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Chinese character ‘duang’ takes China’s internet by storm

duang.jpg

The character "duang" is so new that it does not even exist in the Chinese dictionary. But it has already spread like wildfire online in China, appearing more than 8 million times on China's micro-blogging site Weibo, where it spawned a top-trending hashtag that drew 312,000 discussions among 15,000 users. On China's biggest online search engine Baidu, it has been looked up almost 600,000 times. It's been noticed in the West too, with Foreign Policy seeing it as a "break the internet" viral meme – like a certain Kim Kardashian image, or a certain multicoloured dress.

duang是个新造词,甚至在中文字典里都不存在,但却已经如同野火燎原版在中国网络上迅速流行起来,在微博上出现了800万次以上,成为时下最热门的话题标签,吸引了15000名用户的312000次的讨论。在中国最大的线上搜索引擎百度上,它被查询了60万次。与此同时也引起了西方世界的关注,将其视为"打破互联网"的病毒式基因——就好像金卡戴珊或者一条搞不清颜色的裙子一样。


But what does it mean?

但它到底是个什么意思?

"Everyone's duang-ing and I still don't know what it means! Looks like it's back to school for me," said Weibo user Weileiweito.

"每个人都在duang来duang去的但是我还是不知道它到底啥意思!感觉好像回到读书的时候一样"微博用户Weileiweito说。

Another user asked: "Have you duang-ed today? My mind is full of duang duang duang."

另外一个用户问道:"今天你的duang了吗?我整个人都duang duang duang了。"

"To duang or not to duang, that is the question," wrote user BaiKut automan.

"duang还是不duang,这是个问题",微博用户BaiKut automan写道。

"Duang" seems to be an example of onomatopoeia, a word that phonetically imitates a sound. It all seems to have started with Hong Kong action star Jackie Chan, who in 2004 was featured in a shampoo commercial where he said famously defended his sleek, black hair using the rhythmical-sounding "duang". The word resurfaced again recently after Chan posted it on his Weibo page. Thousands of users then began to flood Chan's Weibo page with comments, coining the word in reference to his infamous shampoo appearance.

duang似乎是一个拟声词例,用来模仿一种声音。他始于香港武打明星成龙在2004年拍摄的一个洗发水广告。在里面他一边为自己顺滑的黑发边界一边发出了"duang"的声音。当他把这个视频转发到微博上后,这个词最近又重新浮出水面。成千上万的用户开始涌向成龙的微博发评论,对着他臭名昭著的广告形象duang个不停。

The word appears to have many different meanings, and there's no perfect translation, but you could use it as an adjective to give emphasis to the word that follows it. A kitten might be "duang cute", for example. Or you might be "very duang confused" by this blog.

这个词可以有很多不同的意思,没有确切的翻译。但你可以把他当一个形容词来用,来强调它后面的词。举个例子,kitty猫可以是"duang 好萌!",或者你可能被这篇文章搞得"duang 晕死了!" 

For readers of Chinese characters, the Jackie Chan theme is also apparent from the quirky way in which the word is written: a combination of Chan's Mandarin names.

对于看得懂汉字的人来说,也很容易从这个词诡异的书写方式上看出成龙来。因为它就是由成龙的中文名字合起来的。

2016-06-21

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