Línrè 林热 (“Lin craze”) (663,000 ghits, though I can’t guarantee that all of these are about Jeremy Lin) The problem is that this focuses on the rage and hoopla over Lin, while Linsanity includes his abandoned, exuberant style of play.
Lín shì xuànfēng 林氏旋风 (“Mr. Lin cyclone”) (10,300 ghits) This expression is popular among certain circles in Taiwan, but it doesn’t capture the flavor of Linsanity with regard to the wildness surrounding Jeremy Lin.
Lín shì fēngkuáng 林氏疯狂 (“Mr. Lin insanity”) (2,200 ghits) dud
Lín shì fēng 林氏疯 (“Mr. Lin crazy”) (7,490 ghits) sub-dud; a considerable proportion of these ghits include bào 暴 (“storm”) at the end, hence Lín shì fēngbào 林氏疯暴 (“Mr. Lin crazy storm”)
Lín shì kuáng 林氏狂 (“Mr. Lin mad”) (1,280 ghits) sub-sub-dud
For nearly a week, I was in despair. Such a fantastic phenomenon as “Linsanity”, yet such an unsatisfying rendering of that into Chinese as Línfēngkuáng 林疯狂!
Finally, however, a new translation of “Linsanity” surfaced, namely, Línláifēng 林来疯. Brilliant!! I fell in love with this rendering as soon as I encountered it. Not only does it capture the spontaneity of Jeremy Lin’s moves and the thrills they evoke in the crowds who watch him, it is constructed in accordance with the rules for Chinese word formation. Moreover, like “Linsanity”, which is modified from an actual English word, Línláifēng 林来疯 is transformed from a real Chinese expression: rénláifēng 人来疯 (“get hyped up in front of an audience”). Perfect!
I was particularly pleased and enormously gratified when I noticed that the number of ghits for Línláifēng 林来疯 had soared from 155,000 two days ago to 683,000 today! This shows that, when an excellent, idiomatic translation is made, people recognize it and approve of it enthusiastically. So the problem of how to translate Línláifēng 林来疯 into Chinese has been solved, and beautifully so.
Tag Archives: linguistics
Just a note to myself that WEIBO IS AMAZING. After throwing up my hands at Twitter’s worthless search functionality* (Google’s discussion search is useful, but no holy grail), it is a pleasure to use something this intuitive, even if I have to re-translate the whole thing into my second language, I daresay it still makes more sense than Twitter does. I’m playing around right now with all sorts of things, including working with my friend on writing some simple code for searching for banned keywords. For instance, searching for “艾未未” (Ai Wei Wei) yields this hilariously transparent message:
根据相关法律法规和政策，搜索结果未予显示。热门微博推荐 (Rough translation: According to laws, legislation, and policies, the search results are not shown. We recommend blogging about popular things. [emphasis mine; literal translation of 热门.)
Pussyfooting around this Weibo is not.
So, interesting results so far?
1) As someone who grew up speaking Taishanese, laibai (pinyin: libai; 礼拜) was my word for week (eg, 礼拜一 for Monday) while sengkay (xingqi; 星期) was reserved for newscasters and certain older speakers. While speaking with my language partner, who is Taiwanese, she almost exclusively used 礼拜 as well. But as any student of Mandarin today, 星期 is the standard word and 礼拜 seems to have developed a religious connotation.** But for the most part, they are semantically equivalent, and thus, variations in usage appear to simply be either a) regional b) generational or c) context (informal or more formal). It’s sort of (emphasis on sort of) like the great American debate between soda versus pop, and with Weibo, you don’t have to actually design and tabulate a survey of who uses what where; the data is all already up online, coded by gender, age, and location.
It’ll take some time to scrape some of this data (no way in hell I’m going to sit here and do this by hand; but the sad thing is that it probably will take me just as long to figure out how to code the script to do what I want… sigh), but preliminary results:
|礼拜天: 251748 results||星期天: 2461924|
|礼拜日: 48962||星期日: 1115494|
|礼拜一: 272460||星期一: 3436480|
|礼拜二: 78241||星期二: 1336238|
|礼拜三: 88890||星期三: 1287634|
|礼拜四: 91038||星期四: 1272936|
|礼拜五: 245327||星期五: 3157894|
|礼拜六: 253894||星期六: 3177002|
|礼拜七: 2664***||星期七: 50031***|
All right! And because the deputy likes dots, here it is in visual form:
So it’s official, on Weibo, Monday is the most popular day, closely followed by Saturday and Friday. Wednesday and Thursday are in a dead heat for least popularly cited. Curious what a similar chart would be on Twitter… oh wait, I can’t generate one. Dur. (Though I guess you could use Google to get a rough estimate, but those aren’t hard numbers like these on Weibo.)
Future project would be to do similar analysis of paired words like this, and to further dig into the data and figure out where these libai users come from and what similarities they share.
*What is it with Web 2.0 folks and broken search? That was aimed at you Tumblr, get your act together.
***Not a real date, but just curious to see if it’s used. I’ll have to go back and analyze what it actually means when people say Seven-day.