Qi

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In traditional Chinese culture, qi, also spelled chi or ch'i in English, is an active principle forming part of any living thing. Other spellings include simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ; Mandarin Pinyin: ; Wade–Giles: ch'i; Jyutping: hei. Qi is pronounced /ˈtʃiː/ in English; [tɕʰî] in Standard Mandarin; Korean: gi; Japanese: ki; Vietnamese: khí, pronounced [xǐ]) The approximate English pronunciation of qi, similar to "chee" in cheese, should also be distinguished from the pronunciation of the Greek letter chi, which has a hard c sound. like "c" in car, and a long i, similar to other Greek letters phi, psi, xi.

Qi is frequently translated as "energy flow". Qi is often compared to Western notions of energeia or élan vital (vitalism), as well as the yogic notion of prana, meaning vital life or energy, and pranayama, meaning control of breath or energy. The literal translation of "qi" is air, breath, or gas. Compare this to the original meaning of the Latin word "spiritus", meaning breathing; or the Koine Greek "πνεῦμα", meaning air, breath, or spirit; and the Sanskrit term "prana", meaning breath.

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