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This term is used at the transfer stations in Beijing subway, e.g. 去往5号线, 去往1号线. Personally I think the 去 is absolutely not necessary. 往5号线 is all that is needed. Not sure why 去往 is used.


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I agree...I never never seen that and any normal place just uses the normal directional verbs 往,向,even 朝

It seems totally unnecessary .... and it would be grammatically incorrect too in my mind....because a normal pattern is 往什么地方 and then the 去 or 走 or whatever.

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A. “去”, a verb, means go or leave. “往”, a prep., means toward or to. The two characters (verb. + prep.) form the term “去往”,which is quite often used in both spoken and written Chinese. “开往”and“赶往”are similar terms.

e.g. 去往北京首都国际机场

这列火车是开往上海的。(This train is bound for Shanghai.)

我们赶往重庆抗洪救灾。(We are hurrying to Chongqing to Fight Flood and Provid Disaster Relief)

note: “赶往” equals to “赶赴”.

B. “去往一号线”. It’s direct translation is “Go To Line One”. The sign (“去往一号线”) suggests if you go in this direction, you will finally arrive in Line One. But in English, “To Line One” is OK. In addition, “去往一号线” sounds better than “往一号线”.

C. “往什么地方走” is a very useful structure, and quite different from English.

Prep. + Noun + Verb.

e.g. “往 + Noun + Verb”

“把+ Noun + Verb”

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You can talk prepositions all you want because I'm not going to have a bloody clue what you are talking about :mrgreen:

Anyway the point is that on every train station, bus station, and other public transit system that exist (subway, elevated, etc.) and this includes hong kong you only see 往----

I just don't think it's necessary to use 去往 not to mention it is not very normal in this type of situation. As to 开往,赶往 those are more common and in this type of example 开往 is normal....

OP was asking for an opinion on it....

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I guess this is because the disadvantage of Chinese – too efficient. Please refer to following statistics of a file contains 35433 English words translated by me from English to Simplified Chinese:

Total characters/bytes of English file: 223273 bytes (spaces included)

Total bytes (one Chinese character is equal to 2 bytes) of Chinese file: 128937 bytes (all spaces and characters remained in English included)

128937/223273=57.75%. This means that it takes 42.25% less bytes to describe the same thing comparing to English ignoring the time saved by fewer mouse wheel scrolls when viewed on a computer or fewer page flips when read on paper.

Considering the abandon of ancient Chinese, too efficient is a disadvantage. Why we call a teacher 老师 when he/she is very young?

Chinese is single-syllabled. I think we Chinese just add a redundant character to emphasize or to avoid a word slip away too easily when we are having a conversation.

My conclusion might need more authentic research which is beyond my ablility.

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isn't it an entry in a list? like, 如果你是往这边去, 坐这绵车. 去往那边, 坐那绵车.

jiehunzheng, it's been my experience that most words in Chinese are bisyllabic, especially verbs. Only a few, highly used verbs are monosyllabic in Chinese, even in Cantonese, which has more tones and a bigger phonology for less confusion over words. as for writing:

I want tomato


a lot less space is used by the characters than by an alphabet, at least from right to left.

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I'm not a native speaker, but to me 去往 seems more friendly than 往, and provides a better translation for the English "to line 5". My grammar's not too good, though. I'm under the impression that the 去 is part of the word 去往 rather than being a verb by itself.

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provides a better translation for the English "to line 5"
This crossed my mind too, but I am convinced that for a subway sign in Beijing, the original language would be Chinese not English, so if there is going to be any translation, it's going to be from Chinese, not to it.

Also, if it's grammatically incorrect in the language it's translated to, it's not a better translation.

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Well, regarding this I'm keeping in mind two things. The first is that I always hear Chinese refer to Chinese as a 感语 rather than a 法语, and the second is that the Beijing Olympics are gearing up. It may be that the Chinese was changed to be more fitting to the English in lieu of the Olympics.

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Hmm... maybe they actually need the semantic nuance entailed in 去. :roll:

If you have two subway lines connecting at a station, then in Beijing, it must be the case that there are two different walking routes connecting the two, each of them one-way only. (Actually, I bet that one is just down the stairs and the other one is about 500 meters around the entire block.)

Now, of course 往 does actually entail one-way direction in itself, but it is - in my opinion - not nearly half as strong as 去往 if you want to command people to keep on the right track! :lol:

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