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Old July 24th, 2008, 12:11 PM   #301
cal_t
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Because Nanzhan is not even part of the locality, non Chinese speaking tourists find it hard to grasp stations names when it is over 10+ letters long. Keep it short and simple stupid. It's called the KISS approach.

Xyz Nanzhan is not clear to the tourist whether nanzhan is part of the name. A better approach to signage is the have pinyin in italics, and the English transliteration of Xyz South Station. This way, if approaching a local, the tourist can clearly indicate that they want to go to the 'nanzhan' and not 'xyz' locality (this reduces confusion), as well as that, the tourist can also deduce that 'nanzhan' corresponds to 'south of .. station'. This way the tourist has learnt a few words that are valuable, but at the same time, the information (content) of Xyz South Station is transliterated in such a way where it seems familiar with the tourist.

Remember, the transliteration is not for the locals, so stop with the stubborn pinyin self sufficient mainland mentality and look at what other people have done. Hong Kong transliterations when it comes to station names is near perfect. Because it had a colonial past, it recognises the importance of familiarity for the non Chinese speaking tourist, and places the importance in being able to recognise the suburb. Many tourists do not want a 5 week course in pinyin to decipher basic knowledge which could have been signed better.
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Old July 24th, 2008, 12:30 PM   #302
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French or German is hard for non-speakers as well.

I have the feeling that you don't really understand the meaning of transliteration. Pinyin is transliteration!
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Old July 24th, 2008, 01:22 PM   #303
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Pinyin is certainly a way to transliterate a placename. However, having pinyin for the word 'stadium', 'plaza' or 'street' is definitely seen as slack effort in signwriting. Have pride in your signs. Again, what is the English version of the text in the sign for? Having it in pinyin is of no use for the tourist.

I strongly believe that tourists would find it nonsensical to arrive at a station called Shiqiajizhang instead of Window of the World. Which is more informative? Again, we have to look at it from a tourist's point of view, not to be confused by your national pride in your language.
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Old July 24th, 2008, 02:04 PM   #304
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Pinyin is not a way to transliterate, it is the best and only way that makes sense. I don't think it is too much of an effort to learn a few words in Chinese when you are in China. We in Europe don't give a shit whether the English speaking tourist understands rue, gasse, via, calle or not as long as they can recognise the Latin alphabet and remember the few words they encounter again and again during their stay.

Your argument is typical of someone who would sell out his/her culture just to make a buck and to please the white man.

BTW it's Shijie zhi Chuang.
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Old July 24th, 2008, 02:48 PM   #305
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I don't speak Mandarin or intend to learn Mandarin so I do not care whether you correct my mistake on the correct pinyin of 'Window of the world' station.

I don't sell out my culture to please a 'white person'; I'm an Australian, and I speak on behalf of all English speaking tourists who are bewildered to find an English sign made for foreign non Chinese speaking tourists in pinyin. Defeats the purpose of the sign.
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Old July 24th, 2008, 03:13 PM   #306
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OK, Pinyin is not specifically made for English speaking people, you are full of yourself if you think so. Pinyin is a transliteration for everyone who knows the Latin alphabet.

If it's too much for you to read Pinyin and remember a few foreign words, just stay at home.
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Old July 24th, 2008, 03:17 PM   #307
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So do you mean that signs are completely understandable by a tourist to mainland China so long as there are 'roman alphabet' on the sign?

So if a sign in Chinese say 'Exit' (Chu Kou), you would expect a foreigner or a tourist to be able to understand the 'Chu Kou' instead of signing 'exit' because pinyin is good enough? What rubbish! A sign is not designed properly unless the intended message is conveyed. I don't see how a sign full of pinyin can do that.

So is signing 'Jichang' an acceptable alternative to 'airport'? How ludacris!
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Last edited by cal_t; July 24th, 2008 at 03:22 PM.
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Old July 24th, 2008, 03:36 PM   #308
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I was talking about names of places, e.g. Nanjing Lu, Tian'anmen Guangchang or Huangshan.

