Academented Christmas, day the twenty-first – semantics

While on the subject of travel, an office colleague, who is rapidly becoming a Scandiphile, was asking me about bureau de change matters – namely, how money is referred to in different countries. This was the resulting list.

money, money, money***

It could be worth noting that while Hong Kong uses HKD – Hong Kong Dollars for the uninitiated – the terminology surrounding money for Chinese speakers is the same as in Mainland China. CNY is often also called RMB (人民币* ren2min2bi4), of which the 币(bi4) refers to the money itself. In fact, 硬币 (ying4bi4) directly translates to “hard cash”, and means coins. HKD is usually referred to as 港币 (gang3bi4) by Chinese and Cantonese speakers**, where the 港 comes from 香港 (xiang1gang3) – Hong Kong.

*Ren2min2 (人民)means people, or people’s. So 人民币means people’s money.

** If I am wrong, please let me know. I will add errata and credits.

*** If anybody has anything to add to this table, please leave a note in the comments!


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