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1=Language considerations (Chinese)
draft=This is a draft; the format of entries for Chinese words was modified in the second half of 2006.
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link={{{imglink}}} This is a Wiktionary policy, guideline or common practices page. This is a draft proposal. It is unofficial, and it is unknown whether it is widely accepted by Wiktionary editors.
Policies – Entries: CFI - EL - NORM - NPOV - QUOTE - REDIR - DELETE. Languages: LT - AXX. Others: BLOCK - BOTS - VOTES.

The Chinese or Sinitic language family includes a number of related lects which have very similar written forms, but different grammar, vocabulary and especially pronunciation. On Wiktionary, these lects are treated under the header ==Chinese== and the language code zh unless they natively use a non-Chinese script.

Key points

  • The various varieties of Chinese are subsumed under the header ==Chinese== and the language code zh (vote).
    The exception is when the variety of Chinese natively uses a non-Chinese script, e.g. Dungan. The layout of these entries is currently undecided.
  • A Traditional Chinese form of a Chinese word, usually the most commonly used Traditional Chinese form, is chosen as the lemma (vote).
    All other forms of exactly the same word should soft-redirect to the lemma form using {{zh-see}}.
  • Terms are defined in relation to Modern Standard Written Chinese.
    Senses limited to the literary language, certain dialects or certain regions should be marked accordingly using label ({{lb}}, in definitions) and qualifier ({{q}}, elsewhere) tags.
    For example, 簡訊简讯 (jiǎnxùn) uses {{lb|zh|chiefly|Taiwan}} and 煠熟狗頭煠熟狗头 uses {{lb|zh|Cantonese}} to show that these terms are mainly used in Taiwan and exclusively Cantonese, respectively.

Entry format

Chinese entries should follow format guidelines in Entry layout. 朋友 is a good example of how Chinese entries should ideally be formatted.

{{zh-new}} can be used to accelerate creation of entries.

Unless the entry is of a variant or simplified spelling, templates that are almost always obligatory are {{zh-forms}} and {{zh-pron}}.

Some useful Chinese-specific templates include {{zh-l}}, {{zh-x}} and {{zh-cat}}.

Variants and simplified forms use {{zh-see}} to redirect to the standard traditional form.

is a good example of how Chinese character entries should ideally be formatted.

Basic headers for single characters

Glyph origin
Describes how the character obtained its current shape. Templates used include {{Han etym}} and {{Han compound}}.
A character is not always of Chinese origin; see (shí) for an example of what to do in this case.
Describes the origin of the character's pronunciation(s). (Or, used to host a {{zh-see}} box; see documentation for details and for an example.)
Note that Old Chinese and Middle Chinese have been subsumed under "Chinese", so indicating that Mandarin (hēi) is inherited from Old Chinese (*hmlɯːɡ /⁠*hmlɯːɡ⁠/) or Middle Chinese (hək̚ /⁠hək̚⁠/) is redundant. However, indicating that a character is derived from a different character is fine, such as with (yòu) (from Old Chinese ).
It is preferred that an entry is split by etymology per Old Chinese and Middle Chinese ancestor.
Hosts {{zh-pron}}; see documentation for details.
The |cat= parameter is responsible for sorting entries into categories such as Category:Chinese verbs, Category:Mandarin nouns, and Category:Cantonese chengyu and should be filled out when reasonable.
Hosts definitions. Rationale for using a "Definitions" header instead of "Noun", "Verb", or other more specific part of speech headers can be found here.
The {{zh-hanzi}} template is found directly under this header as the headword template. It has little practical value but is currently part of the standard Wiktionary entry format.

Basic headers for words

Glyph origin
This is usually not needed unless it is convenient to discuss it together (like 彳亍 (chìchù), 旮旯 (gālá)).
Etymologies for words may show change of pronunciations or spellings, and semantic change (change in meaning). However, it is not necessary to duplicate any content from {{zh-forms}}. For simple figurative or idiomatic meaning, the |lit= parameter of {{zh-forms}} may be used to show the literal meaning.
This section is the same as the one for single character entries.
Definitions for words should be defined using specific part of speech headers, and appropriate headword template. For noun entries, use {{zh-mw}} to indicate classifiers for each sense and categorize the entry by classifiers; classifiers in the headword template is deprecated.

Other templates

  • {{zh-forms}}: found either at the top of an entry or under an Etymology header. See documentation for details.
  • {{zh-obsolete}} can be used to mark definitions as being obsolete in Modern Standard Chinese (but not necessarily other modern Chinese lects; see for an example).

Headword-line templates

About specific lects

This section lists all Chinese dialects supported and proposed to be supported. Dialect names in italics are currently not supported (in to-do list); other content in italics is tentative and needs further discussion.