Exits and airports are usually accompanied by a pictogram and in some cases by a internationally recognised colour.
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Old July 24th, 2008, 03:41 PM   #309
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Those are also placenames. So in the previous post, you have highlighted (without saying it) that pinyin is not the solution for transliteration of place names; and thus shows inadequacies in the way you think the sign conveys a message when written with pinyin when a perfectly valid English word could have substituted it and shoud have been. It shows there are flaws in your logic.
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Old July 24th, 2008, 03:53 PM   #310
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Er ... you have a poor reading comprehension. I said, that Pinyin is the ONLY and BEST way to transliterate Chinese names and words. You are the one who does not even know what the difference between translation and transliteration is.

Why should everything be substituted when the Chinese word could do as well. Do I smell some kind of cultural imperialism and superiority complex?

Why don't you dare to say that to a French or German?
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Old July 24th, 2008, 04:00 PM   #311
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I would say that to a French or German sign designer as well. I'm not culturally biased. Only mainland Chinese people think other cultures are always attacking them. It's was a communist government wants you to believe.

I don't think I have poor reading comprehension but I do believe you don't understand the semantics of my contention. By saying a pictogram is needed in those circumstances highlights that pinyin is inadequate for an English sign. Thus showing that pinyin is not only the worst way to transliterate a sign; but shows no context for the interpreting party.

Communication: Sender - Encoding - Transcoding - Deciphering - Receiver.

After all the sign in question is a directional sign thats says 'Towards xyz'. We're not making this sign for a German speaker or a French speaker, but for tourists as majority of them would be English speaking. So why not have the sign say 'Wan xyz' instead of 'towards' then if pinyin is so superior? Again; this highlights flaws in your logic. We're not talking bout protecting your own culture; we're talking about effective communication.
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Old July 24th, 2008, 04:10 PM   #312
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cal_t View Post
I would say that to a French or German sign designer as well. I'm not culturally biased. Only mainland Chinese people think other cultures are always attacking them. It's was a communist government wants you to believe.

I don't think I have poor reading comprehension but I do believe you don't understand the semantics of my contention. By saying a pictogram is needed in those circumstances highlights that pinyin is inadequate for an English sign. Thus showing that pinyin is not only the worst way to transliterate a sign; but shows no context for the interpreting party.

Communication: Sender - Encoding - Transcoding - Deciphering - Receiver.

After all the sign in question is a directional sign thats says 'Towards xyz'. We're not making this sign for a German speaker or a French speaker, but for tourists as majority of them would be English speaking. So why not have the sign say 'Wan xyz' instead of 'towards' then if pinyin is so superior? Again; this highlights flaws in your logic. We're not talking bout protecting your own culture; we're talking about effective communication.
Sorry, I'm German and I have lived all my life in Germany. So your whole drivel about Mainland China doesn't make any sense at all.

You do have pictograms in Australia, don't you? Does it mean, that the English language is not adequate to direct people from A to B?

Pinyin does not transliterate signs, but Chinese.

An arrow would direct every tourist, even the one who don't understand English, much more efficiently. Don't think that everyone understands English.
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Old July 24th, 2008, 05:31 PM   #313
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Guangzhou subway did borrow some elements from Hongkong subway, but it also has its unique features, e.g.,
it is the first subway system in China(maybe in the world as well) that uses magnet tokens and the peak speed of Guangzhou subway is 135KM/H

Don't forget Hongkong's culture and almost everything derives from Guangzhou(Canton) as Guangzhou has been the state capital of Guangdong( Hongkong included) for 2,250 years.

Second, as a Cantonese myself, I am pretty sure translations like Kum Chung are from Cantonese pronunciation, but it doesn't make any sense in Mandarin.

I agree with one of your points, the Guangchang should be renamed to Plaza. But the names of many Chinese roads actually come from the ancient poets, fairly tales or confucian concepts, and it is impossible to translate them to English.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cal_t View Post
Well the Hong Kongers have it right when it comes to transliteration. Either give it an English equivalent name, entire different English name or transliterate in its entirety in pinyin/or transliteration method.

ie. Central- Chung Wan (translation), Admiralty- Kum Chung (different English name), Chai Wan (direct transliteration).

This is part of my contention that when mainland China copies HK style products; they get it horribly wrong. It seems that everything copied; or as most of the forumers here like to call it, 'borrowed', needs more work and thought.

Where a place can be named square, call it a square. Guanchang is not a natural morpheme to English speakers, where as Gare Du Nord is more pallatable, pronounceable for the untrained speaker. It is all about natural sounding morpheme for the language directed at, not the cultural content of the original language. After all, why would locals need to use the 'roman alphabet' version of the sign?
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Old July 24th, 2008, 05:38 PM   #314
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"Only mainland Chinese people think other cultures are always attacking them."

