Jackie Chan Campus Station

« previous post | next post »

As Language Log readers are well aware, Jackie Chan recently became super famous for the amazing bounciness of his hair and the mystical syllable he proclaimed in self-admiration: "Duang " (3/1/15) and "More on 'duang'"  (3/19). Now we find that he has a bus stop named after him:

(Tweet forwarded courtesy of Michael Rank.)

The big Chinese characters at the top of the schedule say:

Chuānshīdà Chénglóng xiàoqū zhàn 川师大成龙校区站
("Sichuan Normal University Chenglong Campus bus stop")


Chuānshīdà 川师大 is short for Sìchuān shīfàn dàxué 四川师范大学 ("Sichuan Normal University").

Sichuan Normal University has four campuses. "Chenglong Campus" here refers to the one on Chénglóng dàdào 成龙大道 ("Chenglong Avenue").

"Chenglong" (lit., "become dragon") is indeed Jackie Chan's Chinese stage name, but it is unrelated to the name of the avenue on which one of the Sichuan Normal University campuses is located.


  1. julie lee said,

    April 10, 2015 @ 11:53 pm

    . I was delighted to find a Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, California. I'm a fan of the late comedian.

  2. maidhc said,

    April 11, 2015 @ 4:23 am

    According to the 1988 edition of the Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins:

    Normal Schools derive their name from the French phrase ecole normale. These teacher-training institutions, the first of which was established in France by the Brothers of the Christian Schools in 1685, were intended to set a pattern, establish a “norm” after which all other schools would be modeled. The first normal school in America was established in Vermont in 1823. The name fell out of favor toward the end of the 1920s, when the influence of Columbia University’s Teachers College became paramount in the field of public education. Most such institutions changed their names to “teachers colleges” during the 1930s. Now that the “progressive education” teachings of the Columbia group have been discredited, the Progressive Education Association itself has disbanded and most colleges have dropped “teachers” from their names. Thus we find that the normal school of grandfather’s day became a “state teachers college” during father’s youth, but today’s sprouts are attending “state colleges.”

    Is the Chinese use of "Normal University" similar to the historical American usage?

  3. Victor Mair said,

    April 11, 2015 @ 7:38 am


    The shī 师 of shīfàn 师范 ("teacher-training; normal") means "teacher" and the fàn 范 means "model; example; pattern".

    My wife attended a "normal school" (shīfàn xuéxiào 師範學校) in southern Taiwan. It was a teacher training high school, where the students, who were in their teens, were prepared for a career in primary education.

    BTW, there's a town called Normal, Illinois, which was named after the Illinois State Normal University that was located there. The university has since been renamed as Illinois State University, though the town kept its old name.

    I've been on many campuses across the country that used to be "normal schools". They've all since changed their names by dropping the "normal" part. Most of them started out very small, often with only a single teacher and operating in one room on the second floor of a building like Kansas State Normal School, which later changed its name successively to Kansas State Teachers College, then to Emporia Kansas State College, and then to Emporia State University. The University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point had a similar history. What I wonder is whether there are other universities beside Illinois State that are located in towns called "Normal".

  4. Nathan said,

    April 11, 2015 @ 8:10 am

    Wikipedia has three other possibilities, but I haven't done the research.

  5. Ralph Hickok said,

    April 11, 2015 @ 3:14 pm

    There's also an Oblong, Illinois. A legendary (perhaps apocryphal) headline reads:

    Oblong Woman
    Weds Normal Man

  6. julie lee said,

    April 11, 2015 @ 7:40 pm

    Ralph Hickok:
    Thanks, I laughed very hard at "Oblong Woman Weds Normal Man".

  7. Vic said,

    April 12, 2015 @ 10:25 am

    There's a neighborhood of San Diego called Normal Heights. It was named for the San Diego Normal School, which later became San Diego State Teachers College, then San Diego State College, and is now San Diego State University.



  8. julie lee said,

    April 13, 2015 @ 12:34 am


    Taiwan Normal University had that name in the 1950s and still has that name. Its Chinese name was and still is Taiwan Shifan Daxue (literally "Taiwan Teachers-Model University"). In the old days I didn't understand why the English word "Normal" was used. I thought it was a bad translation, due to the Chinese translator's poor English. Turns out the translation was correct, and the ignorance was on my part.

  9. Xenobio said,

    April 21, 2015 @ 7:34 am

    I've recently moved to South Africa and discovered that lorries/trucks carrying large loads that would be labelled as "wide load" or similar in the USA instead here bear flags that say "ABNORMAL".

  10. Jian said,

    April 21, 2015 @ 7:52 am

    Fun fact: there is actually exists a Jackie Chan Science Centre at the Australian National University.
    Citation – http://www.abc.net.au/news/2008-03-09/jackie-chan-opens-science-centre/1067100

RSS feed for comments on this post