Some people think we should ban the foreign names of some places.
The reasons are as follow.
1. The Chinese names of the places have cultural and historical meanings but English names have no meanings at all.
2. Because of the supply-dominated nature of the Chinese real estate market, people don’t really have a choice when they come across a property they want to buy but which has a name they don’t like. Only by using the government’s power to battle developers can we solve this problem.
The Henan provincial government struck a *chord nationally when it released a new regulation last week banning the use of foreign names for naming places and buildings in the province. In particular, the ban applies to new residential *compounds, hotels and shopping *malls. The regulation quickly drew praise from Internet users nationwide, which shows the problem is much more widely spread than just in the province.
Indeed, the real estate industry has seen more than its fair share of *nonsensical foreign names in recent years. In order to appeal to certain consumers, developers have *racked their brains to find all sorts of foreign names to name their properties – from geographical names such as “Versailles”, “Cannes” or “Venice”, to famous people names such as “Beethoven”, “Picasso” or “Lincoln”, or even known *acronyms such as “Soho” or “Moma”. While many welcome the introduction of a “romantic” foreign element into the properties they buy, often for steep prices, others have complained that such naming practices are confusing, disrespectful, even *vulgar.
But popular as the new Henan ban may seem to some, there are also many *opponents who say that the government *overstepped the *boundaries of its power by banning something that is distasteful at worst, but certainly not illegal or even *unethical. It is yet another example of the government arbitrarily using its power to *outlaw things that officials don’t like, according to some commentators.
There are already national laws banning the use of foreign names in public places, such as for roads, squares, and natural scenery. But when it comes to private property such as residential buildings and hotels, the government shouldn’t *intervene, some legal *scholars have pointed out.
So, what’s your opinion? Was it right for Henan to issue the ban?
There is nothing wrong with using foreign names in China.
1. Cultural taste is a matter of choice. A decision by a few scholars or government officials on what is good and what is bad taste does not hold true for the whole population. Real estate developers use many foreign names because their consumers prefer it this way. In this case, the government has definitely overstepped the boundaries of its power.
2. China has never been so open to the world, and China is having an *unprecedented amount of *interaction with foreign countries. Therefore it is natural for China to absorb foreign cultural elements into its own culture, and using foreign names for Chinese places is one aspect of that.