What Does Donghua Mean?

It probably struck you too. If a Japanese term for animation is anime, what is a Chinese word for animation?

If we lived in an ideal world, anime would not be called anime (even though I like it) but just simply something like Japanese animation. But that would take all the charm away, right?

Instead, we use the word anime, which technically means ‘animation’ in katakana short form (In Japan, katakana, a Japanese syllabary, is mainly used for transcription of loan words from foreign languages).

To clarify that further, in Japanese, anime is written as “アニメ” (literally, ‘anime’) and is a short form for the word ‘animation’. It’s a short term, effortlessly pronounced, and for us Westerners, it’s an easy way how to instantly distinguish between a normal cartoon and the typical Japanese style animation.


Donghua

On the other hand, Chinese animation is called Donghua () and is referring to the animation created in China. 


Manhua

Except for the word Donghua, there is one more word you should definitely know – Manhua (漫画). This word can be easily remembered if we think of Manga, a term we use for comics and graphic novels created in Japan or using the Japanese language.

Manhua literally means “impromptu sketches” and it’s origins extend to the 18th-century. Hence, Manhua refers to Chinese comics produced in China. 


TLDR

Donghua = Chinese animation (or Chinese “anime”)

Manhua = Chinese comics 

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Misaka

Hi, my name is Mia and I'm the founder of 9 Tailed Kitsune. I love anime, games, and esports (I am also a bit weird). My passion for anime sparked when I was about 7 (Phantom Thief Jeanne, hello!) and has never stopped.

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