Translation of Chinese Terms "qizhi" and "daishu"

Does anyone know the English equivalent to 氣質? The closest I can get is temperament or disposition, but I don’t think it’s exactly the same meaning. Can anyone help?

Rather than start a new thread, I’ll put my query here as well. Does anyone know what a 代書 is? I live around the law courts in Taoyuan. There are plenty of lawyers offices around. Some also have the above on the sign. I can’t find it in my dictionary and locals I have asked describe someone who helps you buy and sell things like houses. Notary public came to mind, but that translates as 公證人

Not very good English, but if I had to say dai4shu1 in English, I’d say a “legal document writer”

Apparently it’s someone without a lawyer’s license, but who has the qualifications to draw up legal contracts.

Don’t know how to say it in English, and I’m not aware of an equivalent in the West.

I always use “class and/or grace,” since whenever I hear people say she has 氣質 it means she has class and grace (or doesn’t).

If you describe someone as “hen you qizhi”, it seem it means that person’s sophisticated, classy, or knows how to carry himself.

rice T and Chris, your responses are much appreciated. Thanks. I had guessed something similar. I had thought of some sort of a legal scribe or paralegal as possible translations. Guess we don’t have these sorts of people in the west.

I’d been looking for the meaning of 氣質 in English for years, realized that it is a cultural use of Chinese world.

Be aware of the timing and occasions Chinese use it to describe. I finally recognized that it means someone with appreciated personality.

Still have no single vocabulary of English, perhaps try Middle English.

代書 of Taiwan only is allowed to give legal advice to real estate stuff, I suppose. I may define 代書 as attorney-at-law in English, lawyer is for 法學界人士, broader definition tho.

律師 of Taiwan more likely be barristers, pleaders, etc.

Thanks for those who came up with the translations for me. I just wasn’t sure if there was a more exact translation.

氣質 can refers to many different words

charisma – a personal magic of leadership arousing special popular loyalty or enthusiasm for a public figure (as a political leader)

charm-- a : a trait that fascinates, allures, or delights b : a physical grace or attraction – used in plural c : compelling attractiveness

grain – a : natural disposition : TEMPER b : a basic or characteristic quality <doctrines … very much in the American grain – R. W. Noland>

mettle – quality of temperament or disposition <gentlemen of brave mettle – Shakespeare>

proclivity – an inclination or predisposition toward something; especially : a strong inherent inclination toward something objectionable

btw, all definitions of words from Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary

[quote=“JHW”]氣質 can refers to many different words


I always figured ladylike was a good translation, when appropriate :slight_smile:

[quote=“Tempo Gain”][quote=“JHW”]氣質 can refers to many different words


I always figured ladylike was a good translation, when appropriate :slight_smile:[/quote]

but 氣質 is a neutral word…
so the adjetive which used infront of 氣質 decides it’s property, for example

淑女般的氣質 – this sentence means exectly the same as the word " ladylike"
藝術家的氣質 – this sentence means someone has a sence of beauty or acts like a artist
領袖般的氣質 – it means someone has the talent to be a leader though he is not a leader

in fact, the English courses i ever attented never taught me the exect translation of " 氣質"

I agree, I’d maybe translate it - if taken out of context - as “temperament”, maybe “character”, which then, as JHW said, would have to be further qualified by context.

Btw. I’ve seen 代書 translated as (legal) “scribe” or even “amanuensis” :wink: , might be a bit old fashioned though. I suspect it might be a Japanese influence, as a “daishonin” in Japanese is a scribe, secretary etc., “daisho” as a verb means proxy (signature related), so could it be something like a notary service provided by somebody without a (or holding a lesser) law degree? I’ll try to find out … Xpet.

I agree that 氣質 is one of those wrods that doesn’t translate simply into English. You have to get a feel for it.

‘Elegance’ is one that noone has thrown in yet. I usually think elegance, class, style, sophistication, and maybe most importantly ‘bearing’. Also it should be natural, not affected. A poor low class woman in rags can also have 氣質.

Now, can anyone provide a good term for 捨不得? I’ve never been able to define that well.


Not willing to part with (something/someone)

e.g. I can’t stand the thought of giving him/her/it up. OR I can’t bear parting with him/her/it.

很有質感 is another good word that is used frequently, to describe anything from cell phones, to clothes, etc.

Here’s what I found out about Taiwan’s 代書: they do not need a law degree but ordinarily would hold a university degree of whatever kind (which, of course, can be a law degree …). They have to pass an examination granting a 土地代書證書 (tu3 di4 dai4 shu1 zheng4 shu1), and this already indicates their main function: assisting in all legal matters pertaining to land purchase, sale, lease, inheritance etc… They also do stuff related to real-estate deals and all related matters (as was mentioned by a previous poster above)

Historically, they were much closer to the basic meaning of the words 代書, “to write on behalf of …”: they used to also draw up legal documents of all sorts for their clients and generally assisted in legal matters, giving advise etc… According to one of my lawyer-colleagues, even today “on the country side” they would still do that, even though they have been stripped of that authority through some legal reform or other years ago. People like to consult them as they are usually cheaper and maybe also more “available” or approachable, but that’s just me guessing …

Other than that I still have that nagging suspicion that the term was somehow influenced by the Japanese daishonin, but I couldn’t find any indication of that so far … Xpet.

Not willing to part with (something/someone)

e.g. I can’t stand the thought of giving him/her/it up. OR I can’t bear parting with him/her/it.


And it’s also used in the sense “I can’t stand what’s happening to him”, “I feel so sorry for him”

So would it be OK to say that 代書 is a “legal advisor”?

他很有氣質 sounds like what 914 said: “He’s got class.”

As for 他友藝術家的氣質…??? How about “He’s like an artist”

代書 is a term used in taiwan I think it comes from the Japanese 代書(Hira=だいしょ) amanuensis, scribe, secretary, courier
We do not have them in the states. The closest thing we have are paralegals or notaries.
氣質, I usually think of as salonf