ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Confused about Confucius?

Updated on November 14, 2010

Two most important Chinese Saints (or thinkers or philosophers as you may prefer) Confucius and Mencius, the former also known as Khung-dze, K'ung-tzu, Kǒng zǐ; the later also know as Meng-dze, Meng Tzu, Mèng Zǐ. I have also met some other forms of spelling, such as K'ung tze, Kong zi, etc, You may wonder what are these forms of transcriptions, and why are they so different?

Jesuit' Latinisation

In 1552, the Jesuits (the Society of Jesus) made the first attempt to reach China; By 1800, a total of 920 Jesuits participated in the China mission; These Jesuits translated Confucius's and Mencius's works into European languages. The name Confucius and Mencius are latinised by Jesuits.

Legge romanization

James Legge was a noted Scottish sinologist, a Scottish Congregationalist, representative of the London Missionary Society in Malacca and Hong Kong (1840–1873), and first professor of Chinese at Oxford University. Legge published about 50 volumes of Chinese classics, his romanization is a transcription system for Mandarin Chinese, used by the prolific 19th century sinologist. In James' translation, the name of Confucius was written as Khung-Dze.


Wade–Giles was the most widely-used system of transcription in the English-speaking world for most of the 20th century, used in several standard reference books and in all books about China published before 1979. K'ung-tzu is in the form of the Wade-Giles system.

Pinyin romanization system

Pīnyīn is the official system to transcribe Chinese characters to teach Mandarin Chinese in mainland China, it is also often used to spell Chinese names in foreign publications and used as an input method to enter Chinese characters (hanzi) into computers. The romanization system was developed by a government committee in the People's Republic of China (PRC) and published by the Chinese government in 1958.

It's difficult to type the tone, so you may find some pinyin without four tones.

Matteo Ricci (left) and Xu Guangqi (right)
Matteo Ricci (left) and Xu Guangqi (right)
Missionary James Legge and his three Chinese students
Missionary James Legge and his three Chinese students
(Herbert A Giles (1845-1935)  shown in his garden at the Ningbo British Consulate in 1889)
(Herbert A Giles (1845-1935) shown in his garden at the Ningbo British Consulate in 1889)
Zhou Youguang (second from right), often credited as the "father of Hanyu Pinyin."
Zhou Youguang (second from right), often credited as the "father of Hanyu Pinyin."


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)