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#1
Old 10-15-2003, 02:23 AM
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How do we call the Chinese astronauts?

This should have an answer in Chinese, but what about other languages like English?

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...d=624&ncid=716

We have astronauts and cosmonauts, did we figure out how the Chinese call theirs? I heard "Taikonaut" but that is not official, the Chinese press has so far used the term "yuhangyuan,"

What is their name?
#2
Old 10-15-2003, 02:59 AM
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Hmm...well who knows 'taikonauts' might stick, because there simply isn't a universally-agreed name for them at all, for now at least. Though as a person who understands Mandarin I find it amusing but highly ridiculous-sounding.

Though I think it'd be better off if the press just calls them 'Chinese astronauts.'
#3
Old 10-15-2003, 03:16 AM
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"Astronaut" is a generic term for all space travellers. All news stories I could find refer to Yang Liwei as China's first astronaut.

But quite a few also using the term "taikonaut" so I think it'll stick. The term has been used by the media for a couple of years at least.
#4
Old 10-15-2003, 04:13 AM
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10-10-220? Oh wait...

Well, technically all space travellers are astronauts. If you do want to be country specific, I've been hearing taikonaut forever (the Chinese word for space is apparently "Taikong"). I don't see why that's gonna change now.
#5
Old 10-15-2003, 05:32 AM
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The Chinese use the word "astronaut" in English. "Taikonaut" was made up in Singapore. All according to a Swedish diplomat in China, who was interviewed on radio this morning.
#6
Old 10-15-2003, 05:51 AM
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Speaking of, why in the world do we have the distinction between cosmonauts and astronauts? I assume it's a relic of the Cold War and the space race. Is it still used?
#7
Old 10-15-2003, 05:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by scr4
"Astronaut" is a generic term for all space travellers. All news stories I could find refer to Yang Liwei as China's first astronaut.
Well, Russian space travellers usually get referred to as cosmonauts, and at least the Russian Space Agency's website uses the term. I think "astronaut" is a specifically American word, although it is often used for the ones the Russians call cosmonauts as well.
(I don't know whether the Russians refer to American space travellers as cosmonauts ort astronauts.)
#8
Old 10-15-2003, 05:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Floater
The Chinese use the word "astronaut" in English. ".
Sorry, do you mean that when using English they use "astronaut," or that they use "astronaut" as a borrow-word in Chinese speech or text? Because the former seems to be true (though I don' take in much English-language Chinese media) while I have seen nothing that would support the latter.
#9
Old 10-15-2003, 06:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Space Vampire
Sorry, do you mean that when using English they use "astronaut," or that they use "astronaut" as a borrow-word in Chinese speech or text? Because the former seems to be true (though I don' take in much English-language Chinese media) while I have seen nothing that would support the latter.
I mean that they use "astronaut" about their own space travelers in English language contexts. The diplomat interviewed mentioned the Chinese word, but that is nothing that I am willing to utter in public without proper training.
#10
Old 10-15-2003, 07:12 AM
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what's wrong with astronaut?

"taikonaut" sounds very odd, if not derisive. "taiko" in hokkien is erm, ugly/smelly/whatever. notice the chinese nationals themselves prefer the term "yuhang2yuan2" as opposed to "tai4kong1ren2".

that taiko word just sounds.. bad.
#11
Old 10-15-2003, 09:15 AM
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Quote:
How do we call the Chinese astronauts?
Long Distance, presumably.
#12
Old 10-15-2003, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by shijinn
what's wrong with astronaut?
It's imperialistic. "Astronaut" was the term coined for the U.S. space program during the Cold War. Read in context, it is a specifically American term, because the only other country (until yesterday) to actually have any* used a different word -- cosmonaut. Furthermore, astronaut isn't as accurate a descriptor as cosmonaut because, while the steps humans have taken to explore the cosmos have so far been small ones, there ain't nobody who's ever actually voyaged to a star. If China wants to adopt the U.S. term than that's fine with me, but it's their space program, and it's not the business of the U.S. (or the U.S. media) to announce that their space voyagers will be known by the American word.

--Cliffy

*Yes, I know that many other countries have had astronauts, but as long as the U.S. was giving them a ride they were part of the U.S. program.
#13
Old 10-15-2003, 12:53 PM
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The English newspapers I have read use the term "yuhangyuan".
#14
Old 10-15-2003, 01:17 PM
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It's good that this subject was brought up. All of the papers that I read have said that China has become only the third nation in history to put a human in space.

I swear that I heard a story in the mid 90s that France, Spain, and another country had collectively sent up several satellites, with atleast one European on board each flight.

Can anyone confirm or deny this?
#15
Old 10-15-2003, 01:37 PM
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I found this from Asia Pacific News:
Quote:
"Taikonaut" is an odd mixture of languages, merging the Chinese word for space "taikong" with the Greek word for sailor, "naus."

Chinese officials do not particularly like this newly-coined word, and state-run newspapers mostly stick to the more technical term "yuhangyuan," meaning "space navigator."

However, "taikonaut" could eventually win out, because it is relatively easy for foreigners to pronounce, and because it alludes to terms for the profession coined by existing space powers.

"Astronaut," the US term, means "star sailor," while cosmonaut, the Anglicized version of the Russian word "kosmonavt," means "sailor of the cosmos."
I read elsewhere that the Chinese didn't coin "taikonaut." (That is sort of implied above, where it notes that Chinese officials dislike the term.)

