2030 School

In China a problem is a question 问题

June 22, 2023 Richard Coward
2030 School
In China a problem is a question 问题
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Show Notes

This podcast topic may actually be the case that 问题 is not a question is a problem, but rather a problem is a question - these are the same words.

In the Chinese language, a problem is also often perceived as a question, a unique linguistic aspect that intricately mirrors the culture's problem-solving approach. The Chinese term for problem, "wèntí" (问题), literally translates to "ask" (问) and "topic" (题), indicating a question to be asked or a topic to be discussed. This underscores a cultural perspective where problems are not seen as insurmountable obstacles, but rather as questions that invite exploration, discussion, and collective resolution. This linguistic detail subtly encapsulates the Chinese emphasis on group problem-solving and a deep-seated cultural tradition of seeking understanding through inquiry. The Chinese language thereby demonstrates the power of linguistics in shaping and reflecting cultural attitudes towards problem-solving.

The term “wenti” in general refers to a “question” or a “Problem”, and could be used to describe any unresolved situations.

Chinese would use the term “kun-nan 困难” or “ma-fan 麻烦” which refers more specifically to “problem” or “trouble” or “difficult, difficulty” , in describing recognized crucial situations that need to be addressed to .

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