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Iris Dai

An exhibition tour of Chinese characters NEEDS a name!!!

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Iris Dai

Hi everyone, there's an exhibition tour of Chinese characters(like calligraphy but it is not) will be showed in 5 different countries this year. I was trying to find a English name for this exhibition but as I'm not a native speaker of English, I couldn't really understand the slight and precise differences between words.

So now I need some help of choosing the best name of this exhibition.

 

The Chinese name of this exhibition will be 汉字造梦.

image12.thumb.png.378c4142905d955146a83ffbeacc4bab.png

 

The meaning is like "to build a dream of Chinese character".

 

I tried a few names like:

 

Chinese Characters: the making of Chinese Dream.

Chinese Characters: a great dream for Chinese.

Chinese Characters: the phantasia of Chinese.

 

which one do you guys think it will be better for it? or do you guys have a better thoughts?

Thanks for your help~

 

and share some works of this exhibition with you guys.

image66.thumb.jpeg.c9b04469b4b0d475551a620764461659.jpeg

image57.thumb.jpeg.72abfa7f3437c9866f14c77276650809.jpeg 

image68.thumb.jpeg.7ea303932eeb6cdb41363b09bbf7dda0.jpegimage71.thumb.jpeg.eb67d4385be7ac1d2b13fb5079d37a55.jpegimage83.thumb.jpeg.b52ad6c724265444fcc013f7a321ef88.jpegimage98.thumb.jpeg.c1e1d6a7d5511b3d8a2da85d7a3e818e.jpeg

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Lu

'A Dream of Chinese Characters'? Vaguely referencing the 紅樓夢. Do wait for others' suggestions, I'm not a native speaker or a slogan-maker.

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Publius

Ah we have collectively become dreamier and dreamier since Xi took office. Dream -- le mot du jour.

 

How about "Hanzi and the Making of a Chinese Dream"

 

Disclaimer: No native speaker / sloganeer either.

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889

"Character Dreams: The Chinese Brush in Motion"

 

("Chinese Characters" is something of a mouthful in English -- contrast with hanzi -- so I'd suggest avoiding it here; an exhibition title should sound a little elegant, but not pretentious of course.)

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WenLei-William

Hello,

 

     As a native speaker of English, Lu's slogan/title definitely pops out as the best one. As a westerner, every other title reminds me of some Chinglish, pro-Communism, 中国梦 promoting propaganda slogan. 

 

"A Dream of Chinese Characters" is politically neutral (nice!), references classical Chinese literature (double nice!!), and reads like a well thought, non-Chinglish title to a native English speaker.

 

All the other titles in English for some reason seem like they're mixing together Mainland Chinese propaganda or "The Chinese Dream" (中国梦) and Chinese culture, which is going to be a turn-off for most western audiences.

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Mati1

I feel that "Chinese Characters", while being the most correct translation of 汉字, is unfortunately kind of unwieldy in English and makes titles of books etc. very long, when all one wants is to refer to 汉子. (Ah, Chinese can often be so compacted, short and simple compared to other languages.)

Therefore I would prefer a shorter title, like "A Dream Of Characters". However, the title will be used to advertise / draw attention to the exhibition, so, depending on the ads (...), for someone who is not familiar with Chinese (and to avoid confusion with the Japanese writing system) there should be a distinct reference to Chinese.

 

How about "A Dream Of Written Chinese". Compared with "A Dream of Chinese Characters", to me this "flows" more easily when saying it, if you know what I mean.

@Iris Dai If you don't insist on preserving the exact translations for 汉字 and 梦 in the English title, you can invent completely different and possibly better / more elegant titles. Again, if in doubt, double-check with native speakers.

 

Disclaimer: I am not a native speaker of English. My English is kind of bad, my Chinese is worse.

PS: 汉字 in German isn't easier: "Chinesische Schriftzeichen".

 

EDIT:

"Dream Of Written Chinese"

"Dreaming Of Written Chinese"

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Publius

The title is clearly a 中國夢-promoting propaganda piece and a turn-off for domestic audiences.

If to pretend it isn't is what westerners prefer, who am I to object.

