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Why not just abolish all English translations altogether? How many languages are there in the London Underground or NYC Subway? Tourist guides can be printed in as many languages as needed. Not all foreigners know English.
 

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True, but almost 2 billion people speak english either as a first or secondary language. That is a good chunk of the worlds population.
 

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There are no English signs in public places in Paris or Frankfurt. Foreigners, even English-speaking ones, are expected to make do.

Most foreigners in China are from Korea and Japan, or the Chinese diaspora. There is no pressing need for English signs. On the contrary, incorrect English signs are an embarrassment. Will not having English signs deter anyone from visiting China? Hardly. There is no reason to elevate English above any other foreign language.
 

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There are no English signs in public places in Paris or Frankfurt. Foreigners, even English-speaking ones, are expected to make do.

Most foreigners in China are from Korea and Japan, or the Chinese diaspora. There is no pressing need for English signs. On the contrary, incorrect English signs are an embarrassment. Will not having English signs deter anyone from visiting China? Hardly. There is no reason to elevate English above any other foreign language.
A big difference between signs being only in German in Frankfurt and signs in being only Chinese is that a German sign will be written using standard Latin script which the majority of the people in the world use and if it is a common noun the German word might be fairly similar to its counterparts in other European languages.

If I see a sign in German(which I don't speak), I can easily look it up, or I can pronounce the word to someone and ask them what it means. If I see a sign in Chinese(which I don't speak either), characters I have no way of spelling it out. I just see lines. Some smartphone apps might be able to do text recognition now.

As for elevating English to a "special status", I think it's more about being efficient in providing translations. If you had to pick just one foreign language to make available on signs in addition to the local language, that can reach the most people, it would be English. Again, the common alphabet and similar words means a Spanish or French or even Bahasa Indonesian speaker could use it to find a toilet or know not to enter a closed area.

It's not like you don't occasionally see Chinese writing at airports or very multilingual transit ticket machines in the US.
 

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The Metro was built with local capital, knowledge and labor so they can use whatever script they want. I must agree with a previous comment on poor translation of signs into English in public places. If you need Latin script then use the pinyin that's what it for.
 

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Most literate people in the world can read latin script even if they can't speak any language written in it. It's just being nice to visitors because without it foreigners would be totally lost, particularly in China where local writing system is very complex.
 

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bi-lingual station names

what this discussion have to do with Harbin Metro????????

in General - if you are in a foreign country - their language is used!
and not the whole world must speak English!
What you have in China from English translation "People Sq" - when asing a chinese?

I hope this is now all unter Harbin Metro on this subject!
 

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It boggles my mind how so many Chinese cities are constructing subways and within such speed. No such luck in the US where it takes years to build just one subway line.

Former leader of china 'Deng xiaoping' once said, to become developed, we must build good transportation infrastructure, then a city will automatically grow. I guess that's why chinese government is investing so much in infrastructure projects.
 

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In the old Soviet Union the rule of thumb was that whenever a city (or urban area) reaches one million inhabitants it needs a metro. Going by that there are still many municipalities in China were that would make sense. There are quite a few in USA too, but that seems to be almost impossible politically at the moment. In Europe there are only a handful of cities that large and without a metro.
 

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Most foreigners will pronounce pinyin in such a way where the locals cannot understand what they're saying. Sticking to English would be better.
 

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Chinese, pinyin and English, in that order, would make most sense. For many places/stations an English translation is not even necessary as it would be the same as the pinyin.

Easy, done, back on topic ;)
 

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English is the international language. Of tourism, business, air traffic control, science, and increasingly education. Look at the proliferation of English language MBA programs in China. You don't see Chinese language MBA programs popping up outside China.

If you want to make life easier for foreigners, be they businesspeople, tourists, athletes, scientists, or students, all of whom bring in money, then add English or pinyin translations to the metro signs. Don't let nationalist insecurity get in the way of common sense.
 

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Why Harbin, though? It's not an international enough city. Sure, it's cosmopolitan but for them, it makes more sense to have Manchurian, Russian and Korean before English. I feel that the west has unreasonable standards when it comes to China. Why should the world pander to English if it doesn't make sense?
 

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You can't pander to English, as it is not a group, but a language.

English is not my language, but because of it I can talk to people who do not know my language.

A lingua franca is not an "unreasonable standard for China" (seriously, why is EVERYTHING on this forum seen as an attack on China by some?), it is instead a major convenience for the world as a whole.
 

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Leudimin
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Two years later...

The first phase of line 3, from Chengxiang Lu to Yida Eryuan, is now under testing and it will open in the first half of 2017, marking the first time the Harbin metro is expanded and providing metro access to the South Station. Line 3 will eventually become a loop line, it will be extended in both directions in 2020 before closing the loop in 2022.

Also under construction is line 2. It will run from Daxuecheng in the Northwest to Qixiangtai in the Southeast, and is set to open in 2020.
 

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Leudimin
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It has been reported on Ditiezu that the first section of line 3 will open at the latest on January 20... 2016 :rofl:. The poster obviously got a fat finger and meant 2017 (or Undecimber if he wanted to keep the opening in 2016, and Chinese New Year won't be until January 28 anyway).
 

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It has been reported on Ditiezu that the first section of line 3 will open at the latest on January 20... 2016 :rofl:. The poster obviously got a fat finger and meant 2017 (or Undecimber if he wanted to keep the opening in 2016, and Chinese New Year won't be until January 28 anyway).
Trial operation will begin before the Spring Festival (Chinese New Year). It will just be the first five stops of what will ultimately be a ring line.



http://www.dthrb.com/article-1284-1.html
 
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