time is right ( read - good level of intoxication) to introduce
a topic close to my heart. this may be “tilting at windmills”
but i’m on a one man’s endeavour to lose the appellation
it’s usage is omnipresent; on this site, in conversation and in the
teaching material i’m given.
from what i can gather it is derived from the mandarin imposed
by the KMT when the americans gave taiwan to them to counter
the commies, after the war. i’m of an age that that refers to WWII.
the KMT didn’t think of this as taiwan but as an outpost position
to hold until they could go back and reclaim the mainland (read -
motherland). when the mandarin is translated into english
we get mainland china.
i.e. in Hakka they just say china (haven’t verified this in ‘taiwnanese’).
the rationale i use in weekly sessions with some highschool
teachers and with some twenty-somethings is that to refer
to china as mainland china implies that this is island china.
that gets a rise out of them (well that and the skinnerian conditioning
of my gong show buzzer impersonation).
with the junior high school students i get out my map of the world and
point and say “Taiwnan is on an island and China is on a continent,
using ‘mainland china’ is politics and this is english class.
i’m the english teacher - no more ‘mainland china.’”
( yes i foresee someone saying “but that’s your politics!”
ah but inculcation is easier with the minds of youth. )
with the little kids, the flash cards have physical outlines and flags
of the countries on one side and their names on the other
(e.g. japan,korea, taiwan and mainland china).
i just say “we don’t need the mainland word, just use china.”
they’re happy i made it easier. of course their teachers are so apolitical
that they don’t follow my lead. i have to remind them of the colours of
the good guys/bad guys!
while i’m on my soap box,
quote is a verb, the noun is quotation,
it’s kil-o-me-ter,not ki-lom-e-ter.
(re the last, i suspect noah webster was a creationist too)
As long as there is a “C” in ROC I guess they are going to be using “Mainland China”.
They’ll either decide in a few years to drop the “C” or THE MAINLAND will come and liberate them from their KMT/DPP
(fill in the blank) oppressors, andthen they’ll just say “The Mainland” when referring to where all their taxes and remaining natural
resources will be syphoned off to.
Something like, “Where is Uncle Lee, mommy?”
“He’s been taken to The Mainland for re-education.”
"What happened to the all the gold and foreign currency we had buried in the garden?"
"It's been repatriated to The Mainland."
"Why did they take down our steel front door?"
"It'll be put to better use in The Mainland, than here."
While we’re at it I think it’s time we start calling Cubans, “Americans”.
I always refer to “The Mainland” as “Those Thieving Commie Bastards” for clarification.
And in all of your wisdom… what convenient terminology do you propose we use in order to distinguish between “mainland China” and Hong Kong or Macau?
You can always follow the Mandarin convention of calling “Mainland China” the “inside land” (nei di) versus Hong Kong and Macau…but of course China/Hong Kong/Macau/Taiwan seems to take care of the matter quite neatly, right?
(But since most foreigners living in Taiwan seem to say “the Mainland” I don’t see the harm, personally. But then I’m not political.)
Well, what do the people of Hong Kong and Macao call the rest of China?
In Hong Kong/Macau, at least as of my recent trips (not for 2-3 years), ‘da lu’ still remains the most common terminology, rather than ‘nei di’. No one in HK/Macau refers to the mainland as China/zhongguo.
“And in all of your wisdom… what convenient terminology do you propose we use
in order to distinguish between “mainland China” and Hong Kong or Macau?”
It’s a push of my mental accuity, but I would call Hong Kong - Hong Kong,
Macau - Macau, and China - China.
However, I didn’t intend to concern my endeavour with the problems
those people have, god bless them.
“Well, what do the people of Hong Kong and Macao call the rest of China?”
- couldn’t careless.
I should have made clear(er) that I was talking about Taiwanese people.
“But since most foreigners living in Taiwan seem to say “the Mainland” I don’t see the harm, personally. But then I’m not political.”
Oh I’m working on us/them too - your turn will come!
I prefer “mainland China” over “Mainland China” (note the capitalization). But some non-political term is needed to distinguish the PRC from the ROC.
This is especially true when we use the adjectival form “Chinese”, because it has multiple interpretations - it can refer to ethnicity instead of or in addition to nationality. And then there’s the issue of Taiwan’s “mainlanders” and actual mainlanders. 60 years ago, the word “mainlander” for the mainland evacuees in Taiwan made perfect sense, but it’s rather confusing now as it refers to their descendants too.
What about Hainan?
[quote=“ccpcannonfodder”]It’s a push of my mental accuity, but I would call Hong Kong - Hong Kong,
Macau - Macau, and China - China.[/quote]
I like that.
Isn’t there some point of mental development, somewhere around the age of 8, where kids begin to realize that there exists a world outside their immediate perspective?
Perhaps when you reach that point, you’ll understand that “China” and “Hong Kong” aren’t mutually exclusive terms in the context of many conversations.
"What about Hainan?
Well, what about Hainan?
I don’t live there, so they say what pleases them.
I live here , so I’m concerned what is said pleases me!
tang, you have a wonderful way with words, but it’s all
too often way way out there.
I understand a few things but your point, and how it applies
to mine, isn’t among that few.
What ever you and your friends( where ever you and they are)
say is not germane.
[quote=“ccpcannonfodder”]What ever you and your friends( where ever you and they are)
say is not germane.[/quote]
And along the same lines, what an aging English-teacher in Taiwan believes is the most appropriate name for “China” (be it “mainland China”, “slag of coal”, “glow-in-the-dark-China”) is really not germane. Well, except for the poor students subjected to your odd and irrelevant eccentricities.
