Home . . . 513-348-4744 . . . Email

Chinese Translation of

"May peace prevail on earth"

Mandarin is the language generally referred to as Chinese since more than a billion people speak it. Chinese translation of May Peace Prevail on EarthIt is the language of the ethnic Chinese, or Han, as ethnic Chinese call themselves.

However, on Ethnologue's list of the 50 most widely spoken languages, there are 5 languages in China other than Mandarin that make the list. They are Wu, Yue, Min Nan, Xiang, and Gan. Together they add another 248 million speakers of Chinese languages, and there are other Chinese languages beyond those, like Hmong, which in my experience is the second most requested Chinese language for peace poles.

At right is the Mandarin translation normally put on peace poles. A state supreme court judge showed it to authorities in China who produced a different translation which is the one I put on peace poles now unless otherwise requested.

There are so many languages that are spoken by such large numbers of people in China because China still has much in common with colonial empires of the past like those of the Austrians, Turks and English. It has the longest land border in the world as a result of expanding its control into formerly autonomous regions. In a speech in 1956 Mao Zedong, the first Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, said, "As a matter of fact, it is the Han nationality whose population is large and the minority nationalities whose territory is vast and whose resources are rich."

Minorities in China can have populations larger than the total populations of many independent countries but be forbidden to be educated or work in their native tongues. News continues to trickle out about the tensions created by the minorities who, even after adopting the Mandarin language, cannot practice their religions or establish careers beyond menial jobs and who ruthlessly are oppressed if they complain.

The Manchus are an example of a group whose language, customs and culture now only are a distant memory. Tibetans and Uighurs are two of the groups fiercly resisting colonization (a word the Chinese government hates enough to bar you from traveling there if you use it).

The result is that Mandarin is spoken by more people than any other language in the world and so is put on almost every peace pole and referred to as Chinese even though it is not the only Chinese language. If you are able to create translations of any of the others, let me know and I will make them available here for people making peace poles.