the different dictionaries definitions contradict each other, both cannot be simultaneously true.

    Even though dictionaries report standard language usage they can still be authoritative on what that usage is.
     
  14. feng

    feng 榜眼

    規範- 戀愛中的男女或指其中的一方 sweetheart

    萌典- 戀愛中的男女 lover

    In the Chinese-English dictionaries they have chosen these words as the translation:

    sweethearts, lovers, a lover
    .....
    I don't see the "contradiction". The C-E includes both, the the two CC include one each. There's no contradiction. One didn't say red while the other said blue. You started another thread which you tagged "Can inanimate objects be gendered". They certainly can, and are. My comment in my previous post on this thread, put more plainly, is that your two threads are both about sex: male, female. If you have "contradictions" that are not about 'gender', that would illuminate matters for me; otherwise, why not make one thread asking everyone to contribute all the 'gendered' dictionary entries they can find and that would be a quicker way to do this. And you talk about "politics" and "political involvement". That's the way people speak.

    "I really dislike the idea of educational materials being manipulated to suit political agendas." That's what you are trying to do, and that's your right to try.
    "I just wanted to make it clear that I am not biased in any of this." Sure you are, and that's fine.
    For 96.6% of the population, the definitions you disapprove of are correct. That doesn't mean they have anything against the 3.4%, but people speak in a way that reflects common experience, not exceptions. If I talk about "Chinese people" with American friends, neither I nor they imagine I am talking about each and every Chinese person.
    :)
     
  15. 朱真明

    朱真明 进士

    Well, I dont really know where to begin.

    It seems as if you didn't even read the Chinese definitions but instead put two English words in front of them to make them look the same.

    The other thread I created is not related to this one. The tag I used was a rhetorical question and a philosophical query on what should and shouldn't be gendered in a gramatical sense.

    I am not trying to manipulate the definition of this term for a political agenda. I am trying to find out what the actual definition is given that the dictionaries do not agree with each other. I have already made this blatantly clear, you cannot deciede what my intentions are.

    Would you have complained this much if I had used a word belonging to a different category?

    I havn't dissaproved of any definitions, I have presented two which are contradictory and inquired about which one is correct.

    Today you have commented on various post that I made a while back, there seems to be a certain pattern in your replies, that is, take whatever I've said and say the opposite. I don't know if there is something driving these actions but all your rationale seems to be is that Chinese people don't agree with me. That's not good enough rationale to me.
     
  16. Shun

    Shun 状元

    Let me jump in on this, could the disagreement in the definitions just be due to different usage in different parts of China?
     
  17. 朱真明

    朱真明 进士

    Well the Gui Fan is suppose to represent the standard usage patterns of the mainland hence the name and the other dictionary is from Taiwans Ministry of Education and they both agree with eath other. It is the bilingual dictionaries that contradict the monolingual ones.
     
  18. Shun

    Shun 状元

    Good point. But are you absolutely sure that they contradict? For example, the American Heritage Dictionary says for sweetheart:

    n.
    1. One who is loved.
    2. Used as a familiar term of endearment.
    3. Informal
    a. A person regarded as generous or lovable.
    b. Something cherished for its excellent qualities.
    adj.
    Involving privileged treatment of a favored party; illegally or unethically favorable:"another land grab, another sweetheart deal based on political influence"(Village Voice).

    And for lover:

    n.
    1.
    a.
    One who loves another, especially one who is involved in a romantic or sexual relationship with another.
    b. loversA couple who are in love with each other.
    2. One who is fond of or devoted to something:a lover of fine food.

    -----------

    So if you pick defintions number one of each, they can be made to fit the Guifan and MoE dictionaries. Since English words have more than one usage, it's often hard to say they contradict the monolingual dictionary's definition. There, the meanings are just too close to call it a disagreement, IMHO.
     
    alex_hk90 likes this.
  19. 朱真明

    朱真明 进士

    I guess I need to clarify.

    I'm not saying that sweetheart and lover contradict each other, i'm saying that those two terms that were used in the C~E dictionaries contradict the defintions in the monolingual dictionaries.

    The monolingual dictionaries state that Qing2 Lv3 means a love specifically between a man and woman where as the C~E dictionaries state that Qing2 Lv3 means sweetheart or lover which doesn't specifically mean a love between a man and woman.

    I'm pretty sure my wording wasn't ambiguous in the original post, did you guys actually read the Chinese definition?
     
  20. Shun

    Shun 状元

    Let me start by translating the monolingual dictionaries' definitions:

    -----------

    規範- 戀愛中的男女或指其中的一方

    Guifan: A man and and a woman who are in love with each other, or either one of them.

    萌典- 戀愛中的男女

    萌典- A man and and a woman who are in love with each other.

    ------------

    So the bilingual dictionaries say it means "sweethearts, lovers, a lover". I think the problem is just that English doesn't have any word whose meaning is as limited as the Chinese word, so if you say there is a disagreement, you are expecting all usages of the English word to match the meanings of the Chinese word, which is well-nigh impossible. So you have to choose one. I agree with you that dictionaries aren't like a bible, there can be many inaccuracies.

    As a side note, you could even argue that it's the intersection of the English words' meanings which defines the meaning.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2016
    alex_hk90 likes this.

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