There is nothing like Christmas to show you the Chinese love of getting rènào 热闹. The potential to make a festival ‘hot’ (rè热) and ‘noisy’ (nào闹) is a key reason so many non-Chinese festivals are popular with young Chinese people today. Anglo-European festivals, like Christmas, have been very earnestly translated. Christmas, or Shèngdàn jié 圣诞节, literally means birth (dàn 诞) of the saint (shèng 圣). It can also mean birth of the ‘sacred‘ because of the Chinese language’s delightful ability to be interchangeable and ambiguous. Read More
In November, ChinesePod celebrated two very different holidays: Singles Day on November 11 in China and Thanksgiving on November 24, a family day in the United States. Even though these holidays have opposite meanings, on both holidays, huge sales and discounts are up for grabs.
During November we will explored the duality of culture and saw where things differ or overlap. We came up with a specially curated list of ‘opposite’ words in Chinese that when combined create new meaning.
You can browse all our FlashCards below.
My parents have never told me they love me…
Before you start feeling sorry for me, let me tell you something else. Most likely, if your Chinese friends, co-workers, or classmates were born before the 1990s, they too were unlikely to have heard these three simple yet profound words from their parents. Now, before you start feeling sympathetic for the whole Chinese race, let me clarify. Traditionally, Chinese parents don’t say I love you. It’s that simple. “Wǒ ài nǐ｜我爱你” just sounds awkward and strange and overly mushy.
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