When I began studying Chinese (years ago), one of the first things I wanted to learn how to do was answer the question about where I am from. That meant learning how to say Minnesota in Chinese.
It is simply a phonetic translation: ming ni su da (明尼苏达).
On top of that, there is Minneapolis: ming ni a po li si (明你阿婆里斯)
Since they are phonetic, I never stopped to ask what the literal translations were.
The good folks at Live the Language recently posted this interesting map of what US State names would be if they were literally translated back into English from Chinese:
Good grief. I speak Chinese and that map still makes my head hurt!
Image credit: Live the Language
I ran across this interesting map on the inter webs the other day. It divides the population of China into four different regions, each with a population roughly equal to that of the United States. As you can see, the issue in China is not simply that the population of China is so large (1.35 billion); it’s that it’s unevenly distributed. Don’t like crowds? Go west, my friends, go west!
Go here to see the data behind the map.
Note: The grey areas obviously indicate areas that the mapmaker considers to be disputed territory.
RELATED POST: How Big is China?
“China is SO big.” That’s a comment that I hear often when talking to people about China. It’s an observation that I have always found a bit odd given the fact that China is roughly the same size (slightly larger) as the US.
Here’s a great map that illustrates this:
How big is China? About the same size as the US.
Image source: chinapage (check it out — they’ve got loads of interesting maps of China and Asia)