And this reminder: "Japanese traveling on the US space shuttle are still referred to as astronauts, just as East Germans who hitched a ride on Soviet spacecraft called themselves cosmonauts."
#16
Old 10-15-2003, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
I swear that I heard a story in the mid 90s that France, Spain, and another country had collectively sent up several satellites, with atleast one European on board each flight.
There are two things you might be thinking of, here. First, various countries have launched satellites, using their own rockets. But for most satellites, there's no reason at all to have a human along for the ride: You have to meet much greater safety standards, and you have to bring some portion of your payload safely back to Earth somehow rather than leaving it up there. On the other hand, various nations have also launched payloads on the Shuttle, and often when that happens, there's a mission specialist on board from that country to handle it. But in this case, they're on an American mission in an American vehicle.

As for a space explorer being an astronaut or cosmonaut depending on the country operating the mission, what about those folks who went up to Mir or the ISS on a Russian rocket, but came back down on the Shuttle? Are they astronauts or cosmonauts? Did their status change halfway through the mission? Are they both, or neither, or something else entirely?
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#17
Old 10-15-2003, 02:17 PM
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>> do we call the Chinese astronauts?

How 'bout soynauts? I read they're serving some pretty tasty Chinese food up there.

"Astronaut" is "imperialistic"? WTF?
#18
Old 10-15-2003, 02:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chicago Faucet
I swear that I heard a story in the mid 90s that France, Spain, and another country had collectively sent up several satellites, with atleast one European on board each flight.
Over the years, there have been various ESA projects intended to lead to purely European manned launches using Ariane 5. Most notably Hermes, a sort of mini-Shuttle. None of these got very far and certainly not to the point of a manned flight. While various long-term conceptual schemes are no doubt still kicked around, I don't think there are any current ESA projects working towards an independent manned capability.
#19
Old 10-15-2003, 04:30 PM
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You can disagree all you want, sailor, but the "WTF" is uncalled for since there's a whole paragraph of explanation right there in my post.

--Cliffy
#20
Old 10-15-2003, 04:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chronos
As for a space explorer being an astronaut or cosmonaut depending on the country operating the mission, what about those folks who went up to Mir or the ISS on a Russian rocket, but came back down on the Shuttle? Are they astronauts or cosmonauts? Did their status change halfway through the mission? Are they both, or neither, or something else entirely?
Well the Americans were astronauts, the Soviets/Russians were cosmonauts, and the others should follow the naming convention of whoever lifted them up there. That's less a function of artificial formality and more an acknowledgement of whose training program they earned their wings under. Dennis Tito was a cosmonaut because he was part of the Russian space program. Donald Pettit and Kenneth Bowersox were astronauts even though they came home in a Soyuz escape vehicle.

--Cliffy
#21
Old 10-15-2003, 09:41 PM
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Kong Chi is space. If I was unsure how to say it to one of my chinese friends, I'd say Kong chi de ren. Kong chi yuan would be okay too. Ren for person, yuan for official.
#22
Old 10-16-2003, 12:58 AM
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So, what will other xxx-nauts be called ?
#23
Old 10-16-2003, 01:04 AM
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If astronaut indeed is American specific, what would be the neutral word for someone who travels in outer space?
#24
Old 10-16-2003, 06:13 AM
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if the word 'astronaut' is imperialistic, china don't seem to think so, as they use the word astronaut themselves in their english newspapers, whilst prefering the term yuhangyuan rather than taikongren in chinese. perhaps this naming convention is a relic from the cold war that should be dumped with this entry of the third and possibly more players later on?

kong1chi4 is 'air', 'tai4kong1' is 'space' and 'tai4kong1ren2' is used as 'astronaut' here.

doesn't 'taikonaut' sounds at all wierd to those who don't understand chinese?
#25
Old 10-16-2003, 01:16 PM
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Astronaut, cosmonauts and taikonauts of all countries, unite

What about Exonaut as a neutral word for space travellers, regardless of how they where transported up there. It describes quite well where they are (out of earth's atmosphere), and it sound quite cool (whereas e.g. Spacenaut doesn't sound cool).
#26
Old 10-16-2003, 02:53 PM
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My five cents:

I'd drop the -naut ending entirely. After all, it's from an Indoeuropean language. Why not simply "space traveller" respectively the translation of this term in the particular language? It describes what it's about, everybody can immediately understand what it means, it's neutral, not an arbitrarily created neologism, and it seems to be accepted in this thread already, judging from the question "how to call space travellers?" asked here.
#27
Old 10-16-2003, 02:53 PM
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Well, the Chinese food delivery guys around here apparently like to be called "Fifteen min-nauts".

Is "yuhangyuan" pronounced (you-aing-you-an)?
#28
Old 10-16-2003, 05:08 PM
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Dave Letterman says that they went into space looking for more doors to slip a menu under.
#29
Old 10-19-2003, 04:59 AM
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Casey1505, it's three words yu hang yuan. can't think of anything similar in english at the moment for yu.. but the other two is roughly (hung-u-and)
#30
Old 10-19-2003, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by shijinn
Casey1505, it's three words yu hang yuan. can't think of anything similar in english at the moment for yu.. but the other two is roughly (hung-u-and)
Toa chie
#31
Old 10-19-2003, 10:08 AM
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You forgot the french, they call their folks in space "spationaut"
#32
Old 10-19-2003, 03:43 PM
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What do you call a Cuban astronaut?

SPOILER:
A castronaut.
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