Excerpt from 'Tao and T'ai Chi Kung'
Various English transliterations of Chinese words will often be found to represent different and important ideas A case in point is the Chinese transliteration for the English words energy, limit, and will.
The sound of all three words in Chinese is chee.
The word for energy is often transliterated chi in books on T'ai Chi Chuan, however, the chi in T'ai Chi Chuan means limit. This kind of problem arises from the fact that as many as 400 different Chinese ideograms are pronounced with the same sound. One need only look in an English-Chinese dictionary to discover this simple fact.
Some definitions in this book may conflict with the reader's notion of what the word means. Please remember the 400-to-one ratio of ideas to sound and the problem will melt away.
When the same sound expresses more than one idea in this book, different spellings are used; the term is defined on first usage. Specifically, chi means limit, ch'i means will, and Qi, after the common practice in books on Acupuncture, means 'energy.'