Who put the "I" in Taiwan: Chinese News Paper Head


#1

As I’m noticing more and more Chinese, I found that all Chinese Language Newspapers seem to refer to Taiwan as 我 WO or I and America as 美 Mei. Ok… I can understand Mei because that’s short for 美國 America, but “I”?

Is that a little Egotistical (just joking) :wink: ?

Anyway… I’d like to know how and when this tradition got started.


#2

我 (wo3) is simply short for 我國 (wo3guo2). We don’t really have an equivalent in English that I can think of, but I believe this is just a standard term. Although sometimes it does seem to create a slight feeling of ‘us vs. them.’ :stuck_out_tongue:


#3

Hi,

Interpreters use “wo3 guo2” to express the idea of “our country” or “us” even when they are interpreting speakers of other languages into Chinese. So if President Fox of Mexico says “Mexico wants to improve trade relations” it might be translated as “wo3 guo2 yao4…” or sometimes “wo3 fang1…” meaning something like “our side”.

Speaking of country names, I want to know what is the deal with the veterinarian on Roosevelt Road just near Exit 3 of Taipower MRT – his door says he was on the ROC Veterinary Contingent to Some Kingdom or Other – I didn’t recognize the country name immediately. Anybody seen this?? The nearest guess I have is the “Kingdom of Swaziland”…?? Wasn’t that a kingdom? The Chinese name has a “suo” in it…


#4

Do mainland papers use Wo Guo or is this a purely Taiwanese thing ?


#5

I spent ages translating Renmin Ribao newspaper articles (very praxis-oriented university class!): so trust me: they do!

Iris


#6

Maybe “homeland” is a better term to use than “our country.” As in post-911 fuss about “US homeland security.”


#7

[quote=“ironlady”]

, I want to know what is the deal with the veterinarian on Roosevelt Road just near Exit 3 of Taipower MRT – his door says he was on the ROC Veterinary Contingent to Some Kingdom or Other – I didn’t recognize the country name immediately. Anybody seen this?? The nearest guess I have is the “Kingdom of Swaziland”…?? Wasn’t that a kingdom? The Chinese name has a “suo” in it…[/quote]

Who knows what ‘contingent’ the jerk was on, but he’s a sucky vet! Avoid him like the plague if you have pets.
He butchered one of my cats when he neutered her. I’d report him to the SPCA, but there is no SPCA in Taiwan…


#8

This Wo Guo terminology is also commonly used in the Taiwan legal statutes.

We have had many people making postings in the Legal Matters Forum regarding the status of overseas Chinese, local Chinese, who qualifies to be a Chinese, what is the terminology for “Chinese” in a particular legal clause, etc., etc.

Usually the term used is “Wo Guo Guo Min”. Since different laws interpret the concept of “Wo Guo” differently, of course you get different interpretations of who is (or is not) “Wo Guo Guo Min”: a citizen of my country.

I have suggested to the staff of several TSU Legislators that then entire controversy of whether Taiwan is part of the Mainland (as some “Mainlanders” in Taiwan claim) could be settled by having every Ministry complie a report on what the term “Wo Guo” actually means in all the laws and regulations which they administer. It appears there are two choices, “Wo Guo” can mean (1) Taiwan including Pescadores, Kinmen, Matsu, Lanyu, Green Island, etc. , (2) Taiwan including all of Mainland China.

However, the staff of these Legislators weren’t excited about my proposal.

To my thinking, it would be quite handy to have an authoritative commentary on what “Wo Guo” means in every statute where the term is mentioned. Of particular concern to foreigners perhaps, days of residency in the PRC do not count for “days of accumulated residency in Wo Guo” for the purposes of applying for permanent residency here. However, in some other statutes “Wo Guo” includes Mainland China.


#9

A definition and similar concordance of Zhonghuaminguo would be handy too.