HONG KONG - Students of Chinese have been having some fun with the new slang and jargon in the latest edition of the Xinhua Dictionary, the go-to reference book on China's official national language. It's a doorstop of a thing, over 700 pages, and you nearly need to be a shot putter to carry it around. (An electronic version is reportedly under construction.)
The new edition took eight years to compile, according to the deputy editor, Zhou Hongbo, and many of the debut entries are derived from social media. New terms include NBA, animal conservation, credit-card slaves, social harmony and diplomagate, a reference to the widespread faking of academic credentials.
Eveline Chao, writing on Foreign Policy magazine's Web site, has a fascinating look at seven of the new words and terms in the dictionary, including "house slaves," "PM 2.5" and "angry youth."
赵懿(Eveline Chao)为《外交政策》 网站撰写相关文章，对字典中的七个新词汇进行了颇为有趣的解读，包括“房奴”，“PM 2.5”，“愤青”等。
"Banana person" also makes its first official appearance. Ms. Chao notes that the term "usually refers to Chinese-Americans - yellow on the outside, white on the inside - though unlike in the United States this is not pejorative."
An excerpt from Ms. Chao's piece:
This edition includes slang and online terminology for the first time - remarkable for an official Chinese publication for which informal language has long been prohibited. Indeed, the Xinhua Dictionary has always been a guide to what's new and modern in China, but a few steps behind, aimed more at the masses less aware of the cutting edge. In the early days, it was like the Encyclopedia Britannica and the Oxford English Dictionary rolled into one, teaching a mostly illiterate country about everything from umbrellas to fertilizer to how to write the word "pigeon."
Ms. Chao also explains how NBA has now become an official word in Mandarin:
The NBA is by far the most popular sports league in China, domestic or foreign. The inclusion of this term reflects not just China's rabid passion for all things "Kebi" (Kobe Bryant), "Aifosen" (Allen Iverson), and "Lin Shuhao" (Jeremy Lin), but also the inevitable impact of the United States on China - and vice versa.
“NBA”目前是中国国内最受欢迎的运动联盟。该词汇的收录不仅反映了中国对“科比(Kobe Bryant)”“艾佛森(Allen Iverson)”和“林书豪(Jeremy Lin)”的疯狂热情，还表明美国对中国产生了重大影响，反之亦然。
Just as English has many loanwords derived from Chinese and various dialects - including brainwash, yen (as in craving), silk, and even ketchup - Chinese has absorbed many words from English, like sandwich, sofa, bye-bye, bus, and chocolate. English letters are especially prevalent in online slang because English is much easier to type than Chinese. "3Q," for example, is phonetic slang for "thank you" because the number three pronounced in Chinese (san) combined with Q sounds like "thank you."
正如英语中的很多外来词汇来源于中文和其他方言，包括洗脑(brainwash)、渴望(yen)、丝绸(silk)、甚至番茄酱(ketchup)等，中文也从英语中吸收了很多词汇，如三明治(sandwich)、沙发(sofa)、拜拜(bye-bye)、巴士(bus)和巧克力(chocolate)等。英文字母在网络俚语中特别常见，因为英语比中文更易输入。例如，“3Q”就成为了“thank you”的俚语表达方式，因为中文中“三”加上“Q”一起发音很像“thank you”。