KudoZ home » Chinese to English » Education / Pedagogy

在世界 vs 世界上

English translation: in the world (in its entirety | a world apart)

Advertisement

Login or register (free and only takes a few minutes) to participate in this question.

You will also have access to many other tools and opportunities designed for those who have language-related jobs
(or are passionate about them). Participation is free and the site has a strict confidentiality policy.
GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
Chinese term or phrase:在世界 ︱ 世界上
English translation:in the world (in its entirety | a world apart)
Entered by: R. A. Stegemann
Options:
- Contribute to this entry
- Include in personal glossary

12:59 Oct 24, 2006
Chinese to English translations [Non-PRO]
Social Sciences - Education / Pedagogy / Grammatical Analysis
Chinese term or phrase: 在世界 vs 世界上
Sentence: 太平洋是世界上最大的海洋,大西洋是不是最小的呢?

First Attempt: The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean in the world, and the Atlantic Ocean is the smallest, is it not?

Question: Once again, I would like to pose the question about the use and meaning of the two phrases 在世界 and 世界上. If I have understood correctly these two phrases cannot be used interchangeably, this suggests either that they mean different things, or alternatively, that they mean the same but are grammatically different.

With regard to the latter alternative one must be careful. Grammatical difference does not always foreclose interchangeability. For example, one can write, "Of course, he denied that he ever said it." Or, one can write "As expected, he denied that he ever said it." In this context, the two expressions "of course" and "as expected" mean essentially the same. Both are used to explain the speaker's expectation toward the denying party's denial; nevertheless, the two expressions are very different parts of speech.

Please use examples to illustrate your explanation.

The PRO aspect of this question is your explanation.

Reference: http://homepage.mac.com/moogoonghwa/tsongkit/contents.html#p...

As always you are welcome to comment on other parts of the translation.

Warning: In order to provide ProZ.com users with the best glossary entries possible, more than one question for the same entry will be asked from time to time. Please keep in mind when responding that you will be graded on your responses to ALL questions asked.
R. A. Stegemann
Saudi Arabia
Local time: 15:30
in the world of vs. in the world
Explanation:
If I remember correctly, previously you asked about the differences between 世界中 and 世界上. Apparently you didn't get a satisfactory answer.

IMO your previous question was a more valid one. The reason being the prepositional character 在 could always be optionally added in front of either of these terms to get 在世界中 and 在世界上. So I'd like to change the question a bit and address your previous KudoZ question.

From a pure grammatical point of view, these two terms are the same, as evidenced by their one-to-one correspondence. The main difference however, is in their usage.

世界上 is pretty straight forward. It is used in most situations where one wants to talk about things that happen on a global basis, such as world travel, world events, etc. Therefore in most cases 世界上 could easily be translated into "in the world" or "in this world". Here's a simple example:

尼罗河是世界上最长的一条河流 The Nile is the longest river in the world

世界中 is used much rarer, and has a subtle difference in where and how it is used. In most cases it carries the meaning of "in the world of". This is easier seen by some examples:

他想像的世界中, 人人都是平等的 People are all equal in his world of imagination (or imaginary world)

(These I pulled off the web, since examples are quite hard to think up)
在Web 服务世界中的业务流程 business processes in the world of Web services (or Web service world)

漫画世界中的都市上海 Shanghai metropolis in the art world of caricature/comics (or comic art world)

As you can see, even if the English translation of 世界中 is not put in the form of "in the world of", the inherent meaning still exists.


--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 day51 mins (2006-10-25 13:50:26 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Another way of looking at this could be:

世界上 mostly refers to the physical and geographical world, whereas 世界中 is used mostly for an abstract and metaphysical environment

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 day22 hrs (2006-10-26 11:54:22 GMT) Post-grading
--------------------------------------------------

Hamo, I like the way you summarized the differences in the tsongkit very much.

But be careful of the situations where 世界中 is used in a global, metaphysical sense. For example:

世界中什么最可贵?

