Translation:Is the Yangtze longer than the Yellow River?
And what difference does it make where one puts "river" in the response? Ii is understood that we are talking about two rivers in China here.
In Chinese 江 is supposed to be a large river whereas 河 is a river or a watercourse, but 长江 is so famous that it is also known simply as 江.
长江, 6300 km long, is the world's third largest river, while 黄河, 5464 km long, is one of the most important birthplaces of ancient Chinese civilization.
In this question, since Yangtze and Yellow River are both accepted and commonly used names, they should be taken as 'special' capitalized nouns and so is the most accurate translations for 长江 and 黄河 respectively.
But in English, we always say "the Yellow River," never just "the Yellow". That is simply part of the name in English. However, you can say "the Yangtze" or "the Yangtze River." I think the difference is probably because the word "yellow" is of course an ordinary color word in English, so you need to say "Yellow River" when you are talking about the river. However, "Yangtze" in Englosh only refers to that river, so the word "river" can be dropped.
This is petty remarks. What mattets here is the grammar that is quite simple and the "is" does not start the sentence, you're flagged down. That does not make much sense when the understanding is all there. Translating word for word is never a correct /accepted translation. Thete should be more accepted options in this system. The "English" language suffers differences since it is spoken in so many countries...
Agreed with this [deactivate user]. In fact, in English, it's better understood to use the word "River" after the instance of the name of the river, whether it's the Yangtze River or the Yellow (I'm not talking about grammar but the most natural use of this case). If you say to me "Is the Yangtze longer or the Yellow River?", if I don't already know the Yangtze is a river then my natural logical question will be "What's the Yangtze?" It's a lot clearer in ENLGISH to translate "Is the Yangtze River longer or the Yellow?" Then my native ENGLISH brain assumes you're asking about two rivers. This is not about what's understood in Chinese. This is about what makes sense in English.
The yellow river is also important in establishing guilt. When a person cannot prove him or herself innocent, since, historically, the burden of proof fell on the accused, you say "s/he cannot cleanse him/herself of the stain of suspicion, or whatever evidence against that person, even if they jump into the Yellow River", i.e. 跳进黄河都洗不清。.
Both are proper nouns, so you can't assume River from Yellow. In this case River is optional in the name of the Yangtze so you'd use that on Yellow River as there's only one available.
Also in English, generally you'd say one instead when missing out the noun in a comparison.