translated space

lately, i’ve noticed a flagrent translation violation on the 362 busline, where bus stops for urban villages (城中村) such as 新洲村 or 水围村  are announced in chinese as “villages” but in english as xinzhou estates and shuiwei estates, respectively. i’m not sure why the village vanishing act in english, when the 村 are clearly present in mandarin. perhaps the more interesting question is how those villages got to keep their designation, when others did not. (list of 362 bus stops, including the undesignated, like 石厦, which is a village but goes by “shixia” full stop, and the villages old (村) and new (新村).  i’ll keep my ears tuned to the translations of 村 and 新村 on other bilingual lines.  if anyone has noticed similar cross-language happenings in shenzhen or other chinese cities, i’d be interested to hear both what’s been translated (or not) as well as explanations as to why the (bait and) switch…

2 thoughts on “translated space

  1. Haha, about the translation of bus stops,I have the same confusion as you. On some buses, they just tanslate”新村”as “xin cun”, but not new village. What a surprise!

    • hi kinna,

      thanks for the info about xincun as a stop. i often wonder how useful translated spaces are when the english names of places are not well known outside a few guidebooks.

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