In this case 世界上、世界中、世界里 are all interchangeable. So don't be too surprised if someone uses any one of them in situations like this.
Selected response from:

wherestip
United States
Local time: 01:30
Grading comment
Final Rendering: The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean in the world, and the Atlantic Ocean is the smallest, is it not?

Acknowledgment: My very best to wherestip for his very helpful response. Not only did he provide me with what I needed in order to understand the probable difference in meaning between 世界上 and 世界中, but he also provided insight into their grammatical applications.

I have explained them in a slightly manner, but I could not have provided my explanation without wherestip's several examples.

Discussion: Please see http://homepage.mac.com/moogoonghwa/tsongkit/part3/III-3-g.html#s9 for further discussion regarding the context of this question.

My very best from the land of no mountains surrounded by sea on many sides.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

Advertisement


Summary of answers provided
3in the world of vs. in the world
wherestip


  

Answers


9 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
世界中 vs 世界上
in the world of vs. in the world


Explanation:
If I remember correctly, previously you asked about the differences between 世界中 and 世界上. Apparently you didn't get a satisfactory answer.

IMO your previous question was a more valid one. The reason being the prepositional character 在 could always be optionally added in front of either of these terms to get 在世界中 and 在世界上. So I'd like to change the question a bit and address your previous KudoZ question.

From a pure grammatical point of view, these two terms are the same, as evidenced by their one-to-one correspondence. The main difference however, is in their usage.

世界上 is pretty straight forward. It is used in most situations where one wants to talk about things that happen on a global basis, such as world travel, world events, etc. Therefore in most cases 世界上 could easily be translated into "in the world" or "in this world". Here's a simple example:

尼罗河是世界上最长的一条河流 The Nile is the longest river in the world

世界中 is used much rarer, and has a subtle difference in where and how it is used. In most cases it carries the meaning of "in the world of". This is easier seen by some examples:

他想像的世界中, 人人都是平等的 People are all equal in his world of imagination (or imaginary world)

(These I pulled off the web, since examples are quite hard to think up)
在Web 服务世界中的业务流程 business processes in the world of Web services (or Web service world)

漫画世界中的都市上海 Shanghai metropolis in the art world of caricature/comics (or comic art world)

As you can see, even if the English translation of 世界中 is not put in the form of "in the world of", the inherent meaning still exists.


--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 day51 mins (2006-10-25 13:50:26 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Another way of looking at this could be:

世界上 mostly refers to the physical and geographical world, whereas 世界中 is used mostly for an abstract and metaphysical environment

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 day22 hrs (2006-10-26 11:54:22 GMT) Post-grading
--------------------------------------------------

Hamo, I like the way you summarized the differences in the tsongkit very much.

But be careful of the situations where 世界中 is used in a global, metaphysical sense. For example:

世界中什么最可贵?

In this case 世界上、世界中、世界里 are all interchangeable. So don't be too surprised if someone uses any one of them in situations like this.

wherestip
United States
Local time: 01:30
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in ChineseChinese
PRO pts in category: 60
Grading comment
Final Rendering: The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean in the world, and the Atlantic Ocean is the smallest, is it not?

Acknowledgment: My very best to wherestip for his very helpful response. Not only did he provide me with what I needed in order to understand the probable difference in meaning between 世界上 and 世界中, but he also provided insight into their grammatical applications.

I have explained them in a slightly manner, but I could not have provided my explanation without wherestip's several examples.

Discussion: Please see http://homepage.mac.com/moogoonghwa/tsongkit/part3/III-3-g.html#s9 for further discussion regarding the context of this question.

My very best from the land of no mountains surrounded by sea on many sides.
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)




Return to KudoZ list


Changes made by editors
Oct 24, 2006 - Changes made by Jianjun Zhang:
LevelPRO » Non-PRO


KudoZ™ translation help
The KudoZ network provides a framework for translators and others to assist each other with translations or explanations of terms and short phrases.



See also:



Term search
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search