ROAST我爱吐槽|Dude~ Try to learn something before you tattoo your bodies! (Ⅱ)

19 Nov

Serena·speakmandarin.com

In my last post, I roasted some funny and awkward tattoos I saw on foreigners and mentioned a quite philosophical sentence tattooed on Mr. David Beckham’s body——“生死有命,富贵在天”. As I promised, here I would like to talk more about it and share another story.
Shēngsǐ yǒu mìng, fùguì zài tiān
生死有命,富贵在天。

This Chinese old saying is an allusion to The Analects of Confucius · Yan Yuan 《论语· 颜渊篇》(Lúnyǔ, Yányuān piān).

Literally speaking, it tells a point of view: Life or death is by ones’ fate, while wealth and honor by God. Man proposes, God disposes!

As we all know that there are thousand Hamlets in a thousand people’s eyes. Different people often give different interpretation of it. From my perspective, I prefer to understand it this way: We can’t completely control our life and death. Thus, we should do our best to pursuit a wonderful life in our unpredicted future.

Another interesting thing is that I find many foreigners are big fans of China’s Zodiac and often tattoo their zodiac signs on bodies. In their eyes, China’s Zodiac, as a unique Chinese tradition, represents a mysterious oriental power; but they can hardly imagine that:
“Chicken(鸡Jī)”, in addition to the expression of an animal, holds an extremely particular meaning in China that refers to a special kind of people (prostitute); our Chinese people would easily see the deep meaning of this word when reading “鸡”!
I hope that this rock lady will never realize the special meaning of “鸡” commonly understood in our Chinese cultural life.

Sometimes, my friends asked me why many foreigners love to tattoo Chinese characters on their bodies? I guess on the one hand, they reckon the square characters have an alternative kind of beauty and it seems extraordinary; on the other hand, it may be because foreigners also feel that the non-native language gives them a sense of mystery. Of course, it is still a very cool thing to have some tattoos of Chinese characters on body, only when you find a reliable tattoo artist!

(The content above only represents personal insights.)

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肥宅快乐水(An internet buzz word)

6 Nov

Do you still remember what we learned last time?
宅男 and 宅女 means the people who like to stay at home or afraid of social life.

In nowadays, young people in China are not afraid to be called “宅”

“宅”is becoming a lifestyle.

Lie on the bed, watch the TV, play the games. Stay at home all day long, be lazy be relex. Eat the fried chicken and drink the coke when you are hungry.


And this kind of lifestyle may make you fat, so we can call this lifestyle:”肥宅”
肥 means fat
And the popular coca cola is called “肥宅快乐水” .
快乐 means happy
水 means water,here means the drink.

And, just like this patern, you can call the chips “肥宅快乐薯片”

Can you remember them?
肥宅快乐水
肥宅快乐薯片

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#Business Chinese#How to invite your Chinese partner to dinner

29 Oct

In China, there are many ways to Contributes the cooperation, “Date dinner” is one of them.

People always eat and drink before they make a deal, and most contracts are signed at dinner table. Because dinner table is a good place for reserved Chinese people to completely open themselves, it can quickly shorten the distance between each other.

So, how to ” Date dinner “in China ? let me show you!

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Chinese urban dictionary\宅男、宅女

28 Oct

Do you have a friend who is like to play Switch games or like to read comic books at home?

What do you call them?

Do you have a friend who is like to stay at home, order takeaway food, even work at home without going out for a long time? What do you call them?

We call them”宅男”(zhái nán)or”宅女”(zhái nǚ) in Chinese.

宅( zhái )means house 男( nán )is male 女( nǚ )is female。

“宅男” (zhái nán) and”宅女” (zhái nǚ) are originated from Japanese word ”御宅族”(Otaku). In Chinese, it always mean the people who like to stay at home or don’t like to social. In nowadays, “宅男” (zhái nán) “宅女” (zhái nǚ) are also can used to call the people who are fond of ACGN(Anime, Comic, Game, Novel) in Chinese.

My mother in law likes to stay at home

and watch TV all day, so I always make fun of her

by calling her a “宅女” (zhái nǚ) .

Myself also like to work at home and

maybe that’s why I chose this job.

(I’m just kidding, I love being a Chinese teacher)

Are you a 宅男 (zhái nán) or 宅女 (zhái nǚ) ?

Do you like to be a 宅男 (zhái nán) or 宅女 (zhái nǚ) ?

Do you mind to be called 宅男 (zhái nán) or 宅女 (zhái nǚ) ?

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#Learn Chinese with little joke#1

24 Oct

BY  Uncle Jim @speakmandarin.com

段子(duàn zi)means funny words or little joke. It’s a popular word in China especially among folks.

In its word-for-word translation,

段(duàn)=paragraph”;子(zi) is a common modality particle following a noun to imply that something is little in size or of little importance.

