"In China we put first the surname and then the first name."
Translation:In Cina mettiamo prima il cognome e poi il nome.
But it doesn't mean before in this context. It means first, which does change.
I have a question I've seen in another example: why not accept "Nella Cina..." here? It has certainly been used with other country names, and I cannot detect a pattern. Thanks.
In without article was used with names of countries, regions and big islands (like regions).
vado in Germania
vado in Toscana
Vado in Sardegna.
But if you have countries in the plural you have to use in + definite article:
Vado negli Stati Uniti. (but: in America)
Vado nei Paesi Bassi. (but: in Olanda)
You also have to use in + definite article if you add another description.
Vado nella bella Germania.
Nella Germania del 16th century....
Nella Germania federale....