Names of Cities in Chinese

In this post we’ll learn some names of cities in Chinese so you can widen your vocabulary. We will also see how characters work to create a pronunciation that is close to the name of the city in the original language.

In most cases, the writing is a phonetic representation of the name. In others, the cities have their own Chinese name. This is the case of cities in Asian countries that have a common past with China, such as Seoul (Korea).

And it is also seen in the name of Western cities that are somehow linked to China, such as San Francisco (CA), which has a long history as a host city for Chinese immigration.

In a previous post we learned some name of countries in Chinese. As a reminder, “country” is: 国家 (guójiā); “capital”, 首都 (shǒudū), and “city”, 镇 (zhèn). We’ll review some of them in the examples below.

Names of some cities in Chinese

London伦敦Lúndūn
Madrid马德里Mǎdélǐ
Paris巴黎Bālí
Rome罗马Luómǎ
Berlin柏林Bólín
Barcelona巴塞罗纳Bāsè luō nà
Moscow莫斯科Mòsīkē
Beijin北京Běijīng
Seoul汉城Hànchéng
Tokyo东京Dōngjīng
Taipei台北Táiběi
Sydney悉尼Xīní
Buenos Aires布宜諾斯艾利斯Bùyínuòsī àilìsī
Bogota波哥大Bōgēdà
Río de Janeiro里约热内卢Lǐyuērènèilú
Montevideo蒙得维的亚Méngdéwéideyà
New York纽约Niǔyuē
San Francisco旧金山Jiùjīnshān
Toronto多伦多Duōlúnduō

A few sample phrases

  • I was born in Berlin, but I live in Barcelona.
    我出生在柏林,但我住在巴塞罗那。(Wǒ chūshēng zài bólín, dàn wǒ zhù zài bāsèluōnà.)
  • Do you live in Tokyo?
    你住在东京吗?(Nǐ zhù zài Dōngjīng ma?)
  • Sydney is Australia’s capital.
    悉尼是澳大利亚的首都。(Xīní shì Àodàlìyǎ de shǒudū.)
  • Have you been to New York?
    你去过纽约吗?(Nǐ qùguò Niǔyuē ma?)
  • Where is Bogotá?
    波哥大在哪里?(Bōgēdà zài nǎlǐ?)

What do you think about how city names are formed? If you are new here, you’ll find very useful this explanation about the romanization of Chinese characters, mainly known as Pinyin.

At first, Chinese may seem intimidating, but it’s like a puzzle, once you get the picture, on in this case, the general idea, all pieces fit.

At Hanyu Chinese School, we are happy to help you learn Chinese. With our Chinese teachers, online campus and master classes, you can have your lessons tailored to your needs and circumstances. Contact us, ask for your free class and follow us on social media!

We look forward meeting you.

.

Leave a comment