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Thread: mouse button

  1. #1
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    mouse button

    Hello again,

    I have just realised that there are 2 expression for mouse button:
    1鼠标键
    2鼠标按钮
    It looks like option 1 is much more common. Do you use 1, and if so, why?
    The funny thing is that 按钮, button, originates from software, the interface, an area you can click, whereas 键 stems from hardware, a key you press with your finger, like Alt/Esc key. I do not know why English literally messed it up. Could it be that option 2 reflects a growing influence from English, whereas option 1 is strictly speaking correct?
    谢谢!

  2. #2
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    Re: mouse button

    Are you referring to the left and right mouse buttons? I believe they are known as 滑鼠左鍵 and 滑鼠右鍵 respectively.
    My understanding is that 鼠标 is the cursor. But what is 鼠标键?

    I'm not exactly sure because I've never heard anyone mentions those items in Chinese from where I am.

  3. #3
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    Re: mouse button

    To me, 鼠标键 is fine and 鼠标左键、鼠标右键 are not only correct but very standard words. 鼠标 means the mouse device. 滑鼠 is not a common word in north China. 鼠标按钮 is a little bit weird but can be understood.

    I think this completely depends on how Microsoft (and other companies) translated their software to Chinese versions. That may be the origin of all these words.

  4. #4
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    Re: mouse button

    Quote Originally Posted by nic456 View Post
    I have just realised that there are 2 expression for mouse button:
    1鼠标键
    2鼠标按钮
    It looks like option 1 is much more common. Do you use 1, and if so, why?
    In Mainland China, people mostly use 鼠标键 (鼠标左键/鼠标右键) because...
    a. MS Windows Chinese version said so.
    b. it's shorter than 按钮, especially shorter when you say 鼠标左按钮, 鼠标右按钮. Chinese prefer 4-characters term much more.
    c. mouse's partner: keyboard is called 键盘. So 鼠标键 is pretty easy to understand.

    Quote Originally Posted by nic456 View Post
    The funny thing is that 按钮, button, originates from software, the interface, an area you can click, whereas 键 stems from hardware, a key you press with your finger, like Alt/Esc key. I do not know why English literally messed it up. Could it be that option 2 reflects a growing influence from English, whereas option 1 is strictly speaking correct?
    In Chinese, 按钮 is not originated from software. I don't know whether "button" was.
    按钮 is also used on "hardware", e.g. machines...
    I think "a button" sounds "simpler", "easier to operate" than a "key". That's why in English it's called "a mouse button" but not "a mouse key".
    "Key" or 键 is particularly used on "keyboards"-a more complicated or advanced panel on which "a key" does not simply reflect "an action", but series of typing do.
    Last edited by SuperXW; 23rd March 2013 at 4:52 AM.
    Correct my Chinglish please!

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    Re: mouse button

    Quote Originally Posted by BODYholic View Post
    Are you referring to the left and right mouse buttons? I believe they are known as 滑鼠左鍵 and 滑鼠右鍵 respectively.
    My understanding is that 鼠标 is the cursor. But what is 鼠标键?

    I'm not exactly sure because I've never heard anyone mentions those items in Chinese from where I am.
    In Maninland China, mouse is 鼠标. 滑鼠is used in Taiwan too. In Singapore don't you use simplified Chinese Windows/other O.S.?

    Many languages other than English also say "mouse key" instead of "mouse button".
    Last edited by Youngfun; 23rd March 2013 at 12:40 PM.
    "Ĉokolado". Do you know how to say "chócoleit" in "Espanis"?

  6. #6
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    Re: mouse button

    Quote Originally Posted by Youngfun View Post
    In Singapore don't you use simplified Chinese Windows/other O.S.?
    Erm, Simplified Chinese is indeed used in Singapore. The problem is our computers, in schools or offices, are all configured in (mostly US) English. The only time I have seen a Chinese OS is when I'd a quick peek at some of my PRC colleagues' *personal* notebooks.

    And by the way, how does one say "cursor", the computer term, in Chinese?

    Edited:
    I read again your question. I believe you were asking why are we not using 鼠标 (a PRC term) but 滑鼠 (a Taiwanese term). Firstly, as far as Singapore is concerned, both terms are written in simplified Chinese. And then, in day-to-say conversation, we simply say "mouse" even if the rest of the conversations are conducted in Mandarin.

    I left school too long a time, so I won't know what is the teaching for the current generation. 鼠标 is my guess but please don't quote me. In any case, I would say 滑鼠 is more readily understood in Singapore. The word itself, a gliding mouse, is comparatively more self-explanatory than 鼠标. Also, most of our Chinese TV programs are from Taiwan. It is, therefore, quite natural for us to grow accustomed to their terms and expressions.

    It is exactly the same situation for our English language too. We were taught British English in school but we grew up watching mostly US sitcoms and listening mainly to US songs. Voila.
    Last edited by BODYholic; 23rd March 2013 at 1:34 PM.

