17 February 2011

China

(non-tech)

Just had this pointed out to me for the umpteenth time, thought I'd share:

The Chinese word for America is 美國, pronounced meiguo, a transliteration which means literally "beautiful country". This would seem to be overtly flattering; however, the first character 美 (mei), though it does mean beautiful, is a vertical combination of the characters 大 (da) and 羊 (yang), meaning, respectively, "large" and "sheep".

Fun, eh? :)

31 comments:

  1. Haha, it's wild how the same characters can mean several different things.

    To answer your question, I've never tried a recumbent bike, by the way, but prefer the ability to stand up for the power, especially since I'm training for Criterium races this season!

    Garage Zoku

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  2. lol Unfortunately, that's not far from the truth.

    http://robertfunf.blogspot.com/

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  3. And now I know slightly more Chinese thank you lol

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  4. Sheep Country? Sounds about right!

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  5. Chinese and their mystical meanings. But sheep country does sound about right.

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  6. First thing i heard about it, Lemme say this: CONSPIRACY TIME! THE SHEEP WILL TAKE OVER THE US. DEFEND YOURSELF AGAINST THEIR BITES&BAAAHHHSSS!!!

    Also, sheeps did 9/11(toosoon?)

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  7. i'm from the large beautiful sheep country...lol. good to know.

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  8. Baaaaa.... Just don't let any New Zealanders near us...

    Do you know why NZ natives wear sweatpants? Because sheep can hear a zipper being pulled down a mile away...

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  9. I crossed off 1 from today's todolist. learn a chinese word today- america - beautiful large sheep.
    1 question in social n/w mark character starts off with reverence and kudos to China but China blocked facebook in 2010...Why?

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  10. the story behind most chinese words are so weird.

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  11. Haha, thats awesome. The Japanese just call it Amerika (アメリカ)

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  12. Social commentary and a language lesson? I love it.

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  13. The Chinese think large sheep are beautiful??? Or am I confused? :)

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  14. the chinese language is really interesting

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  15. Amazing!
    I love stuff like that.

    I am beautiful and fluffy.

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  16. sorry ;p...chinese do not really break words that way i think...at least not traditionally..beautiful simply means beautiful.

    http://skybluetrading.blogspot.com/

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  17. cool - everyday is a school day

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  18. @SIaT: I know, I know -- just thought it was funny. If it was written vertically you could make a visual pun out of it...

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  19. They call it beautiful country, then they come here and realize the truth

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  20. very amusing.. Plurality of meaning is one of the most interesting parts of any language!

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  21. Sheeps are usually considered cowards...

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  22. The chinese language is really beautiful. It is like music, you can interpret it in many different ways.

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  23. well, china will need our country in 50 years to sustain their growth!

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  24. Lol, always love a good culture fact.

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