rcintheprc

Chang chang qu chang cheng | June 29, 2011

There’s a famous little story in Chinese that can be told entirely with homophones.  It’s about a poet who likes to eat lions.  Go figure.  Anyways, here’s a link if you want to see the characters, pinyin, and English translation.

Well, I’m not skilled enough to come up with an entire paragraph of homophones yet, but there is one phrase that has already caught my eye: 常常去长城, or chang chang qu chang cheng.  It means “to often go to the Great Wall.”  Now, people with a background in Chinese, cover your eyes for this next sentence.  For the rest of you: the aforementioned phrase, when said quickly, sounds to my minimally trained ears like “chang chang cha chang chang.”  It sounds like someone doing a stereotypical imitation of Chinese.  Cracks me up every time.  Oh, and there’s a Taiwanese actor named Chang Cheng, so you could turn this crazy phrase into a crazy sentence by saying, “Chang Cheng chang chang qu chang cheng.”  Not bad, eh?

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1 Comment »

  1. […] my first month in China, I wrote about my amazement that the phrase “我常常去长城” (wo chang chang qu chang cheng) could actually convey […]

    Pingback by Making a tongue twister | rcintheprc — August 3, 2014 @ 7:37 am


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