4 Stories

IKEA Toy With Rude Name Now a Protest Symbol

Wolf flies off shelves after one chucked at Hong Kong leader

(Newser) - IKEA stores in Hong Kong have completely sold out of the latest must-have item: A toy wolf whose name in Chinese sounds like what the South China Morning Post terms "an obscene three-word phrase in Cantonese associated with the female genitalia." Chronically unpopular chief executive CY Leung is... More »

Canada Town Bans 'Unlucky' 4 From Addresses

Number sounds like 'death' in Cantonese, Mandarin

(Newser) - A Toronto suburb that has long catered to the superstitious by skipping 13 when giving out new addresses has decided to do away with the number four as well. Four is considered unlucky by speakers of Cantonese and Mandarin because it sounds like the word "death," and while... More »

Mandarin Becomes Talk of Chinatown

Cantonese-speakers sidelined by new generation of immigrants

(Newser) - Goodbye "Leih Hou Ma," hello "Ni Hao Ma." The language most often heard in New York's Chinatown and in Chinese communities across America is quickly changing from Cantonese to Mandarin as new immigrants from mainland China outnumber those from Hong Kong. Even Cantonese-speaking parents are pushing... More »

Chinese Create Slang for New Technology

Cell phone, computer make way into written and spoken Mandarin

(Newser) - New technology has kids in China generating their own modern lingo, I.D. Magazine reports. The millennia-old Mandarin language lacks terms for things like cell phones (which go as shou ji, or "hand machine") and USB (which goes as yo pan, a word created partly phonetically), forcing users... More »

4 Stories