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Bob
2003-Oct-16, 08:03 PM
In Japanese, "taiko" means "big drum" and taiko drumming bands are part of Japanese culture. In Chinese, "taiko" seems to mean, as far as I can tell, "outer space" as in "taikonaut." Anybody know if there is an etymological connection between the words?

TriangleMan
2003-Oct-16, 08:14 PM
Don't have any links but I recall from my studies in Heian Japanese literature that Chinese and Japanese were already very distinct languages in the 10th Century. At that time aristocratic men were expected to know both Chinese and Japanese characters while women were only expected to know Japanese. Knowledge of Chinese was seen as scholarly so Chinese was not known by the Japanese peasantry. So any connection between Chinese and Japanese 'taiko' would likely be pretty distant.

Colt
2003-Oct-16, 11:48 PM
It's somewhere on the board but... Taiko means "heaven" or "sky" if I recall correctly. -Colt

NASA Fan
2003-Oct-17, 12:09 AM
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taikonaut

Claims that it is the western press that coined the term Taikonaut.

Will add more stuff when I have looked up other sites.

NASA Fan
2003-Oct-17, 12:10 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taikonaut


Claims that it is the western press that coined the term Taikonaut.


Chinese officials and newspapers prefer the term yuhangyuan (宇航員), however, which roughly translates as "space navigator

Will add more stuff when I have looked up other sites.

aporetic_r
2003-Oct-17, 01:07 AM
I learned astronaut as Tai Kong Ren: Tai Kong meaning "space" and Ren meaning "person." Maybe that isn't what they are using at this point for these guys.
Colt, Tien = sky.

Aporetic

gethen
2003-Oct-17, 02:35 AM
I don't recall that there's much connection between spoken Chinese and spoken Japanese, although it's been many years since I studied Mandarin. I do seem to recall though that the written languages are related--that the Japanese may have adopted the Chinese characters for their own language( based on meaning of words or pronunciation I can't say). What's interesting (I think) is that all dialects of Chinese (Mandarin, Cantonese, etc.) use the same characters, so that no matter what your spoken dialect, you can read any common Chinese writing.
It's pretty difficult to say what the syllable "tai" might mean, unless you have either heard it pronounced (Chinese is tonal) or seen it written as a character.

gethen
2003-Oct-17, 02:45 AM
Should add that it's pretty difficult to say what tai means without seeing it written. (tai is a common syllable in Chinese and may be anything from too to the first syllable of the word for "wife." It may also be pronounced differently, depending on what it means (Chinese is a tonal language.)
Sorry about the repetition--was having trouble getting this stuff to post.

Musashi
2003-Oct-17, 02:47 AM
The Japanese used the Chinese characters (Kanji) to be their written language. I believe that you can basically write something in Kanji and both nationalities will be able to understand it. The spoken languages, however, sound nothing alike.

Tien is the Japanese pronounciation of the character for Heaven or Sky. Somewhere I have a Kanji book, if I ever find it, I will have more information.

Musashi
2003-Oct-17, 02:49 AM
Here is some stuff..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taikonaut

and more

http://www.wordspy.com/words/taikonaut.asp

Apparently, taikong is Chinese for space.

The Supreme Canuck
2003-Oct-17, 02:56 AM
Hence, "taikonaut."

gethen
2003-Oct-17, 04:11 AM
Yes, tien may mean heaven (Tienanmen Square--the Gate of Heaven) or it may mean day, or any number of other things. Depends on tone and written character and context. I'm a little surprized it may mean the same thing in Japanese though.

Musashi
2003-Oct-17, 04:32 AM
I wish I could find that book... On reflection, I think that Tien is the Chinese reading of the character. I think that the Japanese is something different. However, I think the Japanese also use the Tien reading.

Rue
2003-Oct-17, 04:39 AM
This is from taikonaut.com.

Who use this word first? In May 1998, Mr. Chiew Lee Yih from Malaysia used it first in newsgroups. Almost at the same time, Mr. Chen Lan used it and announced it at "Go Taikonauts" site. They created this word in parallel, which shows it is probably the best candidate for Chinese spacemen.


Some japanese and korean words have chinese roots to them but the pronunciation has changed significantly. Both cultures still use chinese characters (japan more so), but if you showed someone from japan or korea the characters for "Taikong" they would understand the meaning but pronounce it quite different from the chinese.

Long March
2003-Oct-17, 11:34 AM
Since I've got access to a good computer with working Chinese software for once, I can show you what it looks like too:-
太空
There you are - hope you enjoyed it - it's rare indeed that I have anything useful to contribute to this board (I'm a translator, and, worse, an arts graduate...).

TriangleMan
2003-Oct-17, 11:40 AM
I'm a translator

Based on your name you wouldn't happen to be a Chinese translator, would you? :)

Long March
2003-Oct-17, 11:44 AM
=D> Chinese translator and proud of it!
I first strayed here trying to find out about the Chinese space program - especially their ideas on Moon exploration - for a university project, and have been quietly lurking ever since.

kucharek
2003-Oct-17, 11:48 AM
=D> Chinese translator and proud of it!
I first strayed here trying to find out about the Chinese space program - especially their ideas on Moon exploration - for a university project, and have been quietly lurking ever since.
Do you know this (http://homepage.ntlworld.com/dave.harland/EtM-Chinese.jpg) one? 8-[

gethen
2003-Oct-17, 01:19 PM
Long March, I was hoping you'd catch this one. I remembered your first visit here looking for info on the Chinese space program, but could not remember your name. Don't belittle that degree. There are lots of us out here with similar degrees who aren't doing anything nearly as interesting as you are.