段子手(duàn zi shǒu)means joke teller. 手 (shǒu) , literally means hand. Similar to English, the word “hand” can imply “person” in Mandarin.

For example,

 熟手(shú shǒu)= experienced hand/old hand.

 鼓手(gǔ shǒu) = drummer.

升旗手(shēng qí shǒu) = flag raiser (word-for-word meaning, raise, flag, person)

段子 一

wǒ yào ràng quánshìjiè dōu zhīdào wǒ hěn dīdiào 。

我要让全世界都知道我很低调。

I want to make the whole world all know that I’m very low-key.

我(wǒ)= I

要(yào)= want

让(ràng)=make

These two characters often go together not only to make the sound rhyme, but also imply “reinforced intention” of speaker. For example, 我(wǒ) 要(yào) 让(ràng) 你(nǐ) 知(zhī)道(dào) 我(wǒ) 的(de) 本(běn)事(shì) = I’ll make you know what I can do.

全世界(quán shì jiè)= whole world

都(dōu)= all, an adverb

知道(zhīdào)= know

低调(dīdiào)this word carries a single meaning of “low-key” or “low-profile”. For example, 我(wǒ) 是(shì) 个(gè) 低(dī) 调(diào) 的(de) 人(rén) = I’m a low-profile man. The opposite word is “高调”(gāodiào)

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中国十大休闲城市 Top 10 Leisure Cities in China

19 Nov

Serena · speakmandarin.com

Shanghai(上海Shànghǎi) topped a list of leisure cities(休闲城市Xiūxián chéngshì) in China, followed by Sanya(三亚Sānyà) in South China’s Hainan province and Beijing, according to a report jointly published by the National Academy of Economic Strategy, Tourism Research Center of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences as well as Social Sciences Academic Press on Aug 5, 2019.
The report evaluated 290 cities in the country from six aspects: city image and reputation, leisure space and environment, leisure economy and industry, leisure facilities and services, leisure life and consumption, as well as attention to tourism(旅游业Lǚyóu yè).
Eight of the listed cities are eastern(东部Dōngbù), while the other two come from western(西部Xībù) China. Cities in the eastern region have a far better city image and reputation as well as leisure life and consumption than those in western regions, though eastern cities are less competitive when it comes to leisure environment and space.
Here are the top 10(排名前十位Páimíng qián shí wèi)leisure cities in China.

No.10 Lhasa 拉萨


No.9 Xi’an 西安

No.8 Hangzhou 杭州

No.7 Xiamen 厦门

No.6 Qingdao 青岛


No.5 Shenzhen 深圳

No.4 Zhuhai 珠海


No.3 Beijing 北京

No.2 Sanya 三亚

No.1 Shanghai 上海

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Why learn Mandarin Chinese? These are probably the most moving answers in the world 为什么要学汉语?这可能是世上最动人的答案!

13 Nov

Volume I

Perseverance is difficult on the journey of learning Mandarin. 学习汉语路上,最难的就是坚持。

Tests, jobs, going abroad… 考试,工作,出国……

Take a look at the 5 quotations below when these reasons are not enough to uphold your persistence. 这些理由也不足以支撑你坚持下去时。看看这5条语录吧

They’ll boost your energy to max in no time. 分分钟让你动力满满!

如果你用别人能理解的语言与对方谈话,那么谈话会进入对方的大脑。如果你用对方的语言与之谈话,那么谈话会进入对方的心里。
If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.
‒Nelson Mandela
一种语言可以为人生开启一条走廊。俩种语言则会使这条人生走廊的沿途上处处开启大门。
One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.
‒Frank Smith
语言的限制就是对我的世界的限制。
The limits of my language are the limits of my world.
‒Ludwig Wittgenstein
学习一切你所能学,任何时间,无论向谁;总有一天你会为你所做感到欣慰。
Learn everything you can, anytime you can, from anyone you can; there will always come a time when you will be grateful you did.
‒Sarah Caldwell
学习是无论到哪都追随主人的财富。
Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.
‒Chinese Proverb

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Talk to Your Chinese Friends about NBA (volume I)

13 Nov

Uncle Jim ·SpeakMandarin

Do you know what the most popular international sports league is in China?

It is NBA with local viewers over 200 million. You have fairly good chance to find someone in China to share about the beloved game. After all, athletic spirit is universal.

NBA常规赛10月23日正式开始。揭幕战中,超级巨星詹姆斯和戴维斯率领的洛杉矶湖人队,输给了莱昂纳德领军的洛杉矶快船队。

The new NBA season officially started on October 23. In the very first game, Los Angles Lakers, led by superstar (LeBron) James and (Anthony) Davis lost to Los Angles Clippers led by (Kawhi) Leonard.

refers to season (games). Some people use 季(jì) 赛(sài), the exact mirror of “season” +“games”.
How about “playoffs”? 季(jì) 后(hòu) 赛(sài) (season after games 😊)
Frequently-used word in sports meaning “the very first game” (of a series or season).
Refers to superstar (in sports & entertainment)

问题来了:在中国,如何表达外国的人名和地名?

