China Nationalist Party

Tonight at 8PM on Bloomberg, or was it CNBC, Lien Chan will be interviewed as part of the KMT’s public relations money to put the right spin on their trip to Communist China.

Besides the crap that will be coming out of Lien’s mouth, you can see the tagline that says Lien Chan “Taiwan Nationalist Party”. That is the biggest insult to Taiwan and such a telling spin on their name. They are so embarassed to use their real name the China Nationalist Party. Zhong Guo Guo Ming Dang is their name in Chinese. They are trying to convince the rest of the world that they are not China’s Fifth column in Taiwan and I hope no one is buying it.

By the way, The China Nationalist Party is so afraid that foreigners outside of Taiwan find out that their real name is the China Nationalist Party that they not only do this PR stunt, they try to make everyone call them they by the Romanization of their Chinese name (Kuomingtang)which means China Nationalist Party but they leave off the China for the foreigners, but not here in Taiwan with their Chinese name.

Why don’t they just change their Chinese name instead of lying ot the rest of the world or use the right translation of their official name.

The KMT has been known as the KMT in English ever since I can remember. I have never, in 15 years of studying Chinese, including during my university degree in Chinese, seen the KMT referred to as the “Chinese Nationalist Party”. The only place I’ve seen that is in the Taipei Times. The KMT is now, even more bizarrely, referred to in modern texts as the GMD, after the Hanyu pinyin of their Chinese name.

I’ve seen them referred to as “the Nationalists”, of course.

I don’t think the use of “KMT” has any special significance. I would guess that a lot of them would much rather use the full name “Zhongguo Guomingdang” and are embarrassed at having to pretend to be Taiwanese.

Anyway. KMT, GMD, or CNP, they might go away if people start ignoring them. It’s not like the rest of the world actually gives a shit. And look at the other parties’ names… The Taiwan Solidarity Union sounds like a triad gang, the People First Party are anything but, and the New Party was just Old KMT. And the Minjin Dang are almost the Minging Party.

There. Hope I’ve managed to broadly offend everybody from all parties. Oops.

Yes, but calling themselves the Taiwan Nationalist Party for foreign consumption, when they haven’t changed their name at all, is devious.


It’s not devious, it’s a lie.

21p, I suggest you translate “guo min” and see what you come up with. “National” is the first choice in the dictionary. So calling the Guo min dang, the Chinese nationalist party or some variant seems reasonable.

True that that may be, the KMT doesn’t call itself that in English any more than the Minjindang calls itself the “People’s Progress Party”. Look at the KMT’s own website - they call themselves the Kuomintang. Just because calling them the Chinese National Party is a correct translation doesn’t mean it’s the correct name.

Actually, the minzhujinbu dang does refer to themself as the Democratic Progressive party in English, which would be a pretty fair translation of their Chinese name. There is nothing wrong with translating the name of a party. There is something wrong with avoiding translating for rhetorical reasons.

There is something wrong, however, with doing so when the translation isn’t the party’s actual English name, no matter how valid the translation may be. You don’t get to decide what they’re called, they do, whether you like it or not. That was my point with the stupid, yet equally valid, translation of Minjindang. It’s valid, but it’s not their English name.

Their name is made up of words and words have meaning. Their English translated name is not KMT as it is a mere abreviation of the romanized Chinese name. It doesn’t carry any of the Chinese meaning over into English. Why is that? Hmmm… Granted KMT is frequently used in English, but calling them the Chinese national party is also valid as it is what their name actually means. Don’t really know what the problem is with calling them by their name that conveys the real meaning; and I’m not even one who gives a hoot about the politics here. Personally, I’ve heard both used, even in mainstream media. One is just slightly more descriptive than the other and informs one a little more clearly just what their stance is. I say that without prejudice toward their party.

I personally think transliteration and translation are getting confused here. KMT is more of a transliteration than a translation, because it is using the symbols used in the Romanized phonetic representation of the words in Chinese without conveying the meaning. Chinese National(ist) party is more of a true translation.

Minjindang? Are you refering to the abreviated form of the DPP used in speech? If so, the translation you offer up is not valid. It’s like saying the new high speed rail’s new name can be translated as “high metal” because the most frequently used name in speech is “Gao Tie”

You’re right. Their English name is the Kuomintang.

