Linguistic Puzzle #1

The puzzle was taken from the book “Problems from Linguistics Olympiads, 1965-1975”, editors: by V.I.Belikov, E.V.Muravenko, and M.E.Alekseev, MCNMO - Moscow, 2007. The puzzle was adopted and translated from Russian by the Society of Physics Students.

The puzzle is purely logical, and no prior knowledge of Chinese is required to solve it, although some understanding of the structure of Chinese language may help. Please do not search for the translations or solutions - you will miss out on the best part of solving puzzles. The solution to this puzzle will be published in the next Ad Astra issue. Good luck!

Below is a list with geographical names in Chinese and their translations to English in arbitrary order.

List of Chinese characters

Nanjing, Paris, Shanxi, Tian Shan, Paraguay, Tianjin, Beijing, Shanghai,Shandong, Mexico, Arctic Ocean.

Question 1. Match the above geographical names with their translations.
Question 2. Try to understand the meaning of character .

Please send us your solutions to, use "linguistic puzzle Ad Astra Newsletter, 2020/1" as the subject line.