NASA Fan
2003-Oct-17, 01:30 PM
Since I've got access to a good computer with working Chinese software for once, I can show you what it looks like too:-
太空
There you are - hope you enjoyed it - it's rare indeed that I have anything useful to contribute to this board (I'm a translator, and, worse, an arts graduate...).

I don't know about anyone elses computers, but on mine the characters just showed up as 2 boxes. Thanks anyway, and welcome Long March. Stick around--it is always good to hear other peoples thoughts.

Kaptain K
2003-Oct-17, 02:38 PM
Since I've got access to a good computer with working Chinese software for once, I can show you what it looks like too:-
太空
There you are - hope you enjoyed it - it's rare indeed that I have anything useful to contribute to this board (I'm a translator, and, worse, an arts graduate...).

I don't know about anyone elses computers, but on mine the characters just showed up as 2 boxes. Thanks anyway, and welcome Long March. Stick around--it is always good to hear other peoples thoughts.
On mine it shows as two question marks (??). :o

kucharek
2003-Oct-17, 02:40 PM
Since I've got access to a good computer with working Chinese software for once, I can show you what it looks like too:-
太空
There you are - hope you enjoyed it - it's rare indeed that I have anything useful to contribute to this board (I'm a translator, and, worse, an arts graduate...).

I don't know about anyone elses computers, but on mine the characters just showed up as 2 boxes. Thanks anyway, and welcome Long March. Stick around--it is always good to hear other peoples thoughts.
On mine it shows as two question marks (??). :o

You must haver some asian language fonts installed. The you'll see two chinese charaters, of which I know the second one means "sky".

Harald

Kaptain K
2003-Oct-17, 02:46 PM
Yeah, like I need even more junque on my computer! :roll:

Long March
2003-Oct-17, 04:20 PM
Wow, the things I can contribute today are multiplying!
It sounds like problems with encoding - if you are in Internet Explorer, right click anywhere on the page, go to "Encoding", and click on "Chinese Simplified GB2312". All being well, you will then see two small and insignificant Chinese characters - enjoy!
Thank you for being welcoming. I need the encouragement - one of the reasons behind my choice of name was how far I have to go in this subject... still, it is an exciting journey.

Eroica
2003-Oct-17, 04:49 PM
It worked, Long March, but it messed up those Old English characters in musashi's Beowulf signature.

Musashi
2003-Oct-17, 04:50 PM
No!!! Change it back! ;)

Strange enough, they both work for me.

Eroica
2003-Oct-17, 04:59 PM
Ah, I've got it now. If I choose "Chinese Simplified GB18030" I get the best of both worlds.

Musashi
2003-Oct-18, 12:45 AM
well, I found my Kanji book, and surprisingly, both characters were in there. The definitions are sometimes not complete or are vague.

First character, Tai: large; thick; grow fat

Sceond character (my book has it as Ku): empty; vacant; sky

So.. I figure, large sky or large empty... good term for space :)

Long March
2003-Oct-19, 05:34 PM
Kurachek wrote:
Do you know this one?
Sorry if this post is a bit of a mess - not sure how to quote. Also, I wasn't sure if you wanted me to translate the book's cover or just to look at it.
It says:
"Translations of Popular Works at the Forefront of International Science [or something of that sort]
Moon Exploration
Records of the Apollo Moon Landings
By David M. Harland (English)
Translated by Yu Xihai, Yin Guoying and others
Hunan Educational Press"
Congratulations to David Harland! - there isn't that much translated popular science in China. It looks great as well - it's just a shame they got the wrong planet for the cover...

Cougar
2003-Oct-19, 08:27 PM
I spent about a year in Tokyo a couple of years ago and learned about 10 words of Japanese. It's such a weird language! A major problem (in learning it) is that there is no 1-to-1 correspondence between languages... or the correspondence is very poor. It's like translation requires a degree in poetry!

Also making things difficult is that Japanese has not one, not two, but three different alphabets, and they all may be used in conjunction! As Musashi noted, the Chinese-character alphabet is called Kanji. Now, I may be very wrong about this, but in China, I believe the characters are pictographs, and each one is a word or concept. (Well, depending on context, it may have a different meaning, but English is a bit like that.) But in Japanese, I think the Kanji characters serve mainly as sounds, and they are put together to form Japanese words and concepts. Please feel free to correct my misunderstanding.

But whatever you do, go see the movie Lost in Translation. It's just like being in Tokyo! 8)

Musashi
2003-Oct-19, 10:08 PM
The Kanji represent ideas in Japanese as well as Chinese. The three alphabets of Japanese are Kanji, Katakana, and Hiragana. Hiragana and Katakana both use characters to represent sound, like the english alphabet. Each of those alphabets has 46 characters. Things are spelled out with those two. Kanji, on the other had, has thousands of characters. Each Kanji can mean different things and be pronounced in different ways. Often, the have katakana or hiragana symbols over them to clear up meanings. Fun language :)

Cougar
2003-Oct-19, 11:03 PM
The Kanji represent ideas in Japanese as well as Chinese.
Ah, thanks.

You realize, of course, that while I was in Tokyo the reigning sumo champion was named Musashimaru. :D
http://www.xmission.com/~dcc/kk0-19.jpg

(Link added:) Here's a pic of (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/more/sumo/news/1999/05/26/sumo_star/index.html) and story about the big guy. :o

Musashi
2003-Oct-20, 12:29 AM
Huh, I recgnize the name Akebono, but Musashimaru... not really that surprising a name I guess. Musashi is a popular character from Japanese history (and historical fiction).