Chinese car names at the
Shanghai Motor Show
Let's to some amateur decoding
19/04/2013 18:35 |
Our colleague, Tibi Papp is just roaming the exhibition pavillions at the Shanghai Motor Show full of cars manufactured for the Chinese internal market. Meanwhile Robert Winkler, another colleague of ours who has been studying Chinese for a year now tries to make sense of the Chinese characters.
The difficulty of decoding a Chinese signboard or trademark arises from the fact that sometimes it is just as problematic to even spell them out correctly as it is to identify the letters of some idiotic neon signboard written with the letters of the normal Latin alphabet. I could only interpret the last character on the second picture. This sign means “car” or any kind of vehicle in general. However everybody should know by now that the logogram of Shanghai is made up of two characters: “shang” means “up” and “hai” means “ocean”.
Shanghai, gathering, people (as a mass of people) –Shang hai hui zhong
... ... ... vehicle/car
One ... meaningful, steer, and something “yi ... ao di” in Chinese (which if pronounced could very much resemble “Audi”, they like these kind of jokes over there).
Shanghai open use – Shang hai tong yong
Shanghai great people – Shang hai dá zhong
PS: I have just discovered that a part of the third character on the second picture has been broken off, but it still does not make sense for me, since the character (qi) could mean “steam” or “vapour”, but together with the character of “vehicle” it can stand simply for “automobile”.
A somewhat more detailed explanation arrived after this writing hit the web, and it came from one of our readers who showed the article to a Chinese friend. Please read his version below - things just get more and more interesting on the net as one digs deeper in the myths...
First one: Actually I haven't seen the first brand before. Literally the meaning is 'gathering people'. But as a brand name, just call it 'Hui Zhong' even though it might only be a pirate version of Volkswagen.
Second one: ''The Great Wall'' Car. I think the editor didn't recognize the word which stands for the brand name 'The Great Wall'. (长城)
Third one: Its pronounciation is 'Yi Qi Ao Di'. The editor is partially right since the 'Ao di' is just the Chinese translation of the brand 'Audi'. The first two characters are the abbreviation of the company brand of 'The First Motor Vehicle Manufacturer Cooperation of China'. But if you translate the literal meaning '一汽', it should be 'One Gas' which has no meaning at all. The combination of the two brands means this car is manufactured by 'The First Motor Vehicle' under authorization of Audi.
Fourth one: 'Shanghai General Motor' ('Tong Yong' is the pronunciation of 'General Motor's Chinese name). And as the previous one, it means manufactured by 'Shanghai Motor Vehicle Cooperation' under the authorization of GM.
Fifth one: 'Shanghai Volkswagen', the same as 3rd and 4th.
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