Now that 2018 is over, there are “best of” and “top” lists everywhere you turn. In China, one of the lists is “Top Buzzwords of 2018”.
While you may know some of these words from your textbook, the way people *actually* use them in real life is much different. Level up your language skills and learn how phrases from the real world with this list:
The literal translation of this word is “Buddhist-style”. The mentality of a Buddhist-style person is: it is what it is. Buddhist-style can be used to describe a person, such as a Buddhist-style youth (佛系青年, fóxì qīngnián), Buddhist-style staff (佛系员工, fóxì yuángōng), etc. This type of person doesn’t care a lot about things and always goes with the flow of things. The three words this type of person often says are: 可以 kěyǐ (alright), 都行 dōu xíng (it’s all OK), 随便 suíbiàn (whatever).
Here is an example:
Nǐ jīntiān qù nǎr chīfàn?
Where are you going to eat today?
It’s all OK.
Nǐ nǚ péngyou yào gēn nǐ fēnshǒu.
Your girlfriend said to break up with you.
Nǐ jiā zháohuǒ le.
Your house is on fire!
Nǐ zěnme nàme fóxì.
How can you be so Buddhist-style?
家里有矿 jiā lǐ yǒu kuàng
The literal translation of this phrase is: a person’s family possesses rich mineral deposits. 矿kuàng means mines or ore. Someone who owns a lot of mines (矿kuàng) must be very rich. Therefore, it means that a person is extremely rich. It also means to spend a lot of money fast.
Tā zài Shànghǎi mǎi le hěn duō fángzi，wǒ juéde tā jiā lǐ yǒu kuàng.
He bought a lot of houses in Shanghai, I think his family possesses rich mineral deposits.
凉凉 liáng liáng
凉凉 liáng liáng is originally the name of a Chinese song which literal translates to “cool” or “chilly”. However, here it means that there is no hope for something or that someone is done for.
Míngtiān kǎoshì wǒ hái méi fùxí， wǒ yào liángliáng le.
I have not reviewed for the exam tomorrow, I am done for.
Originally, it was said that a person is particularly good at learning, working, etc. But now, we often use this word sarcastically.
Yōuxiù, nǐ zěnme nàme yōuxiù？
Excellent, how good are you？
真香 zhēn xiāng
It originally means that something tastes delicious. It comes from a reality TV show. There was a guy from the city who went to the countryside. At first, he disliked being there and said, I would rather starve than eat the food here. But after a few hours he was very hungry and ate a lot. While he was eating, he said, the food tastes delicious.
Now the word means that at first, you don’t like something but after you try it, you change your mind… completely.
Wǒ kě sǐ yě bù hē nǎichá.
I’m dying of thirst and I don’t drink milk tea.
(After trying it)
Forget it, it’s delicious.