Count how many Chinese people died in the first opium war, the second opium war, the eight country union(your country was included) who burned the Beijing Summer Palace, the Sino-Russia war, the Jiawu Sino-Japan war, and the anti-japanese war. Need evidences? Go to British national museum and see how many Chinese treasures they have stolen during the last 150 years.

Most importantly, count how much territory China has lost today compared to the map of Qing dynasty, dare you say this word again?

The Chinese outside mainland didn't suffer too much pain, of course they don't understand this shit.

I don't know who you are, but your name "YelloPerilo" is very similar to "Yellow peril" and it is insulting Chinese people. I hope you can shut the fxxx up in my thread.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow_peril
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Old July 24th, 2008, 07:34 PM   #315
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huh googleabcd ?

Why are you staging an attack at yellowperilo ? I thought you know why he chose that screen name

Telling from the tone of cal_t , I think he is a Hong Konger or to be more specific a Chinese living in Australia ?

But anyway why are we arguing about wars, opium war, plundering, communism, cultural attack in a metro thread ?
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Old July 25th, 2008, 03:22 AM   #316
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YelloPerilo/cal_t = Eurocentric/Anglocentric
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Old July 25th, 2008, 04:57 AM   #317
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es impresionante el desarrollo de china, a mi me parece que solo deberian de poner los nombres con alfabetos latino y cirilico, ademas de los caracteres, asi todos entenderiamos, no creo que se tenga que traducir al ingles todo.
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Old July 25th, 2008, 06:37 AM   #318
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cal_t View Post
So do you mean that signs are completely understandable by a tourist to mainland China so long as there are 'roman alphabet' on the sign?

So if a sign in Chinese say 'Exit' (Chu Kou), you would expect a foreigner or a tourist to be able to understand the 'Chu Kou' instead of signing 'exit' because pinyin is good enough? What rubbish! A sign is not designed properly unless the intended message is conveyed. I don't see how a sign full of pinyin can do that.

So is signing 'Jichang' an acceptable alternative to 'airport'? How ludacris!
Dose Frence, Germany, Italy, Russia ect ect. all have English on all their signs?

If the Chinese decide to put English on a sigh, then apperciate it. If they don't, learn Chinese. You're in China ffs, get it into your head. Don't wanna learn another language? stay home where you are.
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Old July 25th, 2008, 10:00 AM   #319
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cal_t View Post
I strongly believe that tourists would find it nonsensical to arrive at a station called Shiqiajizhang instead of Window of the World. Which is more informative? Again, we have to look at it from a tourist's point of view, not to be confused by your national pride in your language.
Shiqiajizhang is more informative - you know what locals call it, so if you need directions you can actually be vaguely understood and pointed in the right direction.

Transliteration (ie phonetic approximation) is better than translation when it comes to place names - it covers a range of languages (at least if you transliterate into the Latin alphabet) in one go, for instance.

Dare we translate English town names into French? Let's take the tube to "abbaye occidentale" to see Big Ben. Let's go to Australia and see the "je ne sais pas" hopping about (Kangeroo is 'I don't know', isn't it - so why not translate that into French for the French tourist as well). We can even change lots of english place names into English - Norwich can be 'north farm', Aberdeen is 'mouth of the Dee', Croydon 'crocus hill' (in a valley, but valley is den, and Willesden (stream valley) has the opposite problem of being a hill - the spelling must have been corrupted at some point), Birmingham 'homestead of the people of birm' and Torpenhow 'hill hill hill'

Hopefully that should show why transliteration is far better than translation for place names. Can you imagine a French tourist in London (I'll stick with French) asking the way to the 'colline de crocus' when Londoner's know it to be Croydon (and the disappointment when the French guy got there and there was no crocuses and worse - it was Croydon)? Can you imagine going to 'the meadows' and finding it's a large city load of bright lights and casinos in the Nevada desert, rather than meadows?
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Old July 25th, 2008, 11:23 AM   #320
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@sotonsi
u r absolutely right! the translations i will have on my tourist map so i know if 'zhan' is station or whatever, but in the metro station i need transliteration in order to ask the way to the locals
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