God 神 should be capitalized

I don’t know if you’re trying to make a statement or whatever, but God is always capitalized in English. It just looks wrong.

2 Likes

No. “God” is the name for the deity in many monotheistic religions. “god” as a non proper noun is just a synonym of “deity”, e.g. “the god of wealth”. 神 is by no means restricted to the former. Also you shouldn’t be mapping Chinese characters and words onto English words in the first place, instead create new buckets so you can focus on details that actually matter in Chinese.

4 Likes

Your right. For clarity, would deity be better?

Actually, I thought about it more. ‘God’ is always capitalized, even in a polytheistic context.

I will add deity as an alternate meaning in the next update, if that helps. 神 does not usually correspond to any notion of a monotheistic god (the closest thing to the Abrahamic one would IMO be 上帝), so it isn’t capitalized. So when I add 上帝, it would be capitalized, in correspondence with English style rules.

In terms of the capitalization rules, see this excerpt from the AP style guide and this wikitionary entry. The AP style guide link is unfortunately just to some twitter post, but that is the usual reference style guide used in the US. It just isn’t available online directly for some reason.

Lastly, if you look at e.g., Pleco dictionary or CC-CEDICT, you will see similarly that 神 has “god”, while the entry for 上帝 has “God”, in accordance with those same style rules.

Edit: the Chicago style guide also outlines similar capitalization guidelines.

5 Likes