Tuesday, May 24, 2005

A currency mystery solved

Bombarded as we are every day by articles on China’s currency dilemma, I couldn’t help but wonder what that currency is called. Some pieces refer to it as the renminbi, while others refer to it as the yuan.

So which is it? Actually, both are correct. According to this explanation, renminbi can be literally translated as “people’s currency”, while “yuan” is the main unit of measurement. Hence, in banknotes the amounts are expressed in yuan (or

In the West, we don’t distinguish between both terms (it’d be awkward to say “the chocolate bar costs one United States currency unit”), but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. I, for one, will stick to yuan.