Here comes the question. In China, how to express foreign names of a person or a city?

Normally, Chinese use characters with similar sounds to mirror syllables in names. For example,

James = 詹(zhān) 姆(mǔ) 斯(sī)        Davis = 戴(dài) 维(wéi) 斯(sī)

In certain cases, names are spoken following long-term traditions. For example, Los Angles = 洛(luò) 杉(shān) 矶(jī) . It comes from old times and people just keep using it for convenience sake.

My advice to fans about saying NBA players’ names : instead of remembering all the Chinese characters, you can simply use the English names on players’ jerseys – most are family names. You should be able to make yourself understood most of the time.

Occasionally, nicknames are better known than players real names among fans. For example, Anthony Davis, the former Pelicans star, is widely known as 浓(nóng) 眉(méi) 哥(gē) or “thick eyebrow brother”. Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo is called 字(zì) 母(mǔ) 哥(gē), or “Alphabet brother”. I guess we all know why 😉

你认为哪只球队今年可能拿到总冠军?快来留言吧

Which team you think has a better chance win the NBA championship? Leave your ideas.

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ROAST我爱吐槽

31 Oct

Dude~ Try to learn something before you tattoo your bodies! ()

[Edited by Serena @SpeakMandarin]

Note:what does“吐槽(Tǔcáo)”mean? It can be interpreted as spitslot, good-natured jokes, or making comments with a sarcastic tone.

The increasing popularity of Chinese culture in recent years makes many foreigners fall in love with tattoos in Chinese characters. Due to a lack of knowledge about Chinese language or the culture behind it, many tattoo artists often produce some very hilarious or awkward works.

For instance, the Chinese characters “脑白金(nǎo bái jīn)” as you saw in a cursive style were tattooed on a man’s arm. It looks pretty cool?

Don you know脑白金nǎo báijīn)”is actually the name of a popular health care product for seniors in China?…

脑白金should really thank the young man for advertising their products on the body. Perhaps his tattoo artist wanted to tell him that “脑brain=wisdom, 白white=purity, 金gold=wealth”. However, it is incorrect to assume that a Chinese phrase’s meaning is simply based on the assembled literal meaning of each word in the phrase. I have to say, a cute guy was ruined by his ridiculous tattoo pattern……

Then, shift your attention to the Chinese characters “思考致富” on the chest of a cool guy.

“思考致富(Sīkǎo zhìfù)” means “Thinking about getting rich.” I bet this guy borrowed a slogan printed on the bag for some China’s Chemical fertilizer … I really want to remind him that merely “thinking”without acting cannot get anyone rich……

The funniest tattoo worth to be roasted is the one on the back of this gorgeous young lady. Probably inspired by an English proverb: “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”, she chose a pattern“生活带来您时柠檬做柠檬水”.

Nevertheless, the proper way to express this proverb in Chinese is:Dāng shēnghuó gěile nǐ níngméng, jiù bǎ tā zuò chéng níngméng zhī.“当生活给了你柠檬,就将它做成柠檬汁。”

Meaning: When encountering difficulties and setbacks in life, be brave to face them and take things as they are.

Unfortunately, such great life philosophy definitely could not be conveyed by this lady’s tattoo for its completely unreasonable Chinese grammar. I was wondering if such broken Chinese sentence came from a terrible translation software.

Whereas, Mr. David Beckham’s tattoo, selected from a Chinese old saying, indeed impressed me a lot: shēngsǐ yǒu mìng, fùguì zài tiān“生死有命,富贵在天。

The font design of each Chinese character is particular and full of artistic feeling; this sense is also a good fit for him.

So, what does this old saying mean?

I will explain it in my next article, stay tuned…

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移动支付 Mobile Payment

13 Mar

我们马上就要进入无现金时代了。你有没有发现从早上起床开始,一直到晚上下班回家,这期间我们可以不用带钱包,只需要带一部手机就可以完成所有的交易(jiāo yì – transaction)。公交、地铁,早餐、午餐、晚餐,饮料、蔬菜、面包、零食……一切都可以通过手机来支付。

我们不仅可以很方便地花自己的钱,而且还能(jiè – borrow)钱花。手机支付只是移动支付的一种,现在移动支付方式中,以第三方支付机构为主流(zhǔ liú – mainstream),包括支付宝、微信、云闪付。由此可见,人们对于无现金,已经开始慢慢适应(shì yìng – adapted)了。你最常用哪种移动支付?