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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Chinglish finds takers beyond China

By Chen Jia and Luo Wangshu (China Daily)

09:00, December 28, 2011

BEIJING - Next time a friend asks about your shopping experience, just reply "people mountain people sea".

It is a literal translation of the Chinese expression renshan renhai, which is commonly used to describe a host of people jostling with each other.

An increasing number of new English words and phrases are being coined in China.

"I speak Chinglish, and my British assistants have adapted to Chinglish," Hu Ruyi, a senior Chinese engineer who works in Britain, told China Daily.

Now, everyone in his lab ends most of their talks with the word "geilivable" - a transliteration of a popular net word, which combines Chinese words gei li (give strength) with an English suffix to create a word meaning "empower", he said.

"I always grab language from my Asian friends, and I think I do adapt a lot of mystery language, that's what I call it, which my parents do not really understand," Michael Lee, an IT support worker who lives in Seattle, told China Daily.

"Our foreign colleagues in the Beijing office always try to learn Chinglish from us as a way to make friends," said 28-year-old Duan Chen, who works for a consultancy company. "That's the best way to team-build."

In fact, English has already absorbed many Chinese phrases, like "long time no see" (hao jiu bu jian), "no can do" (bu neng zuo) and "no go" (bu xing).

The Global Language Monitor, a San Diego-based consultancy that analyzes trends in language use worldwide, says Chinglish has contributed 5 to 20 percent of the words added to global English since 1994, more than any other single source.

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