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We are trying to solve a minor mystery over at Japanese.SE: I found a multifunction printer/scanner/copier/faxer that had the following instruction label on it.

instructions on a multifunction printer/scanner/copier/faxer device

Curiously, the last two lines are both in Japanese. The first one, 原稿面上向き genkou-men ue-muki, means something like "document face-up"; and the second one, 送信面上向き soushin-men ue-muki, means something like "the side you want to send face-up".

User Earthliŋ's suspicion is that one of these lines was supposed to be in Chinese, perhaps as 原稿面向上. From the perspective of the device manufacturer, that certainly seems reasonable.

On a linguistic basis, though, does that seem plausible? Does either of the two Japanese lines resemble what a Chinese device would use to indicate "face up"?

(Note: my knowledge of Chinese is virtually nil.)

  • 1
    "On a linguistic basis, though, does that seem plausible? Does either of the two Japanese lines resemble what a Chinese device would use to indicate "face up"?": Maybe not would use but could use, since obviously not too much attention has gone into the translation, so it's a bit of a stretch to assume the Chinese translation would be natural. – Earthliŋ Jun 24 '15 at 21:06
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"Face up" in Chinese is 面朝上.

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An example sentence:

Place your card face up on the table, please.

请把你的牌面朝上摊在桌子上。


面向上 is also OK.

enter image description here


From the Japanese alternatives, perhaps the first one would be more intelligible in Chinese, but with 上 at the end of the expression.

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    In addition to this answer, I want to point out 送信 in this context is not intelligible in Chinese (送信 in Chinese has only one meaning, it's a V-O phrase for 'sending/delivering a mail'), so 原稿面向上 is the only possible one that was meant to be Chinese. – NS.X. Jun 24 '15 at 20:46
  • Sure. 送信 is out of context here, but 面上向 would still make a Chinese speaker get the gist of this inscription. – Drunken Master Jun 24 '15 at 20:55
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I think you are correct. In Chinese, we normally use 正面向上. 正面 refers to the side with useful content.

原稿面 and 送信面 are both 正面.

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