泉城 (Quan Cheng) - City of Springs
泉城 is another name referring to the city of Jinan, the capital of Shandong Province, which is famous for its many springs. Having lived there for a year, I’m sure part of why I love this name is the fact that it conjures up a sense of nostalgia, but I also love it because I think in Chinese it sounds very poetic and beautiful in an understated way.
In this case, I think the fact that Chinese uses characters makes reading it more powerful. I can’t really explain it, but I feel like in English, “City of Springs” looks/sounds rather empty… If anything, it sounds like a rather lame motto made up by a tourist board. But in Chinese, the combination of these two simple characters feels more expressive - it just feels as though there is more significance woven into the two characters. When I read “泉城,” I can actually picture springs bubbling all over the city, but when I read “City of Springs” its meaning seems hollow to me.
I find it interesting how a particular word or phrase can mean the same thing in two languages, but have more emotive power in one language than the other (especially when that language isn’t even your native tongue).