Archive for Language and medicine

Dubious names for diseases in Chinese

In an article entitled "‘Idiotic’ Name for Dementia Sparks China Doctors’ Protest" that appeared in today's Bloomberg News, the question of the appropriateness of the names for various diseases is raised.  The article begins:

The Chinese name diseases based on symptoms, so diabetes is known as “sugary pee,” while a dyslexic “has trouble reading.” Dementia derives from two Chinese characters meaning “insane” and “idiotic.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (32)

"Sadomasochism" in Chinese

In "Has Sadomasochism Arrived? Confrontations of power at the level of sexuality in China", author Li Yinhe approves of the translation of the term "sadomasochism" as "nuedailian" in the following paragraph:

Also known as S&M, and sometimes abbreviated as SM or S/M, the terminology, "sadomasochism," was first developed by Austro-German psychiatrist Richard von Krafft-Ebing. In Chinese, I use a term to signify "cruelty" and "love," first proposed by sociologist Pan Guangdan. I applaud the phrase, "nuedailian," both for its simplicity and recognition of conflicting dynamics, rather than a term that would only denote sadistic or intentionally harmful activities.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (33)

A non-stigmatizing Chinese word for epilepsy

In an article entitled “A new symbol for epilepsy in Chinese", Mind Hacks asserts:

The Chinese character for epilepsy has been changed to avoid the inaccuracies and stigma associated with the previous label which suggested links to madness and, more unusually, animals.

The new name, which looks like this 腦癇症 just makes reference to the brain although the story of how the original name got its meaning is quite fascinating in itself.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (42)