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基督教 is the Chinese, Japanese and Korean word for "Christianity".
Just as in English, this word is often used to mean "Protestant" but includes Catholics in the true definition.
It is the word used to refer to the whole "Christian religion" or "Christian Faith" and therefore, it can be translated as "Christianity". However, used as an adjective in regards to a person, it would translate as "Christian". But more like saying "His religion is Christianity" rather than a noun form.
If you break it apart, the characters mean Base/Foundation Leading/Supervising Religion/Teaching. It makes more sense in Japanese, Chinese, and Korean. The first two characters together are translated as "Christ". So you can also say this means "Christ's Religion" or "Christ's Teachings" when directly translated, or in reverse, "The Religion of Christ" or "The Teaching of Christ".
Notes: The last character has a slight difference in one stroke - however, in calligraphic form, this will not be apparent. This entry can easily be read by any Korean person who knows Hanja characters (Chinese characters used in Korean).
克里斯蒂安 is the transliteration to Mandarin Chinese for the given name Christian.
See Also: Christianity
基督教徒 is the most verbose (longest) word for "Christian" in the Chinese and Japanese languages.
The literal translation of the first two characters is Christ.
The third Character means "Religion" or "Teaching".
The last character means "apprentice" or "disciple".
Altogether these three characters mean "Christ's Teaching Disciple" or "Christ's Religion Apprentice".
Note: The last two characters are sometimes translated together as "follower (of a religion)", so you could also say it means "Follower of Christ".
This four-character title makes it very clear what you are talking about in Chinese.
福音 is the Chinese, Korean and Japanese word for "Gospel" or "Word of God". 福音 is a specifically Christian word in Asia (not used for any other religion).
The first character means "blessing", "good fortune" or "good luck". This first character is a special character used throughout China to bring good tidings and fortune - especially during Chinese New Years. The second character means "sound", "noise" or "news".
Together, these characters create a word that means "The Good News" or "The Sound of Good Fortune".
When read by a Chinese or Japanese person, this word is always perceived as "The Christian Gospel", "Word of God", or even "The Voice of God".
復活 is the Chinese, Japanese and Korean word for resurrection or rebirth. Basically this means "return to life".
It is the term used in most Asian Bibles to refer to the resurrection of Christ. In Japanese, it is sometimes used to mean a Christian Revival. In some context it can mean resuscitation.
上帝 is how Chinese Christians and Jews refer to God, AKA The Judeo-Christian God.
Yes, there are Chinese Jews whose ancestry dates back to Jewish traders on the silk road. They are known as the Kaifeng Jews. Most have left China for Israel now.
There are also plenty of Christians in China of both the Protestant and Catholic variety. However, the churches are basically run by the government, and the Chinese Catholic church does not recognize the Pope.
Oddly, in my experience, I found the Chinese Protestant church to be much less political compared to Baptist and other Protestant churches that I have visited in America.
上帝 is also the typically-used title for God in Japanese.
While you may find this term in old Korean dictionaries, it is an obscure, and rarely-used title for God in modern Korean.
聖靈 / 聖霊 is the title for the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost as used by Jewish, Catholic and Protestant (and other Christian) Chinese people. And yes, Chinese Jews do exist, but there are not many of them.
The first character means Holy, Sacred, Saint or Sage. The second means ghost, spirit, efficacious or intelligence.
聖靈 / 聖霊 is valid in Chinese characters and old Korean Hanja. This will be recognized in Japan but see note below...
The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji (Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|jī dū jiào|
ji1 du1 jiao4
ji du jiao
|chi tu chiao
|Christian||克里斯蒂安||kè lǐ sī dì ān|
ke4 li3 si1 di4 an1
ke li si di an
|k`o li ssu ti an
ko li ssu ti an
|Disciple of Christianity||基督教徒||kirisutokyouto|
|jī dū jiào tú|
ji1 du1 jiao4 tu2
ji du jiao tu
|chi tu chiao t`u
chi tu chiao tu
|Word of God|
|福音||fukuin||fú yīn / fu2 yin1 / fu yin / fuyin|
|hukkatsu / hukatsu||fù huó / fu4 huo2 / fu huo / fuhuo|
|God of Zion|
God of Abraham
|上帝||joutei / jotei||shàng dì / shang4 di4 / shang di / shangdi||shang ti / shangti|
|聖靈 / 聖霊|
|sei rei / seirei||shèng líng|
|In some entries above you will see that characters have different versions above and below a line.|
In these cases, the characters above the line are Traditional Chinese, while the ones below are Simplified Chinese.
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Professional calligraphers are getting to be hard to find these days.
Instead of drawing characters by hand, the new generation in China merely type roman letters into their computer keyboards and pick the character that they want from a list that pops up.
There is some fear that true Chinese calligraphy may become a lost art in the coming years. Many art institutes in China are now promoting calligraphy programs in hopes of keeping this unique form of art alive.
Even with the teachings of a top-ranked calligrapher in China, my calligraphy will never be good enough to sell. I will leave that to the experts.
The same calligrapher who gave me those lessons also attracted a crowd of thousands and a TV crew as he created characters over 6-feet high. He happens to be ranked as one of the top 100 calligraphers in all of China. He is also one of very few that would actually attempt such a feat.
Check out my lists of Japanese Kanji Calligraphy Wall Scrolls and Old Korean Hanja Calligraphy Wall Scrolls.
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