Street Names

March 07, 2010, 04:10 AM posted in General Discussion

Sorry this might be a bit of a stupid question, but...

Having lived in China a while now, I'm recognising the Hanzi on street names signs no problem, and obviously you've got the PinYin translation underneath most of the time. However, I'm seldom able to relate them to English meanings. I wonder if I did know the translation of street names whether it might help expand my vocab a bit. 

For example, does 漕宝路 have a literal translation which might help me the meanings of the characters 漕 and 宝?

And if so, can anyone help me with the meanings of these street names?

  • 淮海路 - something sea road
  • 衡山路 - something mountain road
  • 乌鲁木齐路 - something something tree something road
  • 安福路 - peaceful something road

Anyway, might be a daft question but I thought I'd ask it.


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March 07, 2010, 04:47 AM

you sound like me, except i'm more like "something something something road", or "small something something road".


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March 07, 2010, 01:34 PM

Hi thecomakid

Street names are good for learning "how to read Chinese characters", but not for learning "Chinese words", because they are often originated in place/person names. For example, “乌鲁木齐” is the name of the capital city of Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region in the PRC. You can find tons of “中山路” (Sun Yat-sen Street) all over China.

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March 07, 2010, 03:02 PM

Hi Changye, I'm totally aware of the difference between learning words and earning characters.

I guess what I'm asking for is 'very rough' translations as a way to remember the meanings of the characters I see everyday.  

Then, when I come across the same Hanzi when learning new words, I might be able to relate them back somehow to a more familiar context.

For example, I only recently learned that the 桥 in 红桥 meant bridge, so I can now associate the name with the meaning "red bridge."

Similarly, I found out that the 湖 in 东湖路 means "lake" so that now whenever I see that street sign, the association with "East lake street" comes to mind. 

I know on one level it's kinda pointless, after all, 东湖路 is DongHu Road, not East lake street; or for all I know 湖 may have a totally different meaning (unrelated to lakes) when combined with other characters... but on another level it might help make some of the meanings of these Hanzi that we see everyday a bit more 'sticky.'

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March 07, 2010, 03:04 PM

Incidentally I just found out 宝 in CaoBao Road is the same Bao as in 宝宝 (baby). No joy on 漕, at least not according to the CPod glossary.