Category Archives: china

F*ck goods in china!

mistranslation of 'Gan' - chinese for 'Dry' and also 'Fuck'.

No, this isn’t an article advocating a more protectionaist policy regarding imports of goods from the PRC…

A friend pointed me to this article recently which gives a good explanation of one of the more infamous Chinese mistranslations.

(Spoiler : it boils down to the chinese symbol for ‘dry’ also meaning ‘fuck’ in certain contexts. contexts not well understood by translation software…)

The article is a nice crossroads between my interests of the Chinese language, profanity and technology. The content is a bit dry but some of the other translations might raise a smile.

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“Of course there they’d just call it food”

The first thing to mention about any visit to China, or any conversation with a Chinese person is that there is a national obsession with food (thats from my personal experience, maybe all the Chinese people I met just happened to be foodies but I have a feeling its a common Chinese trait) . The Chinese aren’t unique in this as a nation but the sheer diversity, omnipresence and oddness (compared to our comparatively parochial western European food) make their love of food stand out.

Below are some things about food in China I am no longer ignorant about. Continue reading

Chinaland!

Those that know me have already been bored with me wittering on about how I loved my vacation in China a couple of months ago. They smiled politely as I spoke of the people I met, stared blankly as I talked about the language, ignored me as I regaled them on the architecture and violently punched me in the throat as I droned on about the economy.

But why just enthrall them, why not entertain the literally ones of people that read this blog too? I’m going to be posting, over the next couple of weeks entries on places and things I’d recommend in Shanghai and HangZhou, my experiences learning Mandarin over there and Mandarin House school in particular and a last entry about the overall impression I got from the people and the culture.