Sunday, 27 April 2014

Convoluted Language

What would be the Chinese euphemism for iPhone?
Ah, leave it to the Chinese government to try -- once again -- to ban foreign words from the language.

The Communist Party's mouthpiece the People's Daily has published two editorials this week waging war on the use of such words as "Wi-fi" and "iPhone", saying "mingling foreign words in Chinese has damaged the Chinese language's purity and undermined communication".

To solve the problem, the Guangming Daily urged the Chinese government to quickly provide Chinese translations of imported foreign words before they became widely used by the public.

But many people online mocked the latest attempt to get rid of foreign words from Chinese, calling it the "grand competition to keep the purity of the Chinese language". The phrase received almost 130,000 hits.

"Excuse me, do you know where the Very Important Person lounge is?", pretending to have a conversation without using the word VIP.

Another wrote: "Today's level of 'atmospheric particulate matter with diameter of 2.5 micrometres of less' has broken the record again," making fun of not being able to use the term PM2.5 that measures air pollution.

This comedy show about geeks is now not available in China
Previously China Central Television banned its anchors from using the term "NBA" during broadcasts and they had to refer to the organization as the "US professional basketball association".

Basketball fans were not amused, and the severe backlash resulted in CCTV backing down.

The Chinese government is trying hard to clamp down on foreign influences with further tightening of the media. This week top video sites like Sohu video stopped providing online streaming for such popular TV shows as The Big Bang Theory and The Good Wife.

Why The Big Bang Theory? It's just about a bunch of geeks, unless the Chinese government thinks they are revealing state secrets in code...

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