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.


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


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. 


Donghua = Chinese animation (or Chinese “anime”)

Manhua = Chinese comics 


Hi, my name is Mia, and I am the founder of 9 Tailed Kitsune. I am a big fan of esports, games, and anime. When I was around 7 years old, Phantom Thief Jeanne sparked my fascination for anime, and it has never faded!

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