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!

25Comments:

At 2:13 PM, Anonymous LS wrote ...

Sharp comment, Oliver; hot as well,:)

 
At 7:32 AM, Anonymous 祺乐小栈 快乐玩意 wrote ...

it's great. I have posted my viewpoint on this case.
Funny, um, but instructive.

support you!

 
At 4:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote ...

其实会出现大量令人回味无穷的Chinglish的原因在于,首先,汉语是“孤立语”,构词能力强,表达灵活,英语的一些词的意思在汉语里面可以用很多不同的中文方式表达,所以就会出现有很多在中文看来很自然的用法,在英语这个对语言格式要求很“严格”的“屈折语”中显得意思模糊了;来比较一下东亚其他语言,如果是日语或者韩语,那就会干脆借用音译来造词了,然后混合各自的语法规则来表达。而欧洲语言相互借鉴其实格式是差不多的,也就不会有太多表达上的不同。其次,英语作为国际交流的第一大语言,他本身也越来越“孤立语”了,丧失了很多“屈折”成分——比其他欧洲语言灵活多了,所以中国人用起来还算顺手,所以也就比着箍箍买鸭蛋搬过来用了(如果是德语,估计中国人可能会用得更严谨,也不太容易出那么多chin-deutsch)。我想如果汉语没有太多的字要记,太多音调去辨别,那么汉语应该比英语更好用。


建议博主从语言学的角度更好地理解Chinglish的渊源。

从博主的身上也能看出德国人学习英语的热情啊,不像法国人对自己的语言满心自豪而稍显保守...呵呵。

 
At 11:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote ...

How about simply "Spicyism"?

 
At 10:29 PM, Blogger olr — 纪韶融 wrote ...

China's new political agenda: Spicyism. Like that!

 
At 4:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote ...

How about "Spicy & Tasty" or even "Hotty & Tasty". "Hotty" may also reflect some Chinese accent. 香 in Chinese is not on "fragrance" when we talk about food, it is on the taste.

 
At 8:08 AM, Blogger olr — 纪韶融 wrote ...

Hotty 不行,太像Hottie, 就是辣妹的意思 :).

 
At 7:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote ...

呵呵 第一次看你的博客啊
很受启发
···想考复旦翻译···

 
At 3:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote ...

这也被你抓住了,厉害呀

 
At 9:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote ...

hi,pal,can i write to you?
你总结的非常好,认识您很高兴
nice to meet you

 
At 4:44 PM, Blogger cathyz wrote ...

I find it really great to see so many funny and real examples here.
Actually, I come here for help. I wonder whether you would like to do me a favor because I have some difficulty in distinguishing between authentic English and Chinglish. I hope you don't mind I'm so absurd to ask.

 
At 4:11 AM, Blogger Miez wrote ...

I love it!!! It's perfect! Grüße aus HD,
Kristina

 
At 7:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote ...

这就是中国人和外国人思维的差别所在,一个好的的新颖的点名往往可以为店主吸引很多的顾客,但是店主在使用“主义”这两个字的时候未必是与马克思主义联想在一起呃。

 
At 3:01 PM, Anonymous Betty wrote ...

很搞笑。。。你的BLOG很有创意

 
At 5:27 AM, Anonymous Daniel wrote ...

看到“香辣主义”便想到火锅,原来是面条。

 
At 10:52 AM, Anonymous Anna wrote ...

太有才了~~~ 身为中国人而自豪~~~ 

 
At 7:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote ...

my experience:

一次性用品=one time sex thing

.......................

 
At 8:55 PM, Blogger Madcat wrote ...

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

Great reasoning. But it might not be that simple, I have to say. There are some stories about Mao's love of spicy food (He's from Hunan). Once he made a joke that a true Marxist must be able to eat hot pepper.

The reason why they didn't put this "hot marxism" in plain chinese? Well, is's in beijing.

 
At 7:12 AM, Anonymous Flamoon von Prios wrote ...

Spicism is excellent!

 
At 9:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote ...

小鸡同学,你好呀!

 
At 1:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote ...

The Diffrences between Chinese culture and Western culture. And the way to think.
Really Funny.
By the way, how to write to ya? U R really famous now. :) Have a QQ number? My 369898481

pretty good. Keep goin'!

 
At 2:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote ...

以前看过一个电视或者电影:
毛泽东在接见苏联代表时开玩笑说,不吃辣椒不是真正的马克思主义。
所以,我觉得,这个牌子的意思是:饭馆的辣椒已经达到了一个马克思主义的水平,很辣。

 
At 2:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote ...

以前看过一个电视或者电影:
毛泽东在接见苏联代表时开玩笑说,不吃辣椒不是真正的马克思主义。
所以,我觉得,这个牌子的意思是:饭馆的辣椒已经达到了一个马克思主义的水平,很辣。

 
At 12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote ...

It is just a name of a restaurant, frankly speaking, symbols only.

 
At 6:54 AM, Anonymous bombglaz wrote ...

香辣主义,怎么会和 马克思主义 联想到一起呢?这里的“主义”应该就是“我主张…”、“XX风味专店”的意思吧,就是说,这家店的菜肴都是香辣风味的。
所以这里的“主义”,时尚地说,大概就是“我的口味我作主”~:)
顺便一说,我起初一听到“香辣主义”时,第一时间也是以为这是家火锅店呢……原来是一家面馆?

 

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