爱人

yuechu

Senior Member
Canada, English
Hello,

I was wondering, does the term 爱人 only refer to one's wife, or can it refer to someone's husband as well? My dictionary says it's for both, but I have only heard people use it for wife.

Thank you in advance! 谢谢
 
  • indigoduck

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    爱人 means "lover" or "the person i love".

    In mainland china, it can refer to both husband or wife.

    In today's society as to whether it refers to male/female husband or male/female wife, we'll let the speaker be the judge of that.
     

    gzdillon

    Member
    Chinese - simplified
    In my society, 爱人 is just the meaning of "spouse". If one want to say lover, the 情人 is the right term. For "husband" , I give your an order by frequency: 她老公(hubby) 她男人(her man) 她爱人(beloved) 她丈夫(husband). For "wife", the order is : 他老婆(?) 他媳妇(housewife? not sure) 他爱人(beloved) 他妻子(wife)。

    HTH
     

    gzdillon

    Member
    Chinese - simplified
    But you have to get the caution: 爱人 is so common in our spoken language, one may say it without any love. Ridiculously, one may call his/her spouse as 爱人 in their divorce court.
     

    bamboobanga

    Senior Member
    chinese mandarin
    i think yes。 then you need quantifiers like 一对爱人,or else it would sound a bit literary。
    In my society, 爱人 is just the meaning of "spouse". If one want to say lover, the 情人 is the right term. For "husband" , I give your an order by frequency: 她老公(hubby) 她男人(her man) 她爱人(beloved) 她丈夫(husband). For "wife", the order is : 他老婆(?) 他媳妇(housewife? not sure) 他爱人(beloved) 他妻子(wife)。
    actually i think in some cases 爱人 could be interchangeable with 情人 or 恋人 though often not。。

    爱人 sounds like the two are much in love in a sense of 恩爱,
    while 情人 sounds more suggestive,and 恋人 sounds like something in between。
     

    cochon

    New Member
    Traditional Chinese - Taiwan
    Maybe it's not very necessary, but I may provide another point of view.
    In Taiwan, 愛人(爱人 in traditional Chinese) is not used in daily conversation.
    We may call the lover "男友(boyfriend)," "女友(girlfriend)," "先生/丈夫(husband),"
    "太太/老婆(wife)," depending on the gender and the relationship. We just don't
    say 恋人 or 爱人, because it's weird to hear these in daily talks... Words like
    these only appear in poems.
     

    GamblingCamel

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Thanks, Cochon. And welcome to the Forum.
    Right now, this discussion is too subtle for me. But when I reach a more advanced level in Chinese, I'll return to it. It's useful material.
     

    MayoA

    Member
    spanish-chinese
    Don't worry, both are correct. what cochon said is right. it is not a very useful word, because chinese people aren't used to say that, like: lover, dear, darling... except on letters, or poems.
     

    cochon

    New Member
    Traditional Chinese - Taiwan
    Don't worry, both are correct. what cochon said is right. it is not a very useful word, because chinese people aren't used to say that, like: lover, dear, darling... except on letters, or poems.

    Well, I think it's a very common term in the daily talks in mainland China, but since I've never been to China, and I learned that many people say this in their daily talks only from movies and TV operas, I am unable to assert it's not your situation.
     

    MayoA

    Member
    spanish-chinese
    well, it is also used in very romantic and/or private situations. because chinese people are usually fairy shy.
     

    gzdillon

    Member
    Chinese - simplified
    Over here, only daughter-in-laws are addressed as 媳妇. So there is a regional difference in this aspect.

    Yes, IMHO, 媳妇 means wife in North China, and means daughter-in-laws in South China.
    well, it is also used in very romantic and/or private situations. because chinese people are usually fairy shy. by the way, I'm chinese.

    At least, in HuNan province, 爱人 is the same as "spouse", where it means no romantic thing.
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    Ali Smith

    Senior Member
    Urdu - Pakistan
    When used in the sense of "spouse", is àiren the only correct pronunciation of 爱人 or is àirén correct too?
     

    SuperXW

    Senior Member
    When used in the sense of "spouse", is àiren the only correct pronunciation of 爱人 or is àirén correct too?
    Honestly, you cannot hear much difference when people speak fast.
    Both are acceptable to me. A tone in-between could be most natural.

    By the way, I don't think 爱人 is still popular nowadays.
    I refer to my wife 我爱人 to my colleagues, they laughed at me since this address is so old-fashioned.
     

    Ali Smith

    Senior Member
    Urdu - Pakistan
    That's really weird because that's the only word my textbook teaches for both "husband" and "wife".
     

    T.D

    Senior Member
    mandarin
    Speaking as one who lived in southeast and southwest China for over 30 years.

    爱人 can be applied to husband and wife alike, but it cannot be used in plural. The dictionary says clearly: 爱人:丈夫妻子。 恋爱中男女的一方。(But practically we don't call one's girlfriend or boyfriend as 爱人, only husband or wife, unless you are being intentionally humorous or poetic )

    Never heard of people calling their daughter-in-law directly as 媳妇, it has to be 儿媳妇, 孙媳妇,弟媳妇,etc.
    Therefore, to me, 媳妇 is simply a dialectical alternative of wife. (Although the dictionary does say: 媳妇:儿子的妻子, it will be extremely weird for me to hear my father calling my wife as 媳妇)

    Another thing is, people in a romantic relationship (especially when they are young and not married) is more referred to as 恋人. (it will be weird to call a married couple 恋人. )
    情人 is now almost always used in an unethical context. The third wheel in a relationship/marriage, the person who you have an affair with.
     

    Skatinginbc

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    《國語辭典.愛人》大陸地區稱丈夫或妻子。
    在我的刻板印像中,「愛人」指配偶, 有濃厚的「革命色彩」。電視裡, 幾乎都是出於共產黨員或受共黨強烈薰陶者的口中。
     

    albert_laosong

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    most people don't say "爱人” anymore except maybe older people.
    More people in the north use "媳妇儿“, and more people in the south use "老婆", and women in both the north and south say "老公”.
     

    Ali Smith

    Senior Member
    Urdu - Pakistan
    albert_laosong: I guess my textbook is outdated, because it doesn't mention 媳妇儿 or 老婆 or 老公. The only word it teaches is 爱人, which is very convenient for me because it can be used for both "husband" and "wife".
     

    Ali Smith

    Senior Member
    Urdu - Pakistan
    Assimil le chinois sans peine.
    I can send you the pdf if you want. Just text me your e-mail address privately.
     

    Attachments

    • Schermata 2020-08-30 alle 7.12.39 AM.png
      Schermata 2020-08-30 alle 7.12.39 AM.png
      581.6 KB · Views: 287

    Skatinginbc

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    The book was first published in 1981 (2e édition 1997). The author Philippe Kantor gained his Chinese diploma from the Beijing Language Institute in 1975 and returned to France several years prior to Deng Xiaoping's "拨乱反正" to invalidate the Cultural Revolution. I think the materials in the book reflect his (outdated) experience in China during the cultural revolution.
     
    Top