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From Manchu ᡥᠠᡵᠪᡳᠨ (harbin, literally drying fishnets)- in the late 19th century, the area was a fishing village.


  • enPR: härʹbĭn, härʹbēnʹ

Proper noun[edit]


  1. A prefecture-level city and subprovincial city, the provincial capital of Heilongjiang, in northeastern China.
    • 1899 July 29, H. E. Rood, “American Locomotives in Siberia”, in Harper's Weekly[1], volume XLIII, number 2223, page 749:
      The headquarters of the Chinese-Eastern road is at Harbin, a town situated at about the centre of northern China, and there located for the purpose of administering the affairs of the railway.
    • 1904, Charles Daniel Tenney, Geography of Asia[2], Macmillan and Co., OCLC 182639088, page 23:
      Manchuria is crossed by the Chinese Eastern Railway (the Russian Trans-Siberian Railway), which enters the Hei-lung-chiang Province from the north-west and divides at Harbin (哈爾賓[sic – meaning 哈爾濱]) in the Chi-lin Province, one branch going to Vladivostock (海参威) and the other to Dalny and Port Arthur.
    • The Russians of Manchuria, who had built Harbin forty-five years ago, were now invited to clear the stage and to do it quickly. Restrictions on all possible jobs and professions soon narrowed their means of earning to almost nothing.
    • 1958, The Inn of the Sixth Happiness[4], OCLC 732947584, 20:02 from the start:
      English spoken.
      Can you tell me what is happening?
      We arrive to the village Yurga. You must disbark[sic – meaning disembark].
      No, I have a ticket to Harbin.
      Harbin across border of China. There is argument.
      Well I'll go as far as I can. Thank you just the same.
    • 1982, The Official Guidebook of China[5], Beijing: China Travel and Tourism Press, →ISBN, pages 185-186:
      Harbin is the capital of the Heilongjiang Province (Heilungkiang Province). Situated in the middle reaches of the Songhua Jiang (Sunghua River), it is a busy river port. As railways and highways converge at Harbin, it is also an important hub of communication.
      Harbin used to be a fishing village and its name, in Manchu dialect, means drying fishnets. Unlike most of China, it has a very short history. Harbin was incorporated as a town in 1898.
    • 2020 July 4, “Obituary Li Zhensheng”, in The Economist[6], volume 436, number 9201, ISSN 0013-0613, OCLC 781372551, page 82:
      A cohort of male swimmers, bare torsos shining, lined up to recite from Mao's Little Red Book before plunging into the Songhua river, in Harbin, to commemorate the Great Leader's swim in the Yangzi. A crowd gathered with banners in Harbin's main square for a speech about "Learning and Applying Mao Zedong Thought", a crowd so vast that the had taken several shots and would splice them together with backing tape. []
      He wavered only when he saw the monks at Harbin's ransacked Buddhist temple holding a banner which read: "To hell with the Buddhist scriptures. They are full of dog farts."
    • For more quotations using this term, see Citations:Harbin.


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