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December 16
2013年12月16日

內地與大陸

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身處香港、出訪大陸,無論正式的報章電台報導或是一般的日常交談,總看到或聽到有人用「內地」稱呼中國大陸,以其包括香港與澳門特區之外的中華人民共和國全境。然則,舟山群島、海南島、長興島、崇明島、平潭島…可以算做內地嗎?

用「內地」取代「中國大陸」以與港、澳相對應,未必合適。字面上,「內地」有深入大地或身處內陸(inland)邊陲的意思;其實「內地」只是「中國大陸」的一部分。以往沿海地區的人多用「內地」來陳述內陸各省市地區;北京、天津、上海等東岸城市的人若被調去陜、甘、川等地 工作就算「支內」,也就是「支援內地」的意思。「內地」是個片面的講法。

福建廈門人把非沿海地區的居民叫做「內地人」。「內地人」是個貶義的詞彙,帶有「鄉下佬」的含義。與此類似,大西北的人有把新疆、甘肅以東;雲南、廣西的人或視滇、桂以東、以北;而海南島的人則可將瓊州以外的大陸地區,統稱為「內地」。所以「內地」還是個不精準的名詞。

日本人曾用「內地」(Naichi)描述北海道、本州、四國、九州的日本「本土」四島,以與當年台灣、朝鮮半島、關東等殖民地的「外地」相對應。二戰後,國民政府於1949年遷台,避開日式的「內地」叫法,無論談到日本四島或者中國大陸,皆棄用曾經被台灣人通稱「本土」的「內地」。然而受日本殖民地的殘留影響,偶有閩南人使用「內地」一詞,算是權宜之便。如今隨著台灣與大陸頻繁的交流,「內地」長短混淆視聽,在台灣又有死灰復燃的跡象。

稱「大陸」,或者「中國大陸」,不僅明確,也與英文 Mainland China 彼此呼應一致;否則以「內地」對應 Mainland China 難免牛頭不對馬嘴。把北美稱美洲大陸,把不包括英倫諸島、愛爾蘭、冰島的歐陸稱歐洲大陸,把非洲稱非洲大陸,把澳洲稱澳洲大陸,都有正名的意義。

" 顛狂柳絮隨風舞,輕薄桃花逐水流。" * 為什麼好好的神州「大陸」不用,而硬要隨風起舞、隨波逐流,狹隘的把他給不清不楚的叫做「內地」?

註:

本文曾載於信報(2013年12月13日)。
*杜甫《漫興九首》

 

Which word to use for "mainland China"?

When traveling in mainland China, I often notice the use of the word neidi (literally translated as "inland") to refer to mainland China in the press, media or in daily conversations. If indeed neidi is used to mean the whole area of the People's Republic of China except the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the Macao Special Administrative Region, does it include Zhoushan Archipelago, Hainan Island, Changxing Island, Chongming Island, Pingtan Island and so forth?

I don't think it's appropriate to use neidi to refer to mainland China as a distinction between itself and Hong Kong and Macau. Literally speaking, neidi means the "inland" or the remote "border districts" of mainland China. As a matter of fact, neidi or "inland" is part of mainland China. In the old days, people living in coastal areas usually spoke of the landlocked provinces and cities as "inland". Formerly, if the residents of Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai and other cities on the east coast were transferred to work in Shaanxi, Gansu and Sichuan, they were referred to as people sent "in support of the inland". Here, "inland" simply means "hinterland".

The residents of Xiamen, Fujian province, usually call people living in non-coastal areas as "inlanders". The word "inlander" thus used is a derogatory term meaning a "country bumpkin". Similarly, people living in the northwest part of China refer to areas east to Xinjiang and Gansu as "inland", too. People living in Yunnan and Guangxi provinces refer to the areas east or north of their provinces as "inland" as well. The residents of Hainan Island also refer to the whole mainland area as "inland". Therefore, it's not a very accurate term to refer to mainland China as neidi.

Naichi, which literally means "inland", is used to refer to Japan's four main islands, i.e., Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu, so as to distinguish itself from the so-called "outer lands", such as its former colonies: Taiwan, the Korean peninsula and northeast China. When the Nationalist government moved to Taiwan in 1949 after World War II, it abandoned the popular use among the residents of Taiwan of the Japanese-style term "inland" to refer to the whole "native land", whether it was referring to Japan's four main islands or mainland China. However, due to the colonial influence of Japan, some southerners in Fujian province occasionally would still stick to using the term "inland" for the sake of convenience. Nowadays, with the frequent contacts between Taiwan and mainland China, the confusing term neidi has again surfaced in Taiwan.

Undoubtedly, it is incongruous to use neidi or "inland" to refer to mainland China. Instead, it would be just as proper to use the term "mainland" or "mainland China" in Chinese which not only corresponds to its English term "mainland China", but is also in line with the use of "continental America" to refer to "North America", "continental Europe" to refer to the continental parts of Europe excluding the British Isles, Ireland and Iceland, "continental Africa" to refer to the African continent and "continental Australia" to refer to the Australian continent.

Frivolous willow catkins are flying with the wind;
Flirtatious peach petals are drifting with the stream.

I wonder why some people prefer to "fly with the wind" and "drift with the stream" by sticking to the use of the misleading word neidi instead of the clear-cut term "mainland China".

Note:
This article was originally published in Chinese in the Hong Kong Economic Journal (13 December, 2013).

December 16, 2013

 

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