I saw the road sign photographed below, but I'm confused about how 天津图书馆园区馆 (tiān jīn tú shū guǎn yuán qū guǎn) makes sense.

I'm mostly familiar with the components:

  • 天津 = Tianjin, the city I live in.
  • 图书馆 = library
  • usually refers to a park
  • = district (what we would call a suburb in Australia)
  • = ???

I don't recall seeing 馆 by itself before (always part of something else: 宾馆 (hotel), 博物馆 (museum), 体育馆 (gym), etc.), so I'm surprised as to what it's doing here. This contributes to my confusion.

I'm also unsure of how to piece these together.

Question: How do I parse 天津图书馆园区馆?

天津图书馆园区馆 (along with the pinyin) on a road sign

  • If 天津图书馆 refers to a public library, it may have several branch public libraries and 天津图书馆园区馆 might refer to one such branch
    – user6065
    Commented Jun 18, 2017 at 11:57
  • 1
    园区 is a common word in Chinese, e.g.: 天津双港科技产业园区 is an industrial park, 上海张江高科技园区 is a high tech park, etc. So, 园区馆 here is a branch in some nearby park. This is a Chinese style name for a branch of a museum, library, store, restaurant, etc. Generally, we speak "某某分馆" or "某某分店" (the branch in some place), but sometimes the word "分" (branch) is omitted.
    – xenophōn
    Commented Jun 19, 2017 at 10:33

1 Answer 1


Yes this is confusing. If you search it you'll find the (complete) name should be 天津图书馆海河教育园区图书馆.

(天津)海河教育园区 (Tianjin Haihe Education Park) is used for specifying the location of the branch library here. Note that 园区 is usually used as a term, which means "集中发展某种事业的地区" (key development area for some kind of enterprise).

I guess that the name 天津图书馆海河教育园区图书馆 is just too long to write on the road sign so it's shorted.

At last to answer your question directly the sentence should be parsed as

  • 天津 = Tianjin, the city you live in.
  • 图书馆 = library
  • (海河教育)园区 = (Haihe education) park
  • 馆 = branch library
  • reason for shortening:cf.CCG Ch.25 Abbreviations and omissions. "A highly significant feature of C sentence and discourse structure is the avoidance of repetition wherever possible. sentences are abbreviated and words omitted where context and co-text make the meaning clear...."
    – user6065
    Commented Jun 19, 2017 at 6:07

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