arranged in staggered rows / arrangés en quinconce


Senior Member
Hello all,

how to say in Chinese to arranged in staggered rows (FR: arrangés en quinconce)?
You can find a picture of what are staggered rows; this arrangement was originally used by the Roman army and is used nowadays in daily life for gardening or cooking (several cakes on the same tray), the goal is to get the maximal distance between the elements for a defined density.

My best shot:
The apple trees are planted in staggered rows: 书种了错列。

Thanks in advance!


  • Lamb67

    Senior Member
    蜂窝状,honeycomb shape is more common to my Chinese ear for this.
    pingyin:feng2 wo2 zhuang4

    交错或者交叉排列 may fit the original English translation, but they could cause confusion sometimes and the 'honeycomb' would delivery the simliar meaning without fail.

    点阵 is probaly a literal translation for the Roman battle formation and sounds a bit technical, while 网状 is more common in speech.

    苹果树,椅子和蛋糕都可以说网状排列。However if you want to emphasize the maximum distance between dots, 点阵 with its technical preciseness is the best choice here. In short,交错或者交叉排列 gives you 3 dimension pictures rather than plain dots or fishing nets etc.

    For a bit more elegant or poetical way of translation: 错落有致地排列.(You have to compromise the preciseness although literally speaking it should not be ! The thing is to give you an idea rather any details as it happens to poetry.)

    Just note that you will give a sort of speech so I would suggest 'honeycomb' version because that is more colloquial and more natural.

    Hopefully the southern Chinese would accept it just as well as the northern Chinese.As you probaly know that the Chinese is not as precise as their counterparts in the West in cooking anyway.

    At last but not the least, 菱形 最佳!eu·re·ka ! It is applicable to the all mentioned situations too and conveys the exact image that you provided above.
    Edit: After a bit of googling I got the following:骰子5点状 the five point dice shape.骰子,亦作色子。
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    Chinese - China
    But honeycomb shape consists of hexagons and the staggered rows consists of squares (if you link the nearest dots). I think it's not equivalent. :)Iwould also suggest"树交错排列".


    Senior Member
    I admit I've just seen a picture of honeycomb display, and i think Lamb is right it might fit. The difference is in the staggered rows, there is a longer distance for any random dot and his two neighbours of the same row than the distance with the same dot and the dots in diagonal. Difference in length which is absent for the honeycomb, any random dot is at exactly the same distance to any neighbour dots, including the neighbours of the same row.

    I keep both of your suggestions, I will use them and check the audience reaction.

    By the way, if 苹果树交错排列 translates The apple trees are planted in staggered rows, how to translate The chairs of the audience are arranged in staggered rows and the cakes are arranged in straggered rows on each baking tray?

    Thanks in advance!


    Senior Member
    Chinese Cantonese
    In the army, the commander instructs a group of soldiers to spread out to form the mentioned formation. He would say "错列排开".

    To arrange things in stagger formation. You may say "请错列摆放".

    Having said that, this is not an easy word in my country. Another simpler way of putting it will be 按前后交替摆放。


    Senior Member
    Chinese Cantonese
    Were the Chinese armies also used to such battle formation in the Antiquity?
    I can't say for "the Chinese armies" and definitely not in the same scale as the given picture, but the "one up" (^) and "two up" (v) formations are common battle formations adopted worldwide depending on the given mission. :)

    We are digressing.
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