Group Chinese Blog

23 Oct 2004

Roddy of Chinese Forums recently had a great idea. All the non-Chinese bloggers who have had trouble keeping a regularly updated Chinese blog (yes, I’m guilty!) could band together and write one together. The result is called ³öÓï²»Ë×, a chengyu which Wenlin defines as “speak in an uncommon way.” (Credit for the name goes to Brendan.)

Currently the only active members are Roddy, Brendan, and me. I must say, Brendan’s contributions are the most impressive — he’s quite the writer, in any language, it seems — but we just started and there are only 4 total entries up so far.

My first entry is kind of boring, but it’s a message I’ve been wanting to get out to Chinese people: why I have grown to hate the word “hello.”

Anyway, if you read Chinese please check out ³öÓï²»Ë×. If you don’t read Chinese, you’re missing out on all the fun!

Related: I think my essay entitled СÐÜ is a much better read than the one I linked to above.

UPDATE: Prince Roy has posted his first piece to ³öÓï²»Ë×!

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John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.

Comments

  1. Anonymous Says: October 23, 2004 at 2:56 am

    Is “³öÓï²»Ë×” chengyu? Just wonder.

  2. John, that was a great idea of having a common blog. I have just read “why I have grown to hate ‘hell'”. I must say that is a great piece. As Chinese myself, I have also grown to hate phrases like “ni hao”, “ni hao ma”, or most ridiculous ones are “Kunichiwa” to me.

    anyway, I am getting off my soap box now. Congrats!

  3. ps. my last comment was referring to “why I have grown to hate the world ‘hello'”. I have made a typo and wrote “hell”.

    my apologies.

    -tian

  4. John, this is not pertinent to this post, but to a post you made a couple of weeks ago. I figured that if I posted below you might not realize it. i have a few questions and I thought you might be able to help:
    I am also interested in applying for a credit card here in China, but only if I’ll be able to use it to shop online (paying in dollars, I suppose). Do you know if this would be possible? Would you recommend getting it through the bank of China? I’ve been in China for a while, but never got around to opening a bank account here, so I’m not too familar with these things. Thanks for the help!!!

  5. Da Xiangchang Says: October 23, 2004 at 7:23 am

    A very good idea. Now, if I were to just get off my ass and learn Chinese . . .

    Sorry to hear about your hatred for “hello.” Being Chinese, I never got hello’d in China. Personally, the word I despise is “buxing.” What made it particularly disconcerting was most of the people uttering the word had the nicest, sweetest voices. 😉

  6. СÐÜ is a good read indeed. Common folks are generally quite friendly, aren’t they?

  7. You guys might want to come up with a better English name for the common blog. The Chinese title is good but I don’t think dreamsfowhitetiles is indicative enough. Perhaps you can issue a challenge for your authors and/or commenters there to invent one. If for nothing else, just to index it easier in a link.

  8. Actually, dreamsofwhitetiles.com is my own site, and ³öÓï²»Ë× is currently hosted on it. When I set it up we didn’t have a name, so I just used chinese.dreamsofwhitetiles.com. Dreams of White Tiles is not meant to be ³öÓï²»Ë×’s English name (although you’re not the first person to think so.

    I’m not sure if we need an English name – I just write is as Chuyubusu if I need to.

    Roddy

  9. ³öÓï²»Ë× “Stilted,” maybe? I’ve just been using the Pinyinized form as well.

  10. Brendan,

    Does ³öÓï²»Ë× have a positive or a negative connotation? I admit I’m not familiar with it, but when I looked it up what I found seemed to indicate a positive connotation.

  11. it definitely has a positive connotation. I’d suggest just sticking to the pinyinized form. If it was negative, I’d suggest “Speaking With Forked Tongues”. How about “Bohemian Rhapsodies”?

  12. It’s a positive phrase that speaks very well to readers fluent in Chinese. An additional English title and/or mission statement would attract readership from foreign students of Chinese presently at a lower level who might otherwise conclude too quickly that this is too Chinese a Chinese blog. How about “Common Words Uncommon — a shared blog by a group of western xxxxx’s each trying to unseat Da Shan”? Or to borrow from Prince Roy, a group of western bohemians’ Chinese rhapsodies.

  13. Thanks for the suggestions, Gin, although we’re certainly not trying to uneat Dashan. Chinese blogs are not his territory at all. 🙂

  14. Not “unseat,” so much as “beat about the face and neck with a length of lead pipe.”

    ³öÓï²»Ë× has positive connotations, but I think it’d be best if the English name had slightly negative or self-mocking ones. “Stilted” is too harsh, I guess. “Highfalutin declamations,” maybe?

  15. I see, I see (Ô­À´Èç´Ë). I shouldn¡¯t have brought up that distractive name, though.

  16. Brendan,

    I actually like the name “Stilted” a lot, but it just seems strange that the name would be modest in English but not at all in Chinese… 🙂

  17. Well, I kind of like the idea, since usually it’s the other way around. If you said (in Chinese) that my Chinese was pretty good, I’d launch into a whole string of ÄÄÀïÄÄÀïs and »¹²îµÃÔ¶ÄØs, but if you said the same thing in English, I’d just say “thanks.” Why not invert it for a change?

  18. ‘stilted’ sounds somewhat negative to me though, whereas the Chinese term is complimentary.

  19. ‘stilted’ would be ³öÑÔ²»Ñ· 🙂
    Your writings there are all too gentlemanly for that.

  20. Gin – not for long!

  21. How about “Chuyubusu — Just like Bushisms” for the title?

    “Stilted”? That words belongs to this kid in my class who asked our professor “Will we proceed as normal this Friday?”

  22. Oh, No! Is a Chinese version of the adventures at stall #2 coming?

  23. Well, nothing quite that bad…yet. But hey – as gross as that story was, it got more links and visits than anything else I’ve ever written, and spawned some pretty hilarious e-mails from people. So there’s something to be said for it, I guess, if it gets people talking.

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