Note (opinion)

“Digital currency” or “cryptocurrencies”; An end to an unfinished lawsuit!

Cryptocurrency, digital currency, cryptocurrencies, cryptocurrencies, cryptocurrencies and (even) according to the evening news anchors “digital cryptocurrency”! All of these terms and terms are used to describe a specific concept; But if you look around in cyberspace, you see that each of them has fans who believe that using other words is incorrect and unforgivable. But this time, let’s take a step away from the space full of virtual prejudice and look at it from a scientific point of view, with a taste of theory.

There is a lot of speculation as to what word should be written instead of the word “cryptocurrency”; But in this article, we intend to take a more scientific look at this issue. If you are one of those people who would like to know if “Ramzars” is a “correct” alternative to the English word Cryptocurrency or not, do not miss this note.

Before you read this, we should note that this is a purely linguistic discussion and we are not going to describe the different features of digital currencies, so let’s get straight to the point.

Semantic domains are arranged from top to bottom. That is, a word may be part of a broader semantic domain; In this classification, the broader semantic domain is called Superordinate and the more detailed semantic domain is called Hyponym. Take the word bus, for example. The word bus itself is a hyphen for the semantic domain of “car”. Here the superordinate machine is the domain of this semantic domain.

A semantic domain is a group of words that refer to a specific subject. For example, apples, oranges, bananas, kiwis and apricots return to the subject of fruit and form a semantic domain.

Now let’s move the discussion to digital currencies and cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrencies; As explained above, digital currencies themselves fall into several categories. I have explained this issue to you well in the image below.

The term digital curreny itself includes several semantic domains, each of which has specific characteristics in detail. In this semantic domain, “digital currency” plays the role of superordinate and other categories, including “cryptocurrencies”, “national digital currencies” and “virtual currencies”, are the nicknames of this semantic domain.

A very important point to keep in mind is that the relationship between hyponyms and their superordinate is one-sided; That is, if something is “cryptocurrency”, then there must be a digital currency, but if something is “digital currency”, it can no longer be said that it is necessarily a “cryptocurrency”; Therefore, it is a natural and completely accepted thing to use its superordinate in cryptocurrency translation.

Let us return to the main question; Is it wrong to use “digital currency” instead of “cryptocurrency” in terms of language and translation? Our answer is a resounding “no.”

Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto himself called it a “digital currency” in the very first post he introduced to introduce bitcoin.

Leaving aside the issue of hyphens and supra-ordinates, “digital currency” is still acceptable. Historical data show that words that have recently been added to Persian do not find much acceptance among Persian speakers or that acceptance takes years; It is enough to look at words such as email and other Persian equivalents that were never accepted by their target community.

The word “digital currency” has a good position among Persian-speakers, and its better melody and more familiarity to the audience has made it find more fans. This popularity can also be clearly seen in Google Trends data.

Translation researcher Gideon Tori considers an acceptable translation to be a translation that is accepted in the target language. According to Tori, if the translation of a new word is such that it finds its place in the culture and language of society and “sits” in that language, it will be acceptable.

Some, meanwhile, throw stones at the “loyalty” in translation. In this case, I must say that “loyalty” in translation is far from what these people know. Nowhere is the science of translation written that just finding the same words is an example of loyalty.

Some people say that cryptocurrencies, because they are encrypted and have a “crypto” section in them, should be noted as encrypted. But let’s look at the definition of the word cryptocurrency in Webster’s Dictionary. It is worth noting that for better comparison, we use the same word cryptocurrency:

Cryptocurrency: Name: Any form of currency that is digital in nature usually does not have a centralized supplier or regulator, but uses a decentralized system to record transaction records and manage the supply of new units. These currencies rely on cryptography to prevent fraudulent transactions.

If this objection is to the equivalent of “digital currency” that does not mention “cryptography”, it can be attributed to “cryptocurrencies” in which the feature of “being digital” is not mentioned. Of course, these issues have nothing to do with the correct or incorrect reading of the two words and are only as reasons for not including the topics.

Another issue raised by opponents of the use of “digital currency” is the classification of different types of digital currencies. According to them, if we call cryptocurrency, digital currency, then we can not name their more detailed categories. That claim is still not true. As you can see in the image below, it would be quite possible to classify different types of digital currencies without the use of cryptocurrencies; The truth is that digital currency needs less explanation than cryptocurrencies and the audience communicates better with it.

In conclusion, I must say that there is nothing wrong with using the word “digital currency” as an equivalent for “cryptocurrency”, neither in terms of translation, nor in terms of linguistics or even aesthetics; Therefore, we hope that this will be the end of a lawsuit that is generally based on unscientific and tasteful content and ultimately leads to misleading activists and users in this field.


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