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TheBigZaboon

Because the Chinese title (using 造夢) clashes with current unfavorable reactions to the political use of the phrase 'Chinese dream,' I suggest you shift your emphasis away  from the use of the word 'dream,' even though it is included in the Chinese, and put the emphasis on 'Chinese characters.' After all, that is what the exhibition is about.

 

You are then free to move to something like:

漢字: Hanzi (Chinese characters) the soul of China (or Hanzi, the wellspring of Chinese culture, or what have you). You are free of this obviously unpleasant association with politics, at least for some, to develop your copy as you like.

 

You then have to figure out a way to associate the pronunciation of 漢字 with the word hanzi in the minds of your target audience, if in fact you want to. You may choose to stick with 'Chinese characters,' as that's what everybody knows them as.

 

Also, my personal advice is to change the printing of the phrase HanZiZaoMeng in your copy to either HanziZaoMeng, or better yet, Hanzi (space)ZaoMeng. It took me two or three puzzled attempts at reading it before I could put ZiZao in its  proper context. In the font you use, the little 'i' is overwhelmed by the two upper case 'Z's.'

Just my opinion... I used to be a native speaker, but now, I'm not so sure. And most of my copy writing experience has been for blade servers or automatic potato peelers, and the like.

TBZ

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889

Recasting the Pinyin, I'd go with

Hanzi Zao Meng.

 

 

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Lu

As to the pinyin, I agree with 889. In pinyin, there are spaces between the words and no capitals within a word. I'd even go a bit further than 889 and suggest that the correct spelling is Hanzi zao meng, with only a capital in the beginning of the sentence. But I suppose that might be a matter of taste.

 

And as an English title, I like 889's "Character Dreams: The Chinese Brush in Motion". Very museum exhibition-ish, I can just see it on a banner at the entrance.

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Publius
15 minutes ago, 889 said:

Hanzi Zao Meng.

Yes, that's in conformity with hanyu pinyin orthography rules.

 

By the way, 一期一會 is a Japanese idiom, technically kanji, not hanzi, so we probably have to go with "Chinese characters" after all.

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Shelley

I think "Chinese characters" however unwieldy, needs to kept as to the uninitiated, "characters" could be the people in a play or other things. To be completely clear I think you need to keep those two words.

 

You could lose "chinese characters" and just go for something like "Writing - the Chinese Dream" it sort of has a double meaning of writing being part of the chinese dream or actually writing the chinese dream.

 

or modify 889's with Writing Dreams- the Chinese Brush in Motion.

 

English is my first language.

 

 

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889

There's a strong dynamic in those strokes, so perhaps the title can reflect that:

 

The Bold Brush: Chinese Calligraphy 2017.

 

(I capitalised the Pinyin only because it was serving as a title.)

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Demonic_Duck
3 hours ago, Publius said:

The title is clearly a 中國夢-promoting propaganda piece and a turn-off for domestic audiences.

 

Uhh... really? So 中国梦 now has a monopoly on the word 梦?

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Publius
5 hours ago, Demonic_Duck said:

So 中国梦 now has a monopoly on the word 梦?

Not necessarily.

But given the current atmosphere described in TheBigZaboon's post,

and the apparent lack of semantic connection between 漢字 and 造夢,

I cannot help but think of it as a political statement, and treat it as such: Hanzi + the making of a Chinese dream – which, the artist hopes, I quote, “不是实现我一个人的梦想,而是实现全民的梦想。”

 

P.S. I like 889's version. For some reason it reminds me of Sokoban.

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lips

As a title, 889's version is  good.  However, IMHO, from a pure Chinese calligraphy standpoint the works in the pictures are hardly outstanding.  (Actually the works in the picture turn me off).

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Shelley

I agree with lips, the works are not to my taste. I was also surprised to see that some of the works look like they were being sold. Not sure if this is usual for exhibitions? Some of the pictures look more Japanese than Chinese.

I also can't work out what the text in the first picture (under the handwriting and above the pinyin), the last 2 I think are Universal Tour but I can't figure out the first 2.

 

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Shelley

@Mati1 So does it mean round the world universal tour? seems a bit much. So are the characters traditional? I just couldn't find them in Pleco.

Thanks for the help.

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Publius

@Shelley环=环绕 around; 球=地球 globe; 巡=巡回 tour; 展=展览exhibition; put together 环球巡展 exhibition tour around the globe

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