What Does The 'Teh' Mean In 'Tao Teh Ching'

If you have ever wondered about the “De” in Dao De Jing… you are not alone. I remember wondering this myself, and expending notable energy researching the etymology of this classical Chinese text’s title.

First off, if you spend much time reading this blog, you’ll know I typically use the Pinyin (pīnyīn) system for transcribing Mandarin into the Latin (English :-P) alphabet. However, especially since many of the popular translations were printed before the official adoption of Pinyin by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), many popular copies of the book – which in Pinyin is written as Dao De Jing are commonly known as Tao Teh Ching or Tao Te Ching (thanks to the older Wade-Giles system of Romanization under which the work was originally translated).

Hence, and rather unfortunately, the whole …

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