Come on. you had to come back to give us that? it doesn’t matter if an aging english teacher says it or an aging (or have you found the fountain of youth?) chinese business man says it- it just matters if it makes sense or not. whoever thinks that taiwan has de facto independence should not say dalu- just china. as for macau and hong kong, it makes sense for those people to say dalu since they are SAR of china. to the fellow aging english teacher- i won’t be saying ‘mainland’ china anymore, so you got one convert.
How does dalu translate anyway? I mean, directly. Is it ‘big’ da? Is the opposite of this word really ‘island China’? How would I say that in Mandarin?
I am a big fan of asking this question. If someone can answer my little questions just above, I’ll take the issue to my charges, all between the ages of 7 and 11.
[quote=“dearpeter”]How does dalu translate anyway? I mean, directly. Is it ‘big’ da? Is the opposite of this word really ‘island China’? How would I say that in Mandarin?
I am a big fan of asking this question. If someone can answer my little questions just above, I’ll take the issue to my charges, all between the ages of 7 and 11.[/quote]
Dalu is literally pretty close to the english term ‘mainland’. But of course, no term really translates “exactly”. When Hu Jintao spoke at a news conference in Africa yesterday, for example, he referred to being in ‘feizhou dalu’… in English, you might translate that usage as “continental Africa” rather than mainland Africa.
But no, I can’t figure out how semantically the opposite of “mainland China” is “island China”… especially with all the rather awkward contradictions already pointed out (Hainan, Hong Kong). I don’t think ccpcannonfodder was expecting to win any prizes for accuracy, anyways. And honestly, v and ccpcannonfodder can call “China” whatever term they want. After all, if I were to rename my toilet ccpcannonfodder, I wouldn’t expect the rest of the world to find the message behind my choice especially “germane” or interesting.
When Hawaiians refer to the 48 contiguous US states, they say ‘the mainland’, because they are an island state which is part of the US. That’s why I think saying mainland China implies that Taiwan is politically a part of China. It has nothing to do with the opposite of mainland china being island china. and as for me and the other guy saying china instead of mainland china- what we choose to call it has as much validity as what huangD, i mean, cctang wants to call it- being that nobody died and made him emperor yet (i’m talking about emperor of china, not his company). he might also choose to call his (flush) toilet and the us ‘the stinking evil empire which has been indispensible to my life’ and i would applaud his right to do so. me and the other guy like to be consistent in our terminology and thinking just as i assume cctang does. and as a tag to whatever cctang says, i could just follow his lead and say. ‘oh. that’s what you think? well keep on thinking it cuz it really doesn’t matter in the scheme of things’. Good point Bxia. that’s a great way to advance every single conversation you choose to join in. PS huang, it has been slow without you here.
Always nice to be missed.
[quote] ‘oh. that’s what you think? well keep on thinking it cuz it really doesn’t matter in the scheme of things’. Good point Bxia. that’s a great way to advance every single conversation you choose to join in.[/quote]Ah, but that’s hardly fair. I started assuming ccpcannonfodder wanted to make this a meaningful discussion. I thought he might’ve been talking about a general change that would make sense, and perhaps even be “useful”, to many. So, like others, I pointed out areas where this terminology would be confusing.
But with his final, pre-adolescent comment “well what about Hainan” (and indirectly, “well what about Hong Kong”)… he successfully proved he didn’t actually have a point. There are a lot of people in Taiwan who actually need a term to distinguish between Hainan, Hong Kong, and “neidi” China… but ccpcannonfodder has big enough blinders that he doesn’t care.
The man has the perspective of a provincial (pun intended) hick… so, what is there to “advance” with this conversation?
you could’ve kept engaging him. and what about my hawaii point? wouldn’t you agree that IF you believe that taiwan is de facto independent, you should abandon the dalu term and just say ‘china’? i agree his ‘not germane’ comment wasn’t advancing the topic- but if it’s an interesting topic to you, you just have to keep pounding away. AND you lumped me in with him in saying we could call china anything we liked, so that is why i had to get personal with the f toilet comment :fume:
main·land [meyn-land, -luhnd] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
- the principal land of a country, region, etc., as distinguished from adjacent islands or a peninsula: the mainland of Greece.
- (in Hawaii) the 48 contiguous states of the U.S.
It’s possible ‘mainland’ doesn’t always have a political/national meaning- maybe it can be used in a strictly geographical sense- but i can’t think of any examples. but in the way we use it in reference to the US and Hawaii, and I think the way the term has been used by the KMT, it does imply the speaker’s frame of reference is an island which belongs to a ‘mainland’ national territory’.
Wasn’t there a member here who was advocating the independence of Hawaiians? Was it V?
Anyway, if the Republic of Hawaii were formed, would they still call mainland US mainland? Who cares.
Just like, who cares if mainland China (dalu) is used or not. The only persons who should care are the students and their paying parents. :homer:
People who value language and being consistent in their thinking and terminology care. You might not care or see the difference or see the relevance if Bush says ‘Global Climate Change’ vs ‘Global Warming’ or when casino companies call it ‘gaming’ instead of ‘gambling’ or ‘pro-life’ vs ‘pro-choice’…There are so many things in the world to care about and so little time to care about them all- you definitely need to pick your areas of caring. And just leave the rest to a fuzzy outline in your mind. But in all seriousness, the fuzzier your understanding, the easier you are to manipulate and be lied to. You should care about sharpening your thinking. Why not practice in this thread?