Do you speak ‘Englinese’? The mashup of English and Chinese

A classic, taken from us 太快了

As anyone who has lived in China for more than a few months will tell you, Chinglish is most definitely a common feature of life and culture here. But while Chinglish is most commonly seen as mistakes made when translating English directly into Chinese, what about the other end of the spectrum: when people specifically choose to (or habitually) include Chinese words when speaking English?

Not sure what we mean, or what kinds of words and phrases might be used in ‘Englinese’? Read on to find out!

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What are Chinese rice dough figurines?

There is no easy way to say ‘捏面 nie mian’ in English!  It literally means ‘pinch flour’ but in fact this folk-craft, which dates back to the Han dynasty, involves a lot more than just pinching!

The ‘clay’, actually dough, was traditionally made of glutinous rice and colourings made from different foods. The final product, beautiful though it was, could be eaten. Today, certain additives such as honey and paraffin might be added to improve the longevity of the final product, and they definitely can’t be eaten!

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Who was Master Wang Xizhi?

Calligraphy (书法 Shūfǎ) is now considered an art form, but perhaps you didn’t know that traditionally it was much more – a way to cultivate personal character. It was considered essential for any cultured person to be skilled in calligraphy, as well as the related skill, painting.  Find out more about calligraphy in our introduction to Chinese calligraphy (link).

Who could possibly be so famous that a reproduction of their work would sell for $48 million? The greatest Chinese calligrapher, Wang Xizhi!

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