What’s In of Chinese Now and How to Express Them in English?
With the wide-spread of website and TV, we can find that many new sentences, words and expressions have sprung up these years, which can be expressed accurately in English. The influence that Chinese made in English is no longer limited in words like “long time no see”. In the following we would like to introduce you several new saying in China recently and its relevant English version.
Example 1: 给力
Maybe this is the most popular word in China this year, no matter what you do, or how old you are may take this word when you want to show the feeling like “cool”, “excellent”, and “it’s great”.
And according to this word, there is its English version “gelivable”, which is indeed created for it. The source of “给力”: It is said to be derived from the Chinese dub version of Japan funny cartoon of the journey to the west – Journey’s End. When they arrived at the Tianzhu, Wukong was disappointed and said: “that’s the Tianzhu? Ungelivable, teacher”. Ungelivable, which means “not so good”, “disappointed”, is the opposite side of gelivable.
Example 2: 神马都是浮云
This means “everything is nothing”, similar to “nothing worth mentioning”. We know there are ups and downs in life, to avoid being too much happy or sad, we have to tell ourselves”everything is nothing”. What we have gotten today may loss tomorrow, what we loss now may come back in future. Nothing is permanent, except the changes. This may also show the living essence of Chinese people, seeking the peace of mind.
Example 3: 一个非常艰难的决定
This means “a very difficult decision” in English. About the origin of this expression, I bet most of netizens still remember the war between the QQ (the widely used chat tool in China) and 360 (popular antivirus software). Tecent QQ published a letter to QQ users, and the most typical sentence is “we made a very difficult decision”, which made users imitating this style and it swept the network in a few hours.
Example 4: 哥抽的不是烟，是寂寞！
English version: What I am smoking is not a cigarette, but loneliness! After this sentence appeared, users created many other similar versions, such as: 哥爱的不是你，是寂寞(what I am loving is not you, but loneliness.). Actually, no one can be survived from feeling lonely. It has nothing to do with your wealth, your relations, or your age. Everybody has a period of being lonely, long or short. So that the Chinese netizens use these words to self-comfort and try to release this low mood.
Example 5: 人生就像茶几，上面摆满了杯具。
We can understand it as “Tableware is to the table what tragedy is to life” or “Life is like a tea table, with bitter cups placed all over it”. “杯具（means cups）” and “悲剧（means tragedy）” shares the same pronunciation of in Chinese. This sentence elegantly applied this coincidence and presents us a fresh feeling.
Example 6: 雷锋做好事不留名，但把每一件事情都记到日记里。
“Lei Feng does good without seeking recognition, but he records everything in his diary” is the English version. No one is unfamiliar with Lei Feng in China from the young to the old. I can still remember that when I was a kid in primary school, our teacher told us to learn from Lei Feng to help other and never asked for return. Today is March 5, the festival of publicly learn from Lei Feng in China. He was the one who donated his life to the public, to the society and never asked anything for himself. We only know his spirit and the good he did from his dairy. However, people also doubt why Lei Feng recorded everything in his diary. Thus comes this saying. We can treat it as the talk for killing the boring time. Anyway, it’s just kidding because Lei Feng is indeed a good person who deserves us to learn from. So who are you going to help on March 5? Will you write down what good you do in diary? Maybe it will be faster and more widely-spread if you write in blog. LOL.
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