Red intestines

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Tweet from Igor Denisov:

красная площадь ("Red Square")

Red Square

hóng cháng 红肠 ("intestines") — should be Hóng chǎng 红场 ("Red Square")

Red to the core!

[h.t. Jichang Lulu]


  1. Jonathan Smith said,

    September 13, 2017 @ 3:29 pm

    Cuz pinyin input apparently… at least, google pinyin input (mine, currently) ranks hong2chang2 红肠 'some kinna sausage' above hong2chang3 红肠 'red square' given "hongchang"…

  2. Jonathan Smith said,

    September 13, 2017 @ 3:32 pm

    And clearly I have underestimated its powers :D *红场

  3. Eidolon said,

    September 13, 2017 @ 6:12 pm

    Presuming this is a lost in translation from Russian to Chinese, what should it be called? Rhinese?

    But perhaps it's better, in reference to Jonathan Smith above, to call it Googlish:

  4. Jichang Lulu said,

    September 13, 2017 @ 7:37 pm

    …though the 'Red' part is also arguably lost in translation. And the nearby Kitay-gorod (sometimes translated 中国城 Zhōngguó chéng) isn't generally thought to refer to China (Китай Kitay)…

  5. Keith said,

    September 14, 2017 @ 4:21 am

    Are you referring to the earlier meaning of красный being beautiful, nowadays красивый?

    Is there a character pronounced hong with a similar meaning?

  6. Jichang Lulu said,

    September 14, 2017 @ 7:03 am


    Yes, I am referring to красный, which I understand doesn't mean 'red' in the name of the Square. Can't thing of a way to make hong mean ‘beautiful’ (of course the colour has auspicious connotations predating Communism), although 宏 and other characters pronounced hóng that can mean 'grand' come to mind.

  7. Anonymous Coward said,

    September 14, 2017 @ 9:58 am

    The best thing is that 红肠 hóngcháng in Chinese means Harbin-style smoked European sausages, which is, like other Harbin food like kvas or hleb, strongly associated with (Imperial) Russia.

  8. BZ said,

    September 14, 2017 @ 11:02 am

    I grew up in Russia and was sure that the "red" in "red square" referred to the color representing the Communist regime. On the other hand, the "square" part still makes me uncomfortable. To me, the word "площадь" strongly evokes a circular shape, whereas "square" strongly implies, well, a square shape. I'd prefer something like "Red Plaza" for a shape-neutral translation, but nobody asked me. Never mind that the Red Square is in fact a rectangle.

  9. Thomas Rees said,

    September 14, 2017 @ 4:08 pm

    Roter Plata; Plaza Roja; Place Rouge; Piazza Rossa. In English-speaking countries, a 'square' isn't necessarily quadrate: Trafalgar Square is a sort of pentagon and Times Square is two isosceles triangles set apex to apex like a pair of Flatland proletarians.

  10. Jichang Lulu said,

    September 14, 2017 @ 4:33 pm

    I'm not an expert on square etymologies, but I don't think the idea that that красный means 'beautiful' isn't new or unusual; at any rate the name predates Communism. Cursory googling 'why is the Red Sq. called red' in Russian turns up plenty of sources saying it most likely means 'beautiful'.

    The Great Soviet Encyclopaedia, hardly an obscure or anti-Soviet work, plainly says it means 'beautiful'. I checked some of the other dictionaries on and found the 'beautiful' meaning everywhere, without a single reference to the colour.

  11. Jichang Lulu said,

    September 14, 2017 @ 4:53 pm

    I don't see a need for squares to be square either, or any propensity for площади to be round. Aren't quite a few of them rectangular? If there is any geometric requirement on a площадь, I'd say it has to be flat (плоская)?

    Needless to say, a square, or other rectangle, is just a circle in a (weighted) Chebyshev metric; so there's no big disagreement here.

  12. BZ said,

    September 18, 2017 @ 8:15 am

    I'm not saying anybody's wrong about what "krasnaya" in "red square" means, just what I thought while living in Russia. The "beautiful" meaning, in general, though archaic, is well attested in folk sings and poetry, and the current word for "beautiful" has the same root. As for "площадь" being round, maybe it's specific to St. Petersburg where the площади I knew were all circular.

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