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Questions to ask English experts from Chinese learners (Round 15) [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2014-8-4 17:27:38 |Display all floors
Thank every member who answered readers' questions from last time. Chinese English learners from Wechat are very happy to recieve your replies. Here are more questions from them:
Q1:

Mianzi (face), which would refer to pride, reputation, prestige or honor, is very important to Chinese. Are westerners concerned about Mianzi (face) as Chinese? Can you find us some English slangs or expressions that show westerners also care much about Mianzi?

Q2

Fujoshi (lit. "rotten girl") is a self-mockingly pejorative Japanese term for female fans of manga and novels that feature romantic relationships between men. Fujoshi enjoy imagining what it would be like if male characters from manga and anime, and occasionally real-life male performers as well, loved each other. Most fans are teenage girls or young women. Are there any Fujoshi type girls in western world too?

Q3:

What are the most awkward or difficult questions you’ve ever been asked in China? Eg, some foreigners think “where are you from” is a difficult question.

Q4:

Why John Bull is used to refer to the UK while Uncle Sam for the US? What’s the origin of these references?

Q5:

Why westerners smash a bottle of champagne against a newly built ship to be on its maiden voyage?

The previous rounds:

http://bbs.chinadaily.com.cn/thread-1052003-1-1.html
http://bbs.chinadaily.com.cn/thread-1042489-1-1.html

http://bbs.chinadaily.com.cn/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=1031041&extra=page%3D1http://bbs.chinadaily.com.cn/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=1014003&extra=page%3D1
http://bbs.chinadaily.com.cn/thread-1006935-1-1.html
http://bbs.chinadaily.com.cn/thread-1000062-1-1.html
http://bbs.chinadaily.com.cn/thread-992089-1-1.htmlhttp://bbs.chinadaily.com.cn/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=979283&extra=page%3D1
http://bbs.chinadaily.com.cn/thread-974617-1-1.html

http://bbs.chinadaily.com.cn/thread-971597-1-1.html
http://bbs.chinadaily.com.cn/thread-966834-1-1.html
http://bbs.chinadaily.com.cn/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=963247&extra=page%3D1
http://bbs.chinadaily.com.cn/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=959318&extra=page%3D1
http://bbs.chinadaily.com.cn/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=956074&highlight=English%2Bexperts

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Post time 2014-8-5 07:06:04 |Display all floors
1. Face is the same thing as reputation in the west and it is just as important in the west.
2. The vast majority of women in the west are Fujoshi.

3. The most awkward question I have been asked in China would be "don't you like Chinese food?"
4. Uncle Sam came into use during the War of 1812 and was supposedly named for Samuel Wilson, or "Uncle Sam"
who supplied meat to the U.S. army during that time. After all, what is any soldier fighting for it not meat?
As for John Bull.. who cares.
5. Ship launching involves many superstitions intended to invite good luck, such as christening by breaking a sacrificial
bottle of champagne over the bow as the ship is named aloud and launched.
Whoever said China are more superstitious than the west?

If capitalism promotes innovation and creativity then why aren't scientists and artists the richest people in a capitalist nation?

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Post time 2014-8-5 09:52:38 |Display all floors
This post was edited by Ratfink at 2014-8-5 20:00

Face is not the same as reputation. Face in Chinese culture really has no direct equivalent in western society.  

Roberts answer regarding face is both shallow and incorrect.  Firstly there are several words used to describe face Mian 面 "face; personal esteem; countenance; surface; side" occurs in words such as:

    mianzi 面子 "face; side; reputation; self-respect; prestige, honor; social standing"
    mianmu 面目 (lit. "face and eyes") "face; appearance; respect; social standing; prestige; honor"
    mianpi 面皮 (lit. "face skin") "facial skin; complexion; feelings; sensitivity; sense of shame"
    timian 体面 (lit. "body face") "face; good looking; honor; dignity; prestige"
    qingmian 情面 (lit. "feelings face") "face; prestige; favor; kindness; partiality"

then there is Lian 臉 "face; countenance; respect; reputation; prestige" is seen in several "face" words:

    lianshang 臉上 (lit. "face on/above") "one's face; honor; respect"
    lianmian 臉面 (lit. "face face") "face; self-respect; prestige; influence"
    lianpi 臉皮 (lit. "face skin") "face; sensitivity; compassion"

So we can summerise that Lian is the confidence of society in a person's moral character, while mianzi represents social perceptions of a person's prestige. For a person to maintain face is important with Chinese social relations because face translates into power and influence and affects goodwill. A loss of lian would result in a loss of trust within a social network, while a loss of mianzi would likely result in a loss of authority.

