China - Etymology

Etymology

China
Chinese name
Simplified Chinese: 中国
Traditional Chinese: 中國
Literal meaning: Middle Kingdom
Transliterations
Gan
- Romanization: Tung-koe̍t
Kejia
- Romanization: Dung24 Gued2
Mandarin
- Hanyu Pinyin: Zhōngguó
- Tongyong Pinyin: Jhongguó
- Wade-Giles: Chung-kuo
- Postal Map: Chungkuo
- Gwoyeu Romatzyh: Jong'gwo
- Bopomofo ㄓㄨㄥ ㄍㄨㄛˊ
- Xiao'erjing ﺟْﻮ ﻗُﻮَع
Min
- Hokkien POJ: Tiong-kok
- Min Dong BUC: Dṳ̆ng-guók
Wu
- Romanization: Tson平 koh入
Yue
- Jyutping: Zung1 gwok3
- Yale Romanization: Jūnggwok
People's Republic of China
Alternative Chinese name
Simplified Chinese: 中华人民共和国
Traditional Chinese: 中華人民共和國
Transliterations
Gan
- Romanization: Chungfa Ninmin Khungfokoet
Hakka
- Romanization: Dung24 fa11 ngin11 min11 kiung55 fo11 gued2
Mandarin
- Hanyu Pinyin: Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó
- Bopomofo ㄓㄨㄥ ㄏㄨㄚˊ ㄖㄣˊ ㄇㄧㄣˊ ㄍㄨㄥˋ ㄏㄜˊ ㄍㄨㄛˊ
- Xiao'erjing ﺟْﻮ ﺧُﻮَ ژٌ مٍ ﻗْﻮ حْ ﻗُﻮَع
Min
- Hokkien POJ: Tiong-hôa jîn-bîn kiōng-hô-kok
- Min Dong BUC: Dṳ̆ng-huà Ìng-mìng Gê̤ṳng-huò-guók
Wu
- Romanization: Tson平 gho平 zin平 min平 gon去 ghu平 koh入
Yue
- Jyutping: Zung1 waa4 jan4 man4 gung6 wo4 gwok3
- Yale Romanization: Jūngwàh Yàhnmàhn Guhngwòhgwok
Mongolian name
Mongolian:
Transliterations
- SASM/GNC Bügüde nayiramdaqu dumdadu arad ulus
Tibetan name
Tibetan: ཀྲུང་ཧྭ་མི་དམངས་སྤྱི
མཐུན་རྒྱལ་ཁབ
Transliterations
- Wylie: krung hwa mi dmangs spyi mthun rgyal khab
- Zangwen Pinyin: Zhunghua Mimang Jitun Gyalkab
Uyghur name
Uyghur: جۇڭخۇا خەلق جۇمھۇرىيىت
Transliterations
- Latin Yëziqi: Jungxua Xelq Jumhuriyiti
- Yengi Yezik̡: Junghua Həlk̡ Jumh̡uriyiti
- SASM/GNC: Junghua Hälk̂ Jumĥuriyiti
- Siril Yëziqi: Җуңхуа Хәлқ Җумһурийити
Zhuang name
Zhuang: Cunghvaz Yinzminz Gunghozgoz

The word "China" is derived from Persian Cin (چین), which is from Sanskrit Cīna (चीन). It is first recorded in 1516 in the journal of Portuguese explorer Duarte Barbosa. It appears in English in a translation published in 1555. The Sanskrit word was used to refer to China as early as AD 150. There are various scholarly theories regarding the origin of this word. The traditional theory, proposed in the 17th century by Martino Martini, is that "China" is derived from "Qin" (秦), the westernmost of the Chinese kingdoms during the Zhou Dynasty, or from the succeeding Qin Dynasty (221–206 BC). The word Cīna is used in two Hindu scriptures – the Mahābhārata of the 5th century BC and the Laws of Manu of the 2nd century BC – to refer to a country located in the Tibetan-Burman borderlands east of India.

In China, common names for the country include Zhōngguó (Chinese: 中国; literally "the Central State(s)") and Zhōnghuá (Chinese: 中华), although the country's official name has been changed numerous times by successive dynasties and modern governments. The term Zhongguo appeared in various ancient texts, such as the Classic of History of the 6th century BC, and in pre-imperial times it was often used as a cultural concept to distinguish the Huaxia from the barbarians. The term, which can be either singular or plural, referred to the group of states in the central plain. It was only in the nineteenth century that the term emerged as the formal name of the country. The Chinese were not unique in regarding their country as "central", since other civilizations had the same view.

Read more about this topic:  China

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