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Chongqing idioms

Here’s a superb snippet from a posting entitled ‘Funny Bits from Beijing Olympics’ found on the ‘Inside-Out China‘ blog. I’ve replaced the names to make the story a little more palatable, otherwise everything is as is.

Two Chongqing tourists Wu and Jin arrived at Beijing. On a bus, Wu looked at the map and said, “Lets first kill to Tiananmen, then Chairman Mao’s Memorial, then Zhongnanhai.” Jin answered, “Good, we’ll do what you said, kill all the way along this route.” (Chongqing idiom: “kill the way” 杀过去 means “go there.”) Alarmed Beijing passengers reported their dialogue to the police and the two Chongqing men were arrested as soon as they got off the bus.

After several hours interrogation and detention in the police station, they were released. Walking to the Tiananmen Square, the two men kept silent. They just looked at each other and sighed. At last, Wu said to Jin, “Why don’t you shoot?” Jin replied, “You didn’t shoot, why do I dare to shoot?” (Chongqing idiom: “shoot” 开腔 means “talk.”) Before they knew their arms were twisted by plain-clothe police.

A week later the two Chongqing men came out of the detention house. They looked at each other. Wu said, “This is good. My pockets are all empty. Where should we go to get some bullets?” (Chongqing idiom: “bullet” 子弹 means “money.”) The armed guards at the gate charged up and pinned them down on the ground.

Eventually, the Public Security Bureau issued a nationwide notice: “Chongqing idioms are strictly forbidden during the Beijing Olympics.”

Click here for the full post

. . . . and finally, for a translated joke, posted on the Black and White Cat blog, relating to the responses from different nations to Michael Phelps’ recent success click here.


Ireland Joins The Anti-China Rage

On QQ news is an item of complaint about a bus stop advertisement, found in Ireland. The ad is for a detergent and the slogan makes use of the expression ‘all the tea in China’ – a common idiomatic expression meaning ‘much’ or ‘a lot’ – and reads, “Gets Out Stains Made By All The Teas In China”. I cannot read or make a reliable translation of the QQ item but, using the online Google translator, I gather that some Chinese students living in Tallaght, Ireland [Tallaght, for anyone who doesn’t know, is a suburb of Dublin], have seen the ads and have felt ‘very uncomfortable with them’. There is a hint in the translation that one student suspected that this incident is ‘another disgrace’.


Can I just make sure that I’ve got this right –

  • The advertisement is racist as it singles out Chinese tea.
  • This has some connection with violence in Tibet.
  • An Irish detergent company is joining in the international conspiracy to slight and slander China.
  • The whole business is a joke disgrace.



Click here for the original page; the original wording and an unedited Google translation is below. –


中新网55日电 爱尔兰《新岛周报》近日收到一名热心华人投稿,这名华人在爱尔兰Tallagh和市中心多个公交车站发现一则广告,这是一则清洁剂广告,广告主体是一只绿 色的茶杯,在杯子上印着Gets out stains made by all the teas in China(从中国出产的茶都能挑出毛病)。对于该语句的翻译也许有多个版本,但是许多留学生和华侨看到这行字时都非常不舒服,甚至有学生怀疑这是又一起 辱华事件。


May 5, Ireland, “the new Island Weekly” recently received an enthusiastic Chinese Contributor, this Chinese city centre in Ireland Tallagh several bus stops and found an ad, this is a cleansing agent advertising, advertising Green is one of the main cup in the cup on Yinzhao Gets out stains made by all the teas in China (from the tea produced in China are singled out problems). For the translation of the statement may have multiple versions, but many students and overseas Chinese saw the lines are very uncomfortable when, or even a student is suspected that this incident, another disgrace.

Since the end of March early April, China’s Tib@t burning of violence and vandalism Western media reports is not the same issue of Chinese people around the world make the voice of protest, many Chinese with the Chinese on all kinds of things are very sensitive, a number of Chinese compatriots on the After seeing the advertisements that are “uncomfortable.”



There seems to be many people jumping on the Free Tibet bandwagon, so true to form, a mini-demonstration has taken place in London, details here. I can only read what is available on the news reports but it all seems a little one-sided, i.e. everything is China’s fault. The impression I get is that many of the protesters are ill-informed and are as unaware of what is happening as their supposedly brainwashed counterparts within China.


Unfortunately, every party involved sees the situation one-way only which, I suppose, is not an uncommon human failing. The Tibetans see only bullying and repression, the Chinese see only unwashed and ungrateful natives attacking their enterprises, and for the human rights activists it is another opportunity to wring their hands in pious indignation, but this is far from being a one-sided problem. Add to the tensions, grievances and distrust a number of militants and trouble makers [Free Tibet, Tibet Youth Congress, Tibet Peoples Uprising Movement, most of whom, by coincidence, have never seen Tibet], then introduce an event which will focus everyone on the region and you have a recipe for trouble. There is an element of truth in what almost every party has to say in this dispute, and that applies to the positive as well as the negative statements but those truths only go so far and always stop short of the whole picture. Each party must take one step further and acknowledge all the problems and grievances which exist. Until a problem is acknowledged it cannot be solved.


The Chinese government is alleged to be exploiting Tibetan mineral wealth and the Han immigrants do seem to get most of the good jobs that appear. Meanwhile the Chinese government does provide an education system to bring the ethnic minorities into line with everyone else, but what often happens is that the minorities don’t seem to take up the opportunities which are there. I don’t know if this is the fault of the minorities or the fault of someone else, but I do know that in China if you are unable to speak, read and write Putonghua then you are seriously disadvantaged and for this to happen to someone living in China this means being marginalised for life. The PRC government has been in dialogue with the Dalai Lama but no progress has been made. There are militant elements at work among the rebels from outside China. All the above would appear to be true statements but none are the whole truth.


I’m not going to delve into detail of what should be done, that’s for the people involved, but without a sensible solution which satisfies every legitimately involved party, the best we can hope for is for the PRC government to keep a lid on things. But if that is all that is done then any underlying problems and injustices will fester and trouble will continue to erupt at intervals in this corner of Asia.



Here are some links to websites offering views, reports or insight into what is happening

China Matters – “A Tibetan Intifada“, “Black Days For The Dalai Lama

The Opposite End Of China – “Right Or Wrong“, “Loose Ends In Western China

Mutant Palm – “Engaging Chinese Netizens


And here are a few links to photo galleries on QQ news –


and an effort by the government to hit back on the propaganda front


Related posts – Take Note.