How to Say “pedestrian” in Chinese

The following photo was taken close to a pedestrian crossing in Taiwan. The sign in the photo shows a good example of how the word ‘pedestrian’ might be used, and asks for people not to park their vehicles here as to let people pass.

行人

Pinyin: xíng rén
English: pedestrian
Notes: The character 行 here means to “walk” and while it is itself a Chinese radical (行), it also contains the 彳 radical which means “step”.

How to say pedestrian in Chinese 行人

The sign reads:

請勿停車,行人通道(请勿停车,行人通道 qǐng wù tíngchē, xíngrén tōngdào)
No Parking (please), pedestrian thoroughfare

It’s not evident in the photo but the sign was actually working – without it, the corner of the street would have been completely blocked with scooters, essentially trapping pedestrians in.

Here’s the rest of the words from the example:

請(请)

Pinyin: qǐng
English: please

Pinyin:
English: do not

停車(停车)

Pinyin: tíng chē
English: to park. Literally “stop vehicle”

通道

Pinyin: tōng dào
English: passageway; thoroughfare
Notes: Just like 行 uses the 彳 radical for “walk”, both 通 and 道 also use a radical that means “walk” – the 辵 radical (in one of its variations) which actually does look a bit like a foot.

5 responses to “How to Say “pedestrian” in Chinese

  1. I love that character. When I returned to the US after my first year of study in China, I laughed out loud when I saw the “PED XING” signs at crosswalks. “When did they start putting Pinyin on American signs” I wondered. I loved it that the meaning of X-ing (crossing)and Xing (go or move) converged. Either way, the sign had meaning. Thanks for posting this.

    1. Hi Tseng Liao, thanks for the comment, you are right. Though both sentences 行人通道,請勿停車 and 請勿停車,行人通道 are both fine and the meaning remains the same.

  2. Surely it would be more conventional to read that the other way round – from the right-hand column first: 行人通道 請勿停車 (left to right here).

Comments are closed.