Rights of any kind (legal, human, etc.) is way too difficult an issue that we’re not smart enough to cover at our blog. But what we can do is help you master the Chinese words for “rights”: 权利 (quánlì) and 权益 (quányì). They both mean “rights” in the English sense, but are not fully interchangeable! [Update: make sure you also check out our next post on 权利 vs. 权力.]
权利 emphasizes the rights that can be actively exercised under the law
“fǎyuàn 。。。kěndìng jìzhě yúlùn jiāndū quánlì”
“Court… affirms reporter’s right to monitor public opinion”
“déguó fǎnduì zēngjiā IMF quánlì ，chēng wēixié gèguó yāngháng zìzhǔquán”
“Germany opposes increasing IMF rights, states that it threatens all countries’ central banks’ sovereignty”
“měi gè rén dōu yǒu píngděng shòu jiàoyù de quánlì “
“Each person has the equal right to education”
权益 are the benefits/interests enjoyed through legally protected rights. Unlike 权利, 权益 are protected by the law rather than actively exercised.
“xiǎo gǔ mín qǐsù huáng guāng yù，shì chǎozuò háishì quányì bǎowèi？”
“Small shareholders suing Huang Guangyu, is this cooked up hype or protection of their rights?”
“…jǐngtì zìjǐ quányì shòudào sǔnhài “
“…to be vigilant that one’s interests are not damaged”
“wǒ shì bǎozhàng liúdòng rényuán jìnchéng wùgōng quányì”
“Our city guarantees that the migrant population’s right to enter the city and work is protected”
If it’s still not clear how these words are different, check out this sentence:
nǐ qīnfàn le wǒ de quányì ，wǒ yǒu yīfǎ bǎohù wǒ quányì de quánlì 。
You hurt my interests, and I have the right to to rely on the law to protect my interests.
Finally, in financial contexts, 权益 can also mean a “share of” or “interest in” property.
“zhōngxìn zhèngquàn jiāng xù jiǎnchí huáxià jījīn shèngyú de 20% quányì”
“Citic Securities will reduce its remaining 20% share in China AMC’s fund”
“渣打完成收购Gryphon Partners 100%权益“
“zhādǎ wánchéng shōugòu Gryphon Partners 100% quányì”
“Standard Chartered completes its acquisition of Gryphon Partners’ 100% share”
P.S. Like this post? Check out our other Chinese Vocabulary posts!
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