Yes, but it’s not their name. Their official English name is the Kuomintang.

It has nothing to do with whether the name conveys the real meaning or politics. It’s not up to you to decide what their name is, it’s up to them, and they call their party the Kuomintang.

I’ve heard all sorts of incorrect things in mainstream media. Just because they say it doesn’t make it right. I agree with you in that calling them the Chinese Nationalist Party is far more descriptive, and I personally prefer that name, but that makes no difference, because it’s not the name they have chosen to use.

Trust me, I know the difference. And sometimes the transliteration of a name does double duty as the name in English. Whether it conveys the same meaning is irrelevant. A name is a name, and unless it’s our name, we have no say in it. Anyway, by your logic, surely we should call the president Arrange Water-flat. After all, a name is made up of words, and words have meaning.

Jesus Christ, I was being facetious to make a point. :unamused:

I think some American’s might be misled that “Taiwan Nationalist Party”, want to be a part of China. It really would make people who don’t know much about Taiwan wonder why Taiwan’s nationalism lies in China.

The KMT has always been known as “the KMT” in English. Of course you can call them what you want, but if you’re going to start mucking about with names, why not change the “Republican” or “Democratic” parties’ names? They are meaningless. As are the “Labour Party” and the “Conservative Party”.

The meaning of “guomin”? Indeed. There’s a PhD in there. What does “guo” mean? What does “min” mean? And what did they mean in the 1920s, and is the current English translation a meaningful reflection of the Chinese? “Minzhu” is “democracy”? We have great difficulty even defining “democracy” in English.

But calling themselves the Taiwan Nationalist Party is a bit rich.

No it isn’t. The New York Times, for example, calls them the Nationalist Party. … A9639C8B63

The Wikipedia article also reflects this.

There are sound historical reasons for translating the name of the party this way–its origins as an anti-Manchu revolutionary party and its commitment to the modernization and strengthening of China.

[quote=“Toasty”][quote=“Tetsuo”]There is

Minjindang? Are you refering to the abreviated form of the DPP used in speech? If so, the translation you offer up is not valid. It’s like saying the new high speed rail’s new name can be translated as “high metal” because the most frequently used name in speech is “Gao Tie”[/quote][/quote]

The DPP’s official English name is the Democratic Progressive Party. See

I think the use of KMT and DPP has more to do with the fact that Chinese speakers of English find it easier to remember and say acronyms than meaningful English words like ‘Chinese Nationalist Party’.

Tetsuo raises some interesting points about what name we should use. The problem is that the Chinese often attempt to control the terms of debate by trying to tell us how we should use our language.

A good example has been the recent ‘Anti-secession Law’. China wants us to call anti-secession because secession implies that Taiwan is trying to secede from China just like the South attempted to secede from the US. Taiwan wants us to call it the anti-separation law for what should be obvious reasons.

So what’s a translator to do? Who hs the authority to decide? I think neither China nor Taiwan get to decide this. We decide. In this case the international media, for better of for worse, picked up ‘Anti-secession law.’ So I’m afraid we’re stuck with it on the principle that people will get confused if we start calling it the anti-separation law.

In the case of KMT/Nationalist Party, there are two active English translations. I think the NYT may use Nationalist Party because KMT stands for something that non-experts are going to find tough to remember. And there’s something just plain weird about being forced to call them the KMT.

The bottom line is, you get to choose your own name, in any language. Do people tell you that you have to have a certain Chinese name because your English name is such-and-such? They could, but ultimately it’s up to you. If we can decide what we call a person or a party or any other organization based on our feelings of what it should be called, there won’t be any standards left to adhere to. Every reference will become an editorial/opinion. What if I think the Taiwan Solidarity Union is anything but? Do I refuse to refer to it that way, and choose my own name for it? Choosing what you call someone or something based on your own viewpoint is not only unprofessional, it’s petty and makes you sound like you’re still in the third grade, making up names for the teacher. It’s the same for people who call Bush “Shrub” or “Bushitler”, the people who call Chen Shui-bian “Da Bian” (“Ah-bian” is his own reference, so it’s reasonable), or the people who choose to call the Kuomintang “the Chinese Nationalist Party”. Yes, it’s a likely translation, but 1) there are many translations for any term, just ask any translator, and 2) they don’t call themselves that in English.

