Opinion / Blog

The unique loanwords in our daily life

By zoe_ting ( Updated: 2016-08-02 17:28

The unique loanwords in our daily life

Samples of Baozou Comics stickers on WeChat app. [Photo/MOMO Ltd]

In our daily life, more and more loanwords appear and change our habits in Chinese expression. Loanwords sound very similar with their original English words, and the process of learning them is full of fun to foreign students.

Most common loanwords are absorbed from the English language, by means of transliteration and free translation. In the way of transliteration, there are shock-休克,poker-扑克,soda-苏打,sofa-沙发,coffee-咖啡,etc. In the other way of free translation mixed with the transliteration, there are romanticism-浪漫主义,ice cream-冰淇淋,beer-啤酒,etc., whose first half is based on the transliteration and second half is based on free translation.

Also, foreign acronyms are used frequently in Chinese, like MTV-music television,B超(B型超声多普勒仪)-B-type ultrasonic inspection,卡拉OK-カラオケ-Karaoke,T恤-T-shirt,etc. Those words are not only the acronyms but also the combination of English characters and Chinese characters, which can be recognized as the brand new form of loanwords in Chinese.

Meanwhile, Japanese and Korean, along with English, change Chinese vocabulary and expressions rapidly. It is known that Japanese adapts from Chinese, so in the Japanese language, there are many traditional vocabularies, written in the Chinese character form. They are commonly used these days and are pronounced in Chinese. For example, 通勤-つうきん,刺身-さしみ.

With the influence of Korean romantic soap opersas, the Korean language also has an effect on the Chinese language. Based on the method of transliteration, Korean loanwords like?欧巴-??(brother)and 科科-??(lol)are more and more easily heard in Chinese conversation.

While the foreign languages affect Chinese, Chinese has also made a difference in other languages. In English, dim sum-点心,cheongsam-长衫,fengshui-风水,kowtow-磕头,lose face -丢脸?and other words and phrases are often seen in the English expression.

Mandarin Garden language school attracts many foreign students from different countries due to its excellent teachers and scientific teaching methods, and I believe they find that it is very interesting to learn Mandarin loanwords in the multicultural atmosphere.

The original blog is at:

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