Beijing Hutong Names

The city of Beijing is soliciting public opinion on names for its Hutongs. While they should be preserved and protected, some names should be changed to become graceful.

In the Chinese capital, hutongs(胡同) are alleys formed by lines of siheyuan(四合院), or traditional courtyard residences. Many neighborhoods were formed(形成) by joining one siheyuan to another to form a hutong, and then joining one hutong to another(…和…连在一起). The word hutong is also used to refer to such neighborhoods(社区).

A draft plan(草案) by Peking University(北京大学) suggests that historical names should be given priority(优先权) when choosing new names for Hutongs. They should reflect(反映) Beijing’s history(历史) and customs(习俗), demonstrate(展示) its city planning and be easy to find and remember.

Under the situation where it is hard to use a direct historical name, their homophonic(同音的) names could be considered(考虑) in order to maintain the inherent relation and achieve elegance, such as Fenzhang(奋章) Hutong instead of Fenchang(粪场)(dung yard) Hutong.

In addition to the proposal(提议) of preserving(保护) Beijing Hutongs, the papers also claims that repeated names(重名) are forbidden to use for newly constructed express ways, roads, bridges and transportation stations.

重点词汇 Key Words:

连 lián

  • v. link, join, connect
    心 be of one mind
    成一片 join together
    起来 be connected;  join.. to…
  • adv. continuously; in succession; one after another
    学四个小时 study for four hours straight
    唱三首歌  sing three songs in a row
  • prep. even
    Even a pupil knows this word.

考虑 kǎo lǜ
consider; think about; consideration

  • v. 她去散步的时候总是有一些事情要考虑
    When she went walking, there were always things to think about.
  • n. 有几个提案正在考虑中。
    Several proposals are under consideration.

优先(权)yōu xiān (quán )
priority; take precedence/have priority

  • 早申请者将获优先考虑。
    Priority will be given to those who apply early.
  • 优先进口先进技术
    receiving priority in importing advanced technology
  • 我有优先权
    I have priority.