Variety chosen Romanisation Help page Romanisation allowed as entries? Tone sandhi
Mandarin Standard Mandarin
(Beijing dialect/Taiwan Mandarin)
Hanyu Pinyin Allowed for (all as as non-lemmas, votes: 1, 2):
  • monosyllables with diacritics (zhāng)
  • monosyllables with tone numbers (zhang1)
  • monosyllables with no tone mark (zhang)
  • polysyllables with diacritics (yánlì)
Only original tones are indicated in Pinyin, e.g. consecutive third tones are shown as third tones. Phonetic pinyin is shown in the expanded mode on tone sandhi with characters and when the actual tone differs from the nominal, e.g. 一定 (yīdìng) [phonetic: yídìng], 不過不过 (bùguò) [phonetic: búguò]
Sichuanese (Chengdu dialect) Sichuanese Pinyin help No Indicated by hyphen -.
Xi'an (Xi'an dialect) Modified Hanyu Pinyin help No See the romanisation page.
Wuhannese (Wuhan dialect) Modified Hanyu Pinyin,
based on that of the Longren dictionary
No Indicated by hyphen - ?
Nankinese (Nanjing dialect) Modified Hanyu Pinyin help No Original tones are displayed.
Dungan Use Dungan term in Cyrillic script. help Allow for terms in Cyrillic script and Xiao'erjing as lemmas Indicated by hyphen -.
Northeastern Mandarin (Harbin or Shenyang dialect) Hanyu Pinyin to be determined to be determined
Cantonese Standard Cantonese
(Guangzhou dialect/Hong Kong dialect)
Jyutping help Allowed for monosyllables as non-lemmas (vote). Changed tones are indicated by hyphen -.
(Guancheng dialect)
adapted Jyutping++ help No See the romanisation page.
(Taicheng dialect)
Wiktionary help No See the romanisation page.
(Jiangcheng dialect)
adapted Jyutping++ help No Does not exist.
Gan Nanchang dialect Wiktionary help No
Hakka Sixian dialect
(north and south)
Pha̍k-fa-sṳ help No
Meixian dialect Guangdong Romanization help No
Tingzhou dialect to be determined No
Huizhou to be determined to be determined help No
Jin Taiyuan dialect Wiktionary help No
Central Min Yong'an dialect to be determined, but an in-house transliteration system could be similar to Kienning Colloquial Romanized help No to be determined
Eastern Min Fuzhou dialect Bàng-uâ-cê help No
Fu'an dialect to be determined, but an in-house transliteration system could be similar to Bàng-uâ-cê No to be determined
Northern Min Jian'ou dialect Kienning Colloquial Romanized help No
Puxian Min Putian dialect,
Xianyou dialect
Hinghwa Romanized help No to be determined
Southern Min Datian Min to be determined No
(multiple dialects)
to be determined help No to be determined
(multiple dialects)
Pe̍h-ōe-jī help Allowed as lemmas (e.g. put-khó-su-gī) Only original tones are used.
Leizhou Min Leizhou Pinyin No Only original tones are used.
(multiple dialects)
Guangdong Ministry of Education's
Teochew Romanization Scheme
(not Gaginang's Peng'im)
No Only original tones are used.
Shaojiang Shaowu dialect to be determined, but an in-house transliteration system could be similar to Kienning Colloquial Romanized No to be determined
Southern Pinghua Nanning Pinghua
(Tingzi dialect)
adapted Jyutping++ help No Does not exist.
Wu Northern Wu (Shanghai dialect, Suzhou dialect, etc.) Wugniu help No See WT:AZH/Wu#Tones
Jinhua dialect Wugniu No
Wenzhou dialect (Lucheng dialect) Wugniu, Wiktionary help No to be determined
Xiang Changsha dialect Wiktionary help No
Shuangfeng dialect Wiktionary help No
Hengyang dialect Wiktionary help No

Category sorting

In general, categories should be sorted by radical–stroke sortkeys produced by Module:Hani-sortkey.

Chinese characters

Chinese characters should not be conflated with Chinese words or morphemes. General information about the characters themselves belong in the Translingual section, which appears before all other sections. See Wiktionary:About Chinese characters for discussion of its format.

Additional help

Help from the community

Sometimes, we know there is a problem, but don’t know what to do to correct the problem. If you should find a Chinese entry with a problem that you do not know how to correct, there are several ways to approach the situation.

  1. Mark the page with {{attention}}. This template adds the entry to a cleanup category, where another user can then find and correct the problem. It helps if you include comments explaining what the problem is or why you think the page needs attention.
  2. Raise the issue on Wiktionary talk:About Chinese. Note that this approach is primarily for issues of style, formatting, categorization, and not for specifics of content.
  3. Mark the page with {{rfc}}. This is a more general cleanup tag, and it allows the user to include reasons or concerns as an argument in the template. Be sure to also add an entry to WT:RFC concerning the word so that other editors will be made aware of the problem.

Translations into Chinese lects

  • All translations into Chinese lects must be grouped under * Chinese. Subdialects can be sub-nested. Regional variations can be flagged with {{qualifier}}.
* Chinese:
*: Hokkien: {{t|nan-hbl|雪文|tr=sat-bûn}} {{qualifier|Zhangzhou}}, {{t|nan-hbl|茶塊|tr=tê-kóe}} {{qualifier|Quanzhou}} ...
  • Mandarin: 肥皂 (féizào)
  • The traditional precedes the simplified version if they are different and the transliteration is provided with the simplified version. All Chinese varieties need both traditional and simplified forms.
* Chinese:
*: Mandarin: {{t|cmn|心理學}}, {{t|cmn|心理学|tr=xīnlǐxué}}
  • If a translation is both simplified and traditional, only one translation is given.
* Chinese:
*: Mandarin: {{t|cmn|三明治|tr=sānmíngzhì}}

Current tasks

Other Chinese aids

Selected previous discussions