The Lunar New Year is being celebrated around the world, but many are having trouble determining whether to call this new year the Year of the Sheep or the Year of the Goat or Ram.

Chinese New Year 2015: Goat, Ram, or Sheep?

The Lunar New Year, commonly known as Chinese New Year, marks the beginning of a new zodiac year. There are 12 Chinese zodiacs, all animals, but some are harder to name than others. For example, this Lunar New Year brings an end to the Year of the Horse, but English speakers are stumped on what to call this New Year because of an inadequate Chinese to English translation.

According to linguists, the Chinese character ‘yang’ can be translated to mean a handful of animals – a sheep, a goat or a ram. “The Chinese character yang can be translated as all of these animals – even the gazelle is called yang in Chinese,” University of Hong Kong’s Isaac Yue told CNN.

The two most commonly heard are the Year of the Sheep and the Year of the Goat, but for the purposes of celebrating Chinese New Year, it holds little significance. “Few ordinary Chinese are troubled by the sheep-goat distinction,” reported Xinhua, one of China’s state-run news agencies.

Sheep, goats and rams are all commonly depicted in various Lunar New Year memorabilia, and much of the debate comes down to personal preference. Either way, the Lunar New Year is a time of celebration!

Celebs Wish Fans A Happy Lunar New Year

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