The language of China’s GDP

Sinologistical Violincello has some hard-hitting translation observations and questions up this morning regarding China’s GDP:

the phrase “老二 / lao er” is getting thrown around as China looks to move firmly into the number 2 slot globally, making it sound as if the world order were some kind of Confucian family of older brothers jostling for respect.

and then, translating snide BBS comments about the pointlessness of hyping GDP:

没意思,太没意思了!都炒糊了,人均呢?虎年我们要的是虎威,不要炒威! — Uninteresting, totally meaningless! It’s all just fried paste. Per capita income? In the year of the tiger, we need the tiger’s power; what we don’t need is fried power? [Note: this is one of the tricky things about translating BBS comments: is the really idiomatic language above indicative of a new nation-wide slang word, or is this cat local and/or high on Red Bull and feeling creative? That’s why there’s no substitute for being in China…But if anyone can dissertate on the meaning of 炒糊, 炒威 or just plain 炒威, please don’t hesitate to comment on this post.]

If you want to supplement your GDP discussions with some visual language, I highly recommend a visit to, which has some graphics worth way more than a thousand words. [on graph below, don’t forget to hit “play”]

Gapminder China - Google Chrome 2172010 100311 AM.bmp

One response to “The language of China’s GDP”

  1. […] one mean linguistically-capable and blessedly-eclectic army of six arrives on the Western flank: Sinoglot, which I recommend to anyone interested in the many wonderful forks in the Chinese tongue.  Gertz, your exertions shall soon be […]

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