Standard terminologies on traditional medicine:Fluid and Humor Differentiation of Syndromes

Comparative study on WHO Western Pacific Region and World Federationof Chinese Medicine Societies international standard terminologies on traditional medicine: Fluid and Humor Differentiation of Syndromes  

By Zhao-guo Li


1.  College of Foreign Languages, Shanghai :\formal University, Shanghai 200234, China

2.  Secretariat of Translation Specialty Committee, World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies, Shanghai 200234, China  

In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) , the so called 津液 refers to all the fluid and liquid flowing and maintaining inside the human body.  In Chinese language, 津液is a phrase composed of two Chinese characters which describes two different kinds of fluid or liquid in the human body. According to the theory of TCM, refers to the part of fluid that is thin in texture and flows smoothly inside the body while refers to the part of fluid that is thick in texture and mainly maintains in the joints of the body to nourish and lubricate the joints.


In TCM, there are quite a number of terminologies related to the physiological functions and pathological changes of 津液.  However, in WHO International Standard Terminologies on Traditional Medicine in the Western Pacific Region[l] (abbreviated as WPRO Standard), only 10 terms are included. While in International Standard Chinese-English Basic Nomenclature of Chinese Medicine compiled by World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societiesl21 (abbreviated as WFCMS Standard), more terms are listed. This article tries to analyze and make a comparative study on how to translate and standardize the terms and concepts related to 津液 according to the studies made in the book entitled International Standardization of English Translation of Traditional Chinese Medicine: Study of Theory, Summarization of Practice and Exploration of Methods


津液辯證 fluid-humor pattern identification/ syndrome differentiation: categorization of patterns/ syndromes according to the condition of body fluids In WPRO Standard, the Chinese concepts and are translated as "fluid" and "humor" respectively.  Though such a translation may be still in need of further consideration, at least it has made a clear distinction between these two concepts.


Keywords: linguistics; terminology; translation; English; terms, traditional Chinese medicine; body fluid

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This article is an Open Access article published in Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, September, Vol. 8, No.9.

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