Why the distinction between 粤 and 越? why two hanzi?

July 26, 2022 0 Comments

Why the distinction between 粤 and 越? I’ve read that Han dynasty conquered the Baiyue, and Yue Chinese evolved over time instead. The name seems inherited; it also has the same pronunciation (yuè)。 The word is likely the same — then, why two hanzi?

This issue cannot be explained by the Vietnamese.

In ancient Chinese, the words ‘越’ and ’粤‘ were tongjia (通假字), i.e. different ways of writing the same word.

In the early days, “越(粤)” referred to the southeast coast of China up to northern Vietnam (which was then part of China)。 It was also known as baiyue百越

1. Later in its evolution, the character Yue became more than one meaning, such as “越来越好getting better and better”, etc.

2. Later on, during the Ming and Qing dynasties, the difference between Lingnan culture and Jiangsu and Zhejiang culture became bigger and bigger, so if we continued to use “越” to refer to the coastal areas of Jiangnan, there was a big difference between Zhejiang, Fujian and Lingnan culture, and it was no longer appropriate to use “越” or “粤” to refer to everything. “At this time, Lingnan also included Guangdong, Guangxi and Hainan Island, of which Guangdong was known as ”粤东“ and Guangxi as ”粤西“.

During the Republican period, the two regions were not the same administrative unit, as the scope of ”粤“ was further reduced, leaving only one part of Guangdong.

On this topic, it is basically unexplainable if one does not know Chinese.

If you know Chinese, you will understand it at a glance.

If you don’t know Chinese, you won’t understand what is meant by tongjiazi (通假字 tongjiazi)。 The so-called tongjiazi (通假字 tongjiazi) means that these two characters used to be, in fact, different ways of writing the same character, and they sound the same.

Nowadays, a lot of Vietnamese do not even understand the word ”baiyue“, thinking that ”百越Baiyue“ is a nationality, but in fact the word ”百Bai“ here is the number 100, which means many. The word ”baiyue“ is actually the number 100, meaning many, and ”yue“ refers to the land along the southeast coast.

The word ”Baiyue“ means ”100 (many) Yue places“, and if it is ”Baiyue people“ or ”Baiyue tribe“, it means ”many ethnic groups living in the land of “Yue”.

If you don’t know Chinese, it is translated directly as “the people of Baiyue”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *