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Chinese Names Written Backwards On Airliners?  
User currently offlineVirginFlyer From New Zealand, joined Sep 2000, 4537 posts, RR: 41
Posted (8 years 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 4296 times:

I noticed something interesting while looking at photos of Chinese airlines - the name of the airline in Chinese characters is written such that the beginning of the name is towards the front of the aircraft - i.e. it reads from left to right on the left hand side of the aircraft, but right to left on the right hand side. The characters themselves aren't reversed, just the order they are placed in.

The only exceptions I could find were Air China and cargo airline Great Wall Airlines, and Dragon Air and Hong Kong Express in Hong Kong.

Air Macau used to do it, but appears to have recently changed.

All the airlines in Taiwan do it, except China Airlines and EVA Air - the former no longer has Chinese characters, and the latter has changed it around now.

I'm wondering if there is any particular reason for this, or if it is just something that evolved over time and everyone got on board with. Does it look at all strange to a native Mandarin or Cantonese speaker?

Air Great Wall:

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Photo © Wingnut
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Photo © Andy Martin - AirTeamImages


CAAC:

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Photo © Michel Gilliand
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Photo © Michel Gilliand


Chang An Airlines:

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Photo © Weimeng
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Photo © Xiao min


China Cargo Airlines:

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Photo © Zhao Lu
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Photo © Yuxiaobin


China Eastern Airlines:

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Photo © Islam Chen
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Photo © Zhang hua


China Flying Dragon Special Aviaton:

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Photo © Yuxiaobin
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Photo © Yuxiaobin


China Northern Airlines:

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Photo © Allen Yao
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Photo © Katherine


China Northwest Airlines:

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Photo © Javier Rodriguez - Iberian Spotters
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Photo © Islam Chen


China Postal Airlines:

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Photo © Weimeng
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Photo © Eric P Lee


China Southern Airlines:

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Photo © Cees de Krijger
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Photo © Art Brett - Photovation Images


China Southwest Airlines:

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Photo © Weimeng
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Photo © Andrew Hunt - AirTeamImages


China United Airlines:

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Photo © Terry Figg
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Photo © Francisco José Jurado Ariza


China Xinhua Airlines:

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Photo © Je89 W.
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Photo © Islam Chen


China Xinjiang Airlines:

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Photo © YK
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Photo © Wanghai


China Yunnan Airlines:

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Photo © Zhang Yun Zhe
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Photo © Zhang Yun Zhe


CNAC-Zhejiang Airlines:

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Photo © Islam Chen
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Photo © Qiu zhike


Deer Jet:

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Photo © Qiu Cheng
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Photo © Mark Tang - HKAEC


East Star Air:

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Photo © Islam Chen
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Photo © Islam Chen


Hainan Airlines:

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Photo © Yu Ming
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Photo © Weimeng


Shandong Airlines:

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Photo © Yu Ming
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Photo © Allen Yao


Shanghai Airlines:

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Photo © Islam Chen
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Photo © Mark Tang - HKAEC


Shanxi Airlines:

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Photo © Zhao Lu
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Photo © Weimeng


Shenzhen Airlines:

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Photo © Islam Chen
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Photo © Islam Chen


Sichuan Airlines:

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Photo © Raymond Wang
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Photo © Yuxiaobin


Spring Airlines:

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Photo © Ryand
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Photo © Weimeng


United Eagle Airlines:

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Photo © Tuisku Heikkinen
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Photo © Jaakko Ypyä


Wuhan Airlines:

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Photo © Snorre - VIP Vienna International Planespotters
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Photo © Renato Salzinger


Xiamen Airline:

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Photo © Andrew Hunt - AirTeamImages
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Photo © Yuxiaobin


Yangtze River Express:

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Photo © Xiao min
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Photo © Takko


Zhongyuan Airlines:

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Photo © JetPix
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Photo © Andrew Hunt - AirTeamImages


Air Macau:

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Photo © H.J. Yen
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Photo © Islam Chen


China Airlines:

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Photo © Frank C. Duarte Jr.
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Photo © Bill Hough


EVA Air:

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Photo © Martin West
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Photo © Barbro


Far Eastern Air Transport:

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Photo © H.J. Yen
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Photo © TzShiuanPeng


Formosa Airlines:

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Photo © Olaf Juergensmeier
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Photo © S.L. Tsai


Mandarin Airlines:

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Photo © K.H.Yim
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Photo © K.H.Yim


TransAsia Airways:

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Photo © K.H.Yim
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Photo © Jing-Kai Chiou


UNI Air:

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Photo © K.H.Yim
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Photo © K.H.Yim



V/F


"So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth." - Bahá'u'lláh
4 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineTristanhnl From Hong Kong, joined Apr 2006, 174 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (8 years 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 4273 times:

Well, traditionally chinese characters in books and various literature run right to left or up-down. So this really isn't that odd, I think.


Hong Kong: truly Asia's world city!
User currently offlineSuperhub From Hong Kong, joined Jan 2006, 478 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (8 years 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 4173 times:

Quoting VirginFlyer (Thread starter):

I'm wondering if there is any particular reason for this, or if it is just something that evolved over time and everyone got on board with. Does it look at all strange to a native Mandarin or Cantonese speaker?

Traditionally, Chinese characters are written from right to left. But in modern times, characters are also written from left to right. Either way, it works..and Chinese readers can pick out whether to read from left to right, or right to left depending on what make sense.


User currently offlineCX777Fan From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 294 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (8 years 3 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 4110 times:

I noticed the same thing when in China last year and found it a bit odd too.

This excerpt is from Wikipedia.

"Historically, vertical writing was the standard system, and horizontal writing was only used where a sign had to fit in a constrained space, such as over the gate of a temple. This horizontal writing is in fact a special case of vertical writing in which each column contains just one character.
Right-to-left horizontal writing is still seen in Japan, China, and Korea, in such places as signs, on the right-hand side of vehicles, and on the right-hand side of stands selling food at festivals. It is also used to simulate archaic writing, for example in reconstructions of old Japan for tourists, and it is still found in the captions and titles of some newspapers. However, the left-to-right direction is now dominant in all three languages for horizontal writing."

PS what an awsome assemblage of photos you put together for your post!


User currently offlineHKGKaiTak From Australia, joined Jun 2005, 1050 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (8 years 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 4009 times:

Interesting question. Chinese may be my first language but honestly I have never noticed this before ...

CI's old pre plum blossum paint scheme does the same thing too.

My guess is the airlines wanted you to read the title from the front of the aircraft, instead of starting from the back. As pointed out before, Chinese characters can go both ways.



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