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Contemporary Chinese Dictionary takes in new hot phrases

(People's Daily Online)

08:02, July 18, 2012

Recently, the sixth edition of the Contemporary Chinese Dictionary was published by the Commercial Press. It has taken in more than 3,000 new phrases, including the "PM2.5" and "traffic restriction."

The director of the Lexicographical Society of China Jiang Lansheng said that the sixth edition of the Contemporary Chinese Dictionary contains 13,000 Chinese characters of various kinds, has taken in more than 3,000 new phrases and more than 400 new explanations, has got rid of some old phrases and old explanations of some phrases, and contains 69,000 items in total.

Jiang said that some new phrases of the new dictionary truly reflect the current social life. For example, new phrases coming from the West, such as the "Father's Day," "Thanksgiving Day" and "Valentine's Day," reflect the exchange between and integration of the Western and Eastern cultures. Such phrases as "working and living in a foreign country" and "Schengen Agreement" are reflections of the "Going Global" of many Chinese people and enterprises. Such phrases as "low carbon" and "emission reduction" reflect that the social construction of China is moving forward steadily and the public's sense of environment protection has improved. Such phrases as "Beijing drifter" and "moonlight clan" directly reflect some new social groups and their features. Such phrases as "finding a sugar daddy" and "bribery and corruption" reflect that the market economy is also having some negative influences on the society while promoting the development of the productivity in the period of the social transformation.

In addition, new meanings and usages of some Chinese characters and phrases reflect the social transition and people's recognitions on new things. For example, the Chinese character "Zhai" (originally meaning house) is now often used to describe those who always stay at home being on the Internet or playing online games. The character for "slave" is now often used to describe those who have lost certain freedoms and especially those who have to work very hard to pay their housing loans (It is usually used to depreciate or kid somebody). It reflects conditions of some young people's lives. The phrase of "mountain fastness" now is often used to describe "imitated products" or "non-mainstream, civil things." The phrase of "bleaching" is now often used to describe the action of "changing illegal incomes into legal incomes by certain means" and reflects certain production and operation actions under the market economy. The "ambassador" is now often used to describe "representatives of those promoting and spreading a certain cause." It is a reflection of the personal influence of a public figure.

"New phrases always keep appearing. Therefore, we should often gather, discuss and select them and record them in the most authoritative dictionary," said Chen Yuan, a language expert.

The sixth edition has also taken in some letter phrases, including the CPI (Consumer Price Index), PPI (Producer Price Index), PM2.5 (particulate matter with diameter less than 2.5 microns), ETC (Electronic Toll Collection), ECFA (Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement) and FTA (Free Trade Agreement).

Source: People's Daily; Author: Bai Ying (Xinhua)
Read the Chinese version: “摇号”、“PM2.5”等热词进词典

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