In Chinese, related region names are often abbreviated. For example, Sino-Japanese is known as 中日 and Sino-African is known as 中非. 

Does anyone know whether there is a corresponding abbreviation for Ponto-Mediterranean (i.e., the Black Sea and the Mediterranean)?

This is carried forward from a conversation on Wiktionary. Since I've been out of China for quite some time, newer terms often elude me.

  • You can create one '黑地' :-p just kidding Feb 5, 2013 at 11:38

2 Answers 2


It seems that in English there is a standard set of words that one can use to form a phrase representing a relationship. I would bet you could figure out Sino-Luna, or Franco-Bovine despite the fact that they are "made up" relationships.

My sense is that this is not the case in Chinese, as the components of the "relationship phrase" loose some of their individual meaning:

Foe example

Russo-Sino: 俄中

Russo: *俄

Sino: *中

You can see that when separated the Chinese terms become meaningless.

I think this is why it is easier to come up with these phrases in English - one can simply interpret each side and process the combined meaning.

In Chinese, unless the phrase is already in common usage - it would be hard to invent in any meaningful way. (As an extreme example, I would assert that no-one would read 法牛 to mean "The relationship between France and Cows" :)

P.s. It doesn't seem like Ponto-Mediterranean is common in English literature either. See ngram.


I've never heard such a combination for (黑海/地中海).

Such combinations can be made up when needed. 中日 is used more often when may not need further explanation. 中 can be also combination with the initial character for other country names to form such combinations (like 中美), as long as you let the reader/listener know which country you're referring to. The full name of country should be already given in previous part of the article.

Other combinations of place names are also possible (like 北上广 for 北京 上海 广州), but not always acceptable.

These kind combination appears more in news articles. Some find their way into daily use, but most of them only appear in news.

NOTE: For Chinese city/province name, the abbreviation is not always the first character, like (沪 for 上海).

  • Good summary. Abbreviations also assume that the public is aware of the places involved. Not sure how many people in China know of 黑海 and 地中海, and know which countries surround these two bodies of water...
    – dda
    Feb 5, 2013 at 4:37

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