How to Say Planet Names in Mandarin Chinese?

It's summer time. Let's stargaze together. Check out planet names in Mandarin Chinese today! It's full of interesting information as it's related to the Chinese philosophy, 五行 Wuxing Five Elements—— 金木水火土, gold, wood, water, fire, earth.

Planet is 行星 Xíngxīng, lit. a moving star!

Earth is 地球 Dìqiú, lit. global land!

地dì:land, soil, fields. 球 qiú:ball. As you know in 篮球(lánqiú) basketball,足球(zúqiú) football,羽毛球(yǔmáoqiú)badminton,乒乓球(pīngpāng qiú) table tennis. 球 qiú also means sphere and globe.

Please find the chart below.

English Chinese Pinyin Mandarin Literal meaning Planet Color
Mercury 水星 shuǐxīng Water Star Silver
Venus 金星 jīnxīng Gold Star Yellow
Earth 地球 dìqiú Global Land Colorful!
Mars 火星 Huǒxīng Fire Star Reddish
Jupiter 木星 Mùxīng Wood Star Orange-white
Saturn 土星 Tǔxīng Soil Star Pale gold
Uranus 天王星 Tiānwángxīng King of the Heaven Star Pale blue
Neptune 海王星 Hǎiwángxīng King of the Sea Star Bright blue
*Pluto 冥王星 Míngwángxīng King of the Hell Star Light brown

Modern Chinese Names for Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn keep aligned with Five Basic Elements from their eye colors. Their colors are visible from the naked eyes, and to ancient astronomers

Some of them also have very classical ancient Chinese names since been discovered with a long history, for example Mars can be called 荧惑 in classical Chinese. It means to bewilder, to dazzle and confuse. Maybe it is not a good sign in ancient time. Venus 金星 is referred as 太白/启明. It means to to enlighten and to be super bright.

While Chinese Names for Uranus, Neptune and Pluto follow the English way of naming planets. Those planets were discovered later. They are based on the English names from Greek mythology. 你发现了吗?

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