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Jinzhousaurus an iguanodont and other problems with Chinese names



From: Ben Creisler bh480@scn.org
Jinzhousaurus an iguanodont and other problems with 
Chinese names

I did a more careful translation of the title of the paper 
about Jinzhousaurus using more technical sources and need 
to make a correction. The term used in this case (qin 
long) is used to mean iguanodont although the literal 
meaning is "bird dragon."  The standard Chinese term for 
ornithopod proper is "niao jiao."  Here's a revised 
translation (the Latin name does not actually appear in 
the title, thus the brackets): 

Wang  Xiaolin and Xu Xing, 2001. A new genus and species 
of iguanodont from the Yixian Formation in Liaoxi: Yang's 
Jinzhou dragon [Jinzhousaurus yangi]. Kexue Tongbao 46(5): 
419-423.

After a bit of browsing on the www.dinosaurclass.com 
website, I found a handy list of dinosaur names (including 
orders, suborders, families, genera and species) with both 
their Chinese and official Latin forms. In some cases the 
Chinese name assigned a group is not a translation of the 
Latin name, thus the kind of confusion I had with my first 
casual translation of qin long (bird dragon) as referring 
to "ornithopods". The url is: 
http://www.dinosaurclass.com/dino0811.htm

A similar problem has cropped up in translating the title 
and abstract for the Yanornis/Yixianornis article in 
Chinese. Michael Turton quite correctly translated "jin 
niao" (literally "modern bird") as Neornithes--I checked a 
1998 English-Chinese Dictionary of Science and Technology 
and the Chinese version of Neornithes is indeed the same 
set of characters used in the abstract.  Based on the 
context, I had assumed the term should be translated as 
Ornithurae instead, since a contrast between 
enantiornithine and ornithurine birds has been used by 
some Chinese and other authors, and the abstract and 
caption made a point of contrasting two types of Mesozoic 
birds.  The usual Chinese term for Ornithurae is "he jin 
niao," the term "jin" being the same in as "jin niao." As 
response on the mailing list has noted, the use of 
Neornithes is this case would be unusual in light of most 
recent classifications of birds--Yanornis and Yixianornis 
apparently have teeth and large wing claws, which makes 
them quite primitive compared to living birds. I'll try to 
get this terminology issue straightened out, but this may 
another case of different authors preferring different 
terms with different definitions--one person's Ornithurae 
may be another person's Neornithes, made more complicated 
by use of Chinese equivalents.