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LH748
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Chinese characters on aircrafts

Sat Oct 03, 2020 9:48 pm

Long time ago I started to notice that Chinese characters on aircrafts are written from left to right on the left side of the plane but written from right to left on the right side of the plane. Just take a look at a MU aircraft from both sides and you'll see what I mean.
I've only ever noticed this on aircrafts and was wondering why that is. Is it a special feature of Mandarin that I haven't noticed anywhere else?
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Antaras
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Re: Chinese characters on aircrafts

Sat Oct 03, 2020 10:19 pm

Seems like Chinese carriers afraid that people won't recognize that they are Chinese carriers so they add a bunch of Chinese letters on the fuselages
=================================================================================================================
Read about the writing direction of Chinese and other Asian languages here, adopted from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horizonta ... ed_Chinese
The bus-example can be almost the same as the planes' fuselages
In mainland China, where the Simplified Chinese orthographical reform has been adopted, vertical writing is now comparatively rare, more so in print than in writing and signage. Most publications are now printed in horizontal alignments, like English. Horizontal writing is written left to right in the vast majority of cases, with a few exceptions such as bilingual dictionaries of Chinese and right-to-left scripts like Arabic, in which case Chinese may follow the right-to-left alignment. Right-to-left writing direction can also often be seen on the right side of tourist buses, as it is customary to have the text run (on both sides of the vehicle) from the front of the bus to its rear.
If you disagree with my statement, assume that it was just a joke :duck:
 
trex8
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Re: Chinese characters on aircrafts

Sun Oct 04, 2020 3:35 pm

LH748 wrote:
Long time ago I started to notice that Chinese characters on aircrafts are written from left to right on the left side of the plane but written from right to left on the right side of the plane. Just take a look at a MU aircraft from both sides and you'll see what I mean.
I've only ever noticed this on aircrafts and was wondering why that is. Is it a special feature of Mandarin that I haven't noticed anywhere else?

Obviously on planes from the PRC, its written left to right on the left side as China is now a modern leftist nation, on the right side, they stick with the more traditional right to left forrmat for those rightist who missed the revolution.
Just kidding.

They did that on the old CI livery too.
 
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Devilfish
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Re: Chinese characters on aircrafts

Sun Oct 04, 2020 10:43 pm

I actually find the old markings and livery on CAAC aircraft more appealing than the current variety coming out lately. Not that I can read or understand what any of those mean. :confused:

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MonAmQB
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Re: Chinese characters on aircrafts

Mon Oct 05, 2020 1:54 am

Chinese writings were from right to left in the past. Only <100 years ago did it change to from left to right. It’s still normal to see writings from right to left these days. It just happens to fit an airplane, a bus or a taxi better to have two different orientations on different sides of the vehicle. So there you have it.
 
reltney
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Re: Chinese characters on aircrafts

Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:36 am

There is no “S” on aircraft..... just sayin...
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eamondzhang
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Re: Chinese characters on aircrafts

Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:54 am

MonAmQB wrote:
Chinese writings were from right to left in the past. Only <100 years ago did it change to from left to right. It’s still normal to see writings from right to left these days. It just happens to fit an airplane, a bus or a taxi better to have two different orientations on different sides of the vehicle. So there you have it.

It is not normal in any part of China nowadays to write from right to left. Only Japan does that AFAIK.

This is IMO merely pointing the first letter to the front of the airplane. And Air China certainly doesn't do that way as the title was written by Chairman Deng.

Devilfish wrote:
I actually find the old markings and livery on CAAC aircraft more appealing than the current variety coming out lately. Not that I can read or understand what any of those mean. :confused:

It litearlly reads: China Civil Aviation (it was part of CAAC anyway)

Michael
 
Ziyulu
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Re: Chinese characters on aircrafts

Mon Oct 05, 2020 3:23 am

I think it’s also symmetrical. Better Feng Shui.
 
workhorse
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Re: Chinese characters on aircrafts

Mon Oct 05, 2020 8:18 am

In Chinese, there is no such strong attachment to the direction of writing as in European or Middle Eastern languages.

Originally, Chinese characters were written from top to bottom with lines going from left to right. Nowadays, almost all poetry is still published that way, as well as some novels.

So it is much less shocking for a modern day Chinese to see something written from right to left than it would be for a German or an Italian, for example. If it's better looking from aesthetics point of view, why not?
 
workhorse
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Re: Chinese characters on aircrafts

Mon Oct 05, 2020 9:49 am

workhorse wrote:
Originally, Chinese characters were written from top to bottom with lines going from left to right.


