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呵呵” in Chinese VS “interesting” in English

呵呵.png

 

"呵呵" (hē hē), a mimetic word of happy laugh or smile originally, has been voted as the word that hurts people the most in online chatting.

“呵呵”,原指笑或微笑和开心的笑,是笑声的拟声词被大陆网友评为最伤人聊天词汇,没有之一。

 

"The laugh implies an underlying meaning that you will never understand". Cyber users have summarized its only function: "to irritate the other people most effectively and throw cold water on their enthusiasm".

“笑声里含义深刻,不显山不露水,让你琢磨不透。”网友形容这个词只有一个用处:以最大效果激怒对方,践踏对方全部热情。

 

In fact, "interesting" in English has the same function.

其实,英语中常说的“interesting”也有异曲同工之妙:

 

According to the Cambridge International Dictionary of English, "interesting" means "holding one's attention". Thus, when a native English-speaker says "It's interesting" or "That's an interesting idea", we always tend to think it is a consent or compliment.

英语单词interesting,根据权威的剑桥英语词典,意思是:引人注意 (holding one's attention)。汉语通常译为“有趣的”,所以听到美国人说“It's interesting” (很有趣) 或“That's an interesting idea” (有趣的想法),中国人一般都理解为赞同或夸奖。

 

However, it's not always the case. The context is everything.

但是,实际上,interesting,并不总是一个褒义词,具体情况具体分析。

 

If "It's interesting" or "That's an interesting idea" is followed by the speaker's eagerness for more details, or the speaker's willingness to continue the topic, it is really a consent and compliment. But if the speaker turns to another topic, it implies his/her disagreement, and is equivalent to "那可是个奇葩想法" (It sounds weird) in Chinese. "奇葩" (qí pā) here means "weird" or "unbelievable".

如果在说了“It's interesting”或者“That's an interesting idea”之后,显出“愿听详情”的样子,或者顺着话题分享同感,那表示闻者确实是真有兴趣,很是赞同。但如果下文是转换话题,迂回敲击,那便表明,闻者并不赞同。 “That's an interesting idea”相当于汉语的“那可是个奇葩想法”。大家都知道,这里,奇葩的含义是怪异、离奇、不可思议。

 

In most cases, an English-speaker will reply to you politely with "It's interesting", if he or she shows no interest in what you said but don't want to let you down abruptly.

多数情况是,英美人对你所说的东西没有兴趣,但又不愿直白地让你扫兴,于是,便会用“It's interesting.”礼貌性的回应。

 

In online chatting, when a Chinese netizen disagrees with the others' words or don't know what to say about something, he or she will use "呵呵" as a perfunctory reply, which is the same with "interesting" by the native English-speakers.

在网路聊天时,若想表示不满或者不知道该说什么,有网民会用“呵呵”应急敷衍。所以,在客套敷衍时,英美人用“interesting”词句,相当于中国网民用“呵呵”。

 

Some netizens even said, "(We) hate those who always say '呵呵' the most. If they are strangers or colleagues, it doesn't matter. But if they are your classmates or e-pals, stay away from him or her as soon as possible, cuz they regard you as nothing more than a stranger."

甚至有的网民说道,“最讨厌的就是“呵呵”的人,如果是陌生人或者工作关系倒无可厚非,但如果是你的同学或网友,还是尽量远离他/她吧,因为他/她的心里已经把你判定为比陌生人还陌生的人了。”

 

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2016-06-21

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