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    • Join Date: Jul 2008
    • Posts: 23

    the difference between the No.2 and second

    Here is a small problem on "The traslation on Public sign" which become the focus of Chinese people

    Because of the culture difference and other differences, some translation may not express the exact original meaning.

    There were only state owned department store or the like owned by local government .

    The this kind of shop was named as XXX (the name of city) No.1 department store, or XXX No.2 department store.
    It sounds like the classes in a high school such as class 1, class 2.
    It also sounds like the team in army such as Team A, B, C.

    And the numbers here . such as No.1 , didn't mean this department store is bigger than the No.2

    It is history now and most of the department store are private enterprise or stock company .And many of them has their own names (company name ). But not all the company will use a new name as the famous company ( for example: Printemps in France). They use the traditional name instead.

    Here is the problem.

    In many cities of China, you can frequently see the name of XXX city No.2 department store or No.1 department store (although they are only the old state owned company but the new luxury goods shops in down town)

    Some people think the word "No.1""No.2" here is not the best translation because the foreigner may be confused and may think the No.2 department store is just a branch of the No.1 or a much smaller shop than the No.1 .
    In fact the No.1 department store even has nothing to do with the NO.2

  1. Ouisch's Avatar
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    English Teacher
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      • Native Language:
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    • Join Date: Mar 2006
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    Re: the difference between the No.2 and second

    Speaking as an outsider who has never been to China, I can say that if I was visiting your country and saw a store called "Number 2" it wouldn't occur to me that it was lesser than the one called "Number 1." I might think that maybe they were the second retailer to get a license or something like that, but I would not automatically assume that Number 2 sold goods that were inferior to those sold at Number 1.

    In the US, it's not uncommon for many different stores or brands to boast that they're number one, so that sort of rank seems totally subjective to us. We don't place a lot of faith in such boasts, and there are a lot of folks who shop at places that don't bill themselves as number one or "the best," because they believe they'll find bargains/better prices at the "number two" store.

    • Join Date: Jul 2008
    • Posts: 23

    Re: Ouisch


    The reason why I start this thread is that one of my friends said that the No.2 will casue misunderstand while the word "second" will be better.
    But I disagree because the figures in the name of the shop are from their history and this figure is accepted by most of the consumer in this city and no one will care that it sounds like a odd name of many years ago.

    This phenomenon is obvious in the real estate industry while the former of many real estate company are the state owned company which we called "XX city Construction Compy (or Group)" , then there will be subsidiary company such as No.1 Construction,No.2 Construction ,etc. Because of the technique ,some companies become famous and are seleted by the major contractor for many great project. Then the numbers such as No.2, No.4 have been part of their brand ,thus this number will not be given up even if they're changed to public company


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