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Coined Chinglish about China by Foreign media

chinese words, chinese phrases, chinglish

 

Coined words are springing up with the rapid social development in China. Moreover, as China gets more and more attention globally, the foreign media translate some Chinese words into English literally, and even create new English words specially for China.

随着中国社会的快速发展,新的词语不断涌现。另一方面,随着中国在全球范围内受到越来越多的关注,国外媒体将这些新词语直译成英文,甚至为中国量身定制英文新词。

 

Airpocalypse|空气末日

 

Dec. 21, 2012 was dubbed the doomsday or apocalypse. Although it didn't come true finally, Beijing suffered the severe haze one month later, and then the word "airpocalypse" was evolved from "apocalypse".

2012年12月21日曾被戏称为世界末日,虽然世界末日并未来临,但一个月后,北京却遭遇严重的雾霾污染,"空气末日"(airpocalypse)一词应运而生。这个新词由表示"世界末日"的 apocalypse 演化而来。

 

"Airpocalypse" is not the only word created by the foreign media about China's air pollution. In contrast, "Beijing Cough (北京咳)" is better known. It was even described in a travel guide, Culture Shock: Beijing at Your Door, "It's a sporadic, dry cough or tickle in the throat that lasts from December through April."

"末日空气"并不是外媒为描述中国的空气污染而编出来的唯一词汇,相比而言,"Beijing Cough"(北京咳)更为有名。这个词还被白纸黑字的写进了旅游攻略,《Culture Shock!Beijing at Your Door》一书介绍称:"北京咳"指不定时发生的干咳或是喉咙瘙痒,从12月份持续到4月份。

 

Straight Man Cancer|直男癌

 

The foreign media have learned the latest Chinese saying for "male chauvinist pig", "直男癌" (zhí nán ái), and translated it into "straight man cancer" literally.

一众国外媒体集体学习了中国人对大男子主义的最新叫法"straight man cancer"。如此耿直地逐字翻译后,英媒还给出了一个意译:male chauvinist pig。

 

Peking Pound|北京磅

 

Shocked by the consumption power of Chinese visitors, the British media created a new word "Peking Pound" (北京磅), pounds spent by the Chinese people. It said in Daily Mail in 2010 that "the booming 'Peking Pound' has accounted for almost a third of post-Christmas purchases of high end goods such as Burberry, Mulberry, Louis Vuitton and Gucci".

由于中国顾客消费能力很强,英国媒体基于"英镑"的概念创造了一个新名词———"北京镑",即为中国人所花的英镑。英国《每日邮报》称,"北京镑"所消费的 Burberry、LV、Gucci 等大牌奢侈品预计将占整个奢侈品行业销售额的三分之一。

 

Chinawood|中国坞

 

"Chinawood" was first used by Indians. They thought the Chinese movie industry still could not live up to the due expectations, although the Chinese government made huge investments to support its development.

"Chinawood"这个词其实是印度人最先使用的,他们认为,中国政府大力支持电影业,对其投入了大量资金,然而,即使政府和电影业共同努力,中国电影仍无法取得所期望的那种成功。

 

This word was soon adopted by the US media. The Wall Street Journal commented on Chinawood this way, "Chinese filmmakers have found a formula of movie-making–with high-quality productions, exotic settings, gorgeously choreographed action and universal themes–that sell equally well in Boston and Beijing."

很快,这个词也开始被美国媒体采用。《华尔街日报》对"Chinawood"这一模式作出了这样的评价:中国电影制片商已经找到了一套电影生产模式——配以高品质的作品、充满异国风情的布景、眼花缭乱的动作和四海皆宜的主题,并生产出在波士顿和北京一样畅销的影片。

 

Rotten Women|腐女

 

Admirations for Sherlock and Watson by Chinese "腐女" (fǔ nǚ) get warm response in the UK. BBC reported "腐女" in detail and translated it literally into "rotten women", young women who like gay stories. Moreover, it translated the classic post by Chinese fans, "虐我千百遍,待你如初恋", literally into "Sherlock tortures Watson a thousand times and Watson loves him like his first love".