English and most western cultures have no direct equivalent to the "face".  Loosing one's reputation is not the same as loosing face, loosing social standing is not the same.

In the broader context of face I suppose "loosing face" or "loss of reputation" are probably the closest but they really aren't adequate terms compared to their meaning in Chinese.

2) Fujoshi - There are no real equivalents in the west, at least not where a specific term exists. Some teenage and 20 something women have similar fantasies to the Fujoshi but there is no specific term to describe them that I am aware of.  

3) Explaining astronomy and the difference between where I was born, my nationality and where I live (all different) makes for an exercise in frustration on occasion.

4) Uncle Sam is a common national personification of the American government that, according to legend, came into use during the War of 1812 and was supposedly named for Samuel Wilson. The first use of Uncle Sam in literature was in the 1816 allegorical book "The Adventures of Uncle Sam in Search After His Lost Honor" by Frederick Augustus Fidfaddy, Esq. An Uncle Sam is mentioned as early as 1775, in the original "Yankee Doodle" lyrics of the Revolutionary War. It is not clear whether this reference is to Uncle Sam as a metaphor for the United States, or to an actual person named Sam.

John Bull originated in the creation of Dr. John Arbuthnot, a friend of Jonathan Swift ("Gullivers' Travels") and satirist Alexander Pope in 1712, and was popularised first by British print makers. Arbuthnot created Bull in his pamphlet Law is a Bottomless Pit (1712). John Bull later became associated (via cartoons) with a union flag (the UK Flag) waistcoat and a portly gentleman.

5) Ship launching.

Ship launching involves many superstitions intended to invite good luck, such as christening by breaking a sacrificial bottle of champagne over the bow as the ship is named aloud and launched. Sometimes other types of bottle are used, the latest UK aircraft carrier was launched with a bottle of single malt whiskey as it was made in Scotland
Per Ardua Ad Astra

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Post time 2014-8-5 10:04:06 |Display all floors
Is there a Chinese equivalent to "blowhard"?
If capitalism promotes innovation and creativity then why aren't scientists and artists the richest people in a capitalist nation?

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Post time 2014-8-6 04:28:45 |Display all floors
robert237 Post time: 2014-8-5 07:06
1. Face is the same thing as reputation in the west and it is just as important in the west.
2. The  ...
1. Face is the same thing as reputation in the west and it is just as important in the west.


Face (in China) has nothing to do with reputation. In the West it doesn´t exists this nonsenses and ridiculous actions.

And you know it well.

.
Denial, according the psychoanalysts, is one of the most primary mechanisms of defense. It consists in the attitude of denying or minimizing obvious facts of reality with which the individual can´t  cope or whose irresponsibility is unable to meet.

And I agree.

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Post time 2014-8-6 04:30:45 |Display all floors
robert237 Post time: 2014-8-5 07:06
1. Face is the same thing as reputation in the west and it is just as important in the west.
2. The  ...
2. The vast majority of women in the west are Fujoshi.


Same as post number 5, dear Robert

You are wrong about the West. again and again

.
Denial, according the psychoanalysts, is one of the most primary mechanisms of defense. It consists in the attitude of denying or minimizing obvious facts of reality with which the individual can´t  cope or whose irresponsibility is unable to meet.

And I agree.

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Post time 2014-8-6 04:32:04 |Display all floors
This post was edited by messi30 at 2014-8-6 05:12
robert237 Post time: 2014-8-5 07:06
1. Face is the same thing as reputation in the west and it is just as important in the west.
2. The  ...
3. The most awkward question I have been asked in China would be "don't you like Chinese food?"

Wrong again Robert

What they tried to tell you is ¨they don´t like you in China¨

Denial, according the psychoanalysts, is one of the most primary mechanisms of defense. It consists in the attitude of denying or minimizing obvious facts of reality with which the individual can´t  cope or whose irresponsibility is unable to meet.

And I agree.

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