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    Re: mouse button

    After a search in Baidu, I found out it's 鼠标指针 or 光标.
    "Ĉokolado". Do you know how to say "chócoleit" in "Espanis"?

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    Re: mouse button

    Quote Originally Posted by BODYholic View Post
    And by the way, how does one say "cursor", the computer term, in Chinese?
    the standard term is 光标 (but there may be others.)

    Edit: Only saw your post after posting, Youngfun!

  9. #9
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    Re: mouse button

    Thanks YF and XLJ. I will take note of that.

  10. #10
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    Re: mouse button

    According to the Baidu Baike entry, it seems that 光标 refers to something related to SQL DML. It seems that 游标 is the term we're looking for...

    By the way, we sometimes refer to text cursors as 插入点...

  11. #11
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    Re: mouse button

    We call text cursor "光标" (插入点 is also fine). Mouse cursor is called "鼠标指针" or simply "鼠标" in life ("鼠标光标" is also fine).

    I'm not sure what 游标 is. But according to 百度百科, isn't 游标 the SQL thing? It says 光标 has two meanings, one is text cursor and the other is related to database, for the second meaning it is also called 游标.
    Last edited by tarlou; 24th March 2013 at 8:03 AM.

  12. #12
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    Re: mouse button

    鼠标 stands for mouse in Mainland China and 滑鼠 in Taiwan. As for cursor, 光标/游标 are both OK.

    Notice the difference between a cursor(光标) and a pointer(指针). A cursor can be a mouse cursor, or the flashing text cursor indicating where text will be placed when entered. A pointer, aka mouse cursor, is only a kind of cursor (although they are often confused.)

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    Re: mouse button

    Quote Originally Posted by BODYholic View Post
    I read again your question. I believe you were asking why are we not using 鼠标 (a PRC term) but 滑鼠 (a Taiwanese term). Firstly, as far as Singapore is concerned, both terms are written in simplified Chinese. And then, in day-to-say conversation, we simply say "mouse" even if the rest of the conversations are conducted in Mandarin.

    I left school too long a time, so I won't know what is the teaching for the current generation. 鼠标 is my guess but please don't quote me. In any case, I would say 滑鼠 is more readily understood in Singapore. The word itself, a gliding mouse, is comparatively more self-explanatory than 鼠标. Also, most of our Chinese TV programs are from Taiwan. It is, therefore, quite natural for us to grow accustomed to their terms and expressions.

    It is exactly the same situation for our English language too. We were taught British English in school but we grew up watching mostly US sitcoms and listening mainly to US songs. Voila.
    Oh, I noticed your editing only now.
    For me it's the same situation. In Italy, we Chinese call it mouse (Italians use the English word too) even when speaking Chinese, or translate it literally as 老鼠 .
    But with the widespread of the Windows in Simplified Chinese, the Mainland computer terms are also making their way into us, so now 鼠标 has become a common term.
    And we watch mainly CCTV-4 on the satellite, so slowly we are also learning some new terms* used in China.

    *for us, everything coined after the 1980's is a new term.

    And I had the same situation for English too.
    "Ĉokolado". Do you know how to say "chócoleit" in "Espanis"?

  14. #14
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    Re: mouse button

    Quote Originally Posted by tarlou View Post
    We call text cursor "光标" (插入点 is also fine). Mouse cursor is called "鼠标指针" or simply "鼠标" in life ("鼠标光标" is also fine).

    I'm not sure what 游标 is. But according to 百度百科, isn't 游标 the SQL thing? It says 光标 has two meanings, one is text cursor and the other is related to database, for the second meaning it is also called 游标.
    Yet another example of me not reading carefully.

    To be honest, that's what i thought because I've never heard of 光标 before. Wikipedia says 游标 is right, though.

    In Hong Kong, 滑鼠 is used in formal and written contexts, but otherwise, we use 'mouse' (which sounds like mau1 si2 - '痞' as in 地痞流氓, then 屎)

  15. #15
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    Re: mouse button

    When I was in the office this morning, I consulted several colleagues. All my local counterparts had, of course, no clue what "cursor" is known as in Chinese. I then asked at least 5 of our PRC colleagues, the replies were nonchalant and the answers .... unanimous.

    鼠标 = mouse
    光标 = cursor (as in pointer in PC terms)

    I then questioned our Production Trainer, how she conducts her trainings, in Chinese, to our PRC operators? I mean she (or we) doesn't even know how to say "cursor" in Chinese? "Say 箭头 lor!", she retorted.

    无语。

  16. #16
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    Re: mouse button

    Quote Originally Posted by BODYholic View Post
    I mean she (or we) doesn't even know how to say "cursor" in Chinese? "Say 箭头 lor!", she retorted.
    That's what I say in every day life.
    You should be the Language Trainer of your company.
    "Ĉokolado". Do you know how to say "chócoleit" in "Espanis"?

  17. #17
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    Re: mouse button

    Thank you to all! I am afraid my Chinese is too limited, so all I can do is ask interesting questions.

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