Grrrr... This should have been "from right to left" if course. :hissyfit: :banghead:
 
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Aesma
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Re: Chinese characters on aircrafts

Mon Oct 05, 2020 3:01 pm

It's like flags on ships (and aircraft after them), it's not left to right or right to left, it's front to back.
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goosebayguy
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Re: Chinese characters on aircrafts

Mon Oct 05, 2020 6:59 pm

Its actually true. I worked at a flight simulator company which supplies lots of cabin trainers to China. One day someone came in and and pointed out that we had put the wrtiing on the starboard ide the wrong way around. It totally flumuxed us because we'd done the Starboard side the opposite way to the Port side but they have to be the same way on both sides.
 
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c933103
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Re: Chinese characters on aircrafts

Mon Oct 05, 2020 8:50 pm

eamondzhang wrote:
It is not normal in any part of China nowadays to write from right to left. Only Japan does that AFAIK.

i can't tell which part should I start correcting you but this isn't really a correct statement
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workhorse
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Re: Chinese characters on aircrafts

Mon Oct 05, 2020 9:02 pm

By the way, talking about MU, there's another quirk about their titles in addition to being written from right to left on the right side: they are written in traditional script (中國東方 instead of 中国东方) to create a kind of "classy" feeling.
 
eamondzhang
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Re: Chinese characters on aircrafts

Mon Oct 05, 2020 10:16 pm

c933103 wrote:
eamondzhang wrote:
It is not normal in any part of China nowadays to write from right to left. Only Japan does that AFAIK.

i can't tell which part should I start correcting you but this isn't really a correct statement

Then show me which part of China still write from top down or from right to left.

And no please don't use examples from ancient tiimes as I am talking modern days.

Michael
 
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c933103
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Re: Chinese characters on aircrafts

Mon Oct 05, 2020 10:17 pm

workhorse wrote:
By the way, talking about MU, there's another quirk about their titles in addition to being written from right to left on the right side: they are written in traditional script (中國東方 instead of 中国东方) to create a kind of "classy" feeling.

Wouldn't this be banned by the Chinese national language and text law?
It's pointless to attempt winning internet debate. 求同存異. よく見て・よく聞いて・よく考える
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MonAmQB
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Re: Chinese characters on aircrafts

Tue Oct 06, 2020 12:17 am

https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/東亞文字排列方向

This is a good summary of East Asian language writings. In the Chinese section, there are examples of all types of orientations.
 
ShanghaiNoon
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Re: Chinese characters on aircrafts

Tue Oct 06, 2020 7:12 am

It's traditional in the transport industry. A lot of bus companies do it the same way.
 
workhorse
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Re: Chinese characters on aircrafts

Tue Oct 06, 2020 11:32 am

c933103 wrote:
workhorse wrote:
By the way, talking about MU, there's another quirk about their titles in addition to being written from right to left on the right side: they are written in traditional script (中國東方 instead of 中国东方) to create a kind of "classy" feeling.

Wouldn't this be banned by the Chinese national language and text law?


Obviously not:

 
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ClassicLover
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Re: Chinese characters on aircrafts

Tue Oct 06, 2020 2:56 pm

reltney wrote:
There is no “S” on aircraft..... just sayin...


I'm glad someone said it.

One aircraft, two aircraft, three aircraft. Spacecraft is the same. It's just like the animal sheep - one sheep, two sheep, three sheep. The words are both singular and plural.

Not many words are like this in English so it's an easy one for non-English speakers to get wrong.
I do enjoy a spot of flying, especially when it's not in economy!
 
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mooseofspruce
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Re: Chinese characters on aircrafts

Tue Oct 06, 2020 3:27 pm

I've always wondered this ever since I did fan texturing work to replicate Hainan's and Air China's liveries for flightsim years ago, which involved applying the Chinese script this way. Finally an answer as to why and that it's front-to-back more than it's a case of left from right.
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Overthecascades
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Re: Chinese characters on aircrafts

Tue Oct 06, 2020 5:52 pm

mooseofspruce wrote:
I've always wondered this ever since I did fan texturing work to replicate Hainan's and Air China's liveries for flightsim years ago, which involved applying the Chinese script this way. Finally an answer as to why and that it's front-to-back more than it's a case of left from right.


Air China is the only exception- it’s always left to right on either side. :-)

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