Karela Fry

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Mandarin puns

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While on the topic of China, Language Log documents Mandarin puns in English:

Two years ago, the favored lunar New Year’s greeting in China was “Happy 牛 Year!” where 牛 (“bovine”) is pronounced niú in Mandarin and is standing in for “New” in the Year of the Ox / Bull / Cow.

Last year, the Year of the Tiger, “I 老虎 U”, where lǎohǔ 老虎 (which means “tiger”) sounds like “love” to some Chinese speakers, was conveniently and concurrently being used to celebrate the New Year, Valentine’s Day, and a famous golfer’s amorous escapades.

Well, this is the year of the rabbit, so you can be sure the Chinese would come up with a clever way to incorporate their word for rabbit (or hare) in this year’s favored New Year’s greeting, and indeed they have.

As we know here, the possibilities are immense when you mix two languages. Another interesting point about these greetings is that, like Indian ads, the base language is English and a few local words are thrown in for effect.


Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

January 7, 2011 at 2:22 am

Posted in China, entertainment

Tagged with , , ,

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