Sunday, January 04, 2009

2009 - year of many anniversaries

Happy New Year to all my dear and loyal Chinglish readers!

What better way to start 2009 by taking a look at this Chinglish beauty, shot on the way to Tian'anmen Square.

Until the late 70s China's underlying number one 主义 zhu3yi4 had been Marxism or some garbled form of it. We can also agree on that the other big 主义 has ruled the country ever since, Capitalism. No matter how many times Politburo leaders mention "socialism with Chinese characteristics" in their new year's eve speeches ...

Keep in mind, though, that a 主义 per se is just an "-ism".

Many people in China are left behind by the new C-ism, and many people are again longing for the older days of M-ism-ruled China.

So why not advocate a new version of it, for example, a "fragrant and hot" one?
xiang1 香 fragrant
la4 辣 hot

For me the most revealing aspect about this sign is that the noodle shop owner naturally thinks of Marxism when translating 主义.

Next time, I'll try their soup.

Many thanks, WR!