I do not agree that KMT or Kuomindang serve as proper English names. Kuomindang is a romanized version of their Chinese name. KMT is an acronym for their romanized name. When you say Kuomindang, you are saying a word in a foreign language. What exactly does Kuomindang mean? Yes, we use foreign words in English from time to time, but KMT is not widely enough used to have morphed into an English noun with any recognizeable meaning to those who don’t know Taiwan. My point has been and still is that Chinese nationalist party is a fair translation of their name and it doesn’t misrepresent the meaning of the term. Who outside of a few Taiwan savy folk are going to know what KMT is otherwise? I concede that KMT gets used, but sooner or later you have to translate it into English to tell non-Mandarin speakers exactly what the term means. I also don’t agree with the notion of being able to control translations of your name. You typically decide on a name in your own language and translators and speakers of the other language decide how best to translate it so as to convey the meaning into their language.

Bzzt, wrong answer. Translators do not decide on how a name should be rendered unless there is no official name for said organization or person in their target language. In this case, there is an official name in English, and it is the Kuomintang. Therefore, whether you like it or not, their name should be rendered as the Kuomintang.

To further illustrate: Hamas. Eta. FIFA. FINA. Al Qaida. Tour de France. Mana Motuhake. Tinorangatiratanga.

Bzzt, wrong answer. Translators do not decide on how a name should be rendered unless there is no official name for said organization or person in their target language. In this case, there is an official name in English, and it is the Kuomintang. Therefore, whether you like it or not, their name should be rendered as the Kuomintang.

To further illustrate: Hamas. Eta. FIFA. FINA. Al Qaida. Tour de France. Mana Motuhake. Tinorangatiratanga.[/quote]

Ask anyone who doesn’t know Taiwan what KMT means. All the others are examples of words adopted by English and are widely known. You could have just mentioned sushi as a good example of this.

Fact is, Kuomindang translates very well and easily into English. Is it a misrepresentation to refer to them as Chinese Nationalist Party? No more than calling the American Republcan party Gonghe dang in Chinese. It is a pretty direct translation and doesn’t distort the meaning at all. Most major news agencies use both KMT and Chinese Nationalist party together. You have to, or most people won’t have a clue what you’re talking about.

I don’t honestly see what the big deal here is. Do you think English speakers ought to be denied the true meaning of the KMT’s name in English? Obviously the acronym KMT will do among people who know what it means. You need a more descriptive translation for those who don’t. Conversation: English 1 speaker who knows Taiwan: “blah blah…KMT…blah.” English speaker 2: “KMT?” English speaker 1: Yes, the Chinese nationalist party who fled to Taiwan during the civil war." 1: “Oh, I heard something about that.”

I didn’t know some of the names Tetsuo mentioned. Guess what I did? Did I demand that their official names mean something to me personally? No. I looked them up.

The big deal is that you have people deciding the names of people and groups based on their opinions of those people and groups. I don’t know how else to put it to make it clear to you. Personally I may think that “Annette Lu” is a silly name, and that her name should be “Lu Xiulian” or “Hsiu-lien Lu”. Fact is, she designated her English name as “Annette Lu”, and so this is what I use.

I could look up KMT and guess what the search results will say…

I look at this from a rhetorical perspective. KMT is easily translatable, so I have to wonder what the rhetorical purpose is for not doing so, or demanding that it not be done.

My point stands about the words listed. They are now English common nouns. Ask an English speaker anywhere what Fifa is and you’re a thousand times more likely to find that person knows what you mean. KMT?

So are you saying it is incorrect to refer to the KMT as the Chinese nationalist party, even though that is the meaning of their name?

To me, either will do. But to an international audience, I think the more descriptive translated name is better as it conveys more of what the party stands for. If you merely say KMT or Kuomindang, you’ll have to be a Mandarin speaker to understand what the name actually means.

The rhetorical purpose of the Taipei Times’ constant reference to the Chinese Nationalist party (as opposed to saying KMT) is not lost on me either. However, they are not technically wrong for doing so as it is the English meaning of the party’s name.