中国腐女们对卷福和华生的意淫早已传回了他们的英国老家,BBC 大篇幅报道了中国的"rotten women"现象,甚至还贴心地翻译了腐女圈那句经典的"虐我千百遍,待你如初恋"——Sherlock tortures Watson a thousand times and Watson loves him like his first love.

 

Leading Dragon|领头龙

 

In 2001, BBC used "leading dragon" (领头龙), a quite uncommon word in English, to describe the role of China's economy in the world. The article China, the 'leading dragon' of the world economy reads, "Whether we are on the verge of an "Asian Century" or not, one thing is clear: there has already been a dramatic shift in the geographic centre of the global economy. China is now front and centre…"

2011年,BBC 特意用了一个在英语中极不常见的词汇"leading dragon"(领头龙)来表述中国经济在全球的地位。 这篇题为《中国,世界经济领头龙》的文章说,无论我们是否即将迎来"亚洲世纪",有一件事很明显:全球经济的地理中心已经显著地发生了转移。如今,中国处于前沿和中心位置。

 

Naked Phenomenon|裸现象

 

"裸婚" (naked marriage), "裸考" (naked exam), "裸辞" (naked resignation)… Various "naked phenomena" in China are surely appealing to the foreign media. However, the Christian Science Monitor has said in its report, "The headlines of the articles attract a lot of readers, but they turn out to be appointments – the stories had nothing to do with nudity." "裸婚" refers to couples getting hitched even though the groom brings no apartment or car to the relationship, as is traditional. "裸考" means taking an exam without preparation, or making a "naked return" to China after studying abroad, without specific career plan. "Naked resignation" refers to those quitting their jobs before finding a new one – now a growing habit among the urban white-collar workers.

"裸婚""裸考""裸辞"……具有中国社会特色的各种"裸"现象,自然会吸引大量外媒的关注。美国《基督教箴言报》的报道开头就提醒读者们称,"这些有'裸'字的新闻标题吸引了大量读者,我希望当你点击阅读之后不会失望地发现,内容其实跟不穿衣服毫无关系。"

 

Leftover Women|剩女

 

"Leftover women" was invented by the New York Times when it reported the phenomenon of "剩女" in China, which is a term made popular by the All-China Women's Federation that classifies women who remain unmarried in their late twenties and beyond. "Leftover" means "food that has not been finished at a meal". It is used here, which anyhow shows derogation.

美国媒体在报道"剩女"这一现象时,发明了"leftover women"这个新词。要知道,"leftover"的本意是剩饭剩菜的意思,这种译法实在是恶意满满。

 

Budget Husband|经济适用男 


The word "budget husband" originates from the word "budget housing" (经济适用房), government subsidized public housing for the low-income households. "Budget husband" refers to the single man who is employed in a field with low risk of being unemployed or laid off, such as education and engineering. The Atlantic created the word "budget wife" (经济适用女) accordingly, which is the female counterpart of "budget husband". A budget wife must have the following features:

"经济适用男"源于"经济适用房"——政府为低收入家庭提供的公共保障房。"经济适用男"指下岗风险低的职员,如教育和工程类职业。《大西洋日报》还顺势延伸出了"经济适用女"。"经济适用女"得具备以下特征:

 

Between 5'2" and 5'8"

Weight between 100 and 120 pounds

Have tresses

Be warm and mild in personality

Have B- to C-cup size breasts

Not be a "gold digger"

Not be a flirt

Be a little horny

Earn between roughly $500-$1000 per month

Have a BA or above

Know how to cook and wash clothes

Be responsible and sympathetic

Speak appropriately

Be educated and reasonable

 

Square Dancing|广场舞

 

"Square dancing" is not a new word. It was a ballroom dance in Britain as early as in the 17th century. However, when you see the word in the foreign media today, it refers to dancing by Chinese grannies – tens of millions of elder women gather in public places to dance for exercise.

"Square Dancing"这个词其实并不是什么新词,在17世纪,它是英国的一种交谊舞,男女两两对跳。但到了今天,当你在外媒标题上看到这个词时,他们围观的多半是无所不能的中国广场舞大妈。


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2016-06-21

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