Tag Archives: chinese


Waking up with a craving for Hong Kong noodles, I knew there were only two places in Tokyo where my need would be met – 新記 at either Sangenjaya or Odaiba. Decided on the latter as it has been a long time since my last visit.

Steamed chicken with an awesome chili sauce, wonton noodles (dry and soup), rice with spare-ribs made it necessary to take a walk around Odaiba and Shiokaze Park which was very pleasant. The sky was particularly clear.

Chinked Out?

It started up lately with Wang Lee Hom describing his mix of Western pop and Chinese traditional music, and now local S'porean JJ Lin has put out called and referencing "Cao Cao," saying he does not "chink for the sake of chinking" since he's always loved to fuse Chinese culture into his music (per 8 Days, 2006APR20). I guess this is just the latest reclaiming of derogatory verbiage? See also Kate Riggs (featuring MC Chink Daddy)Chink-O-Rama, "where she takes the word 'chink,' what she refers to as 'a non-word taken from the libelous use of the speakers mouth,' and turns it upside down." JJ certainly doesn't seem to poo poo the re-purposing. Sorry, couldn't resist. JJ Lin - Loo

Chinese Tattoos

Chinese Tattoos are all the craze for some “exotic” reason. Pity those getting them are clueless, or the “artists” are sadistic pranksters, or both.

Pictured to the right is a Chinese idiom (in a lovely font) that might be transliterated as “spilled water difficult collect” (Pronunciation: fu shui nan shou) that would be better translated as No use crying over spilled milk, meaning what’s done is done and cannot be undone, an appropriate sentiment for a tattoo. If you saw a Chinese tough in Hong Kong with “spilled water difficult collect” (in English) on his arm, you might understand the meaning, but it would definitely seem odd. Countless examples of mangled English can be found on products and in advertising in the Far East. (e.g. All your base are belong to us.) Sometimes this is the result of non-native speakers transliterating phrases into English. More often, the English is created by non-native English speakers for non-native English speakers. In this case, the actual meaning of the English to an English speaker is not at all important. Instead, English is used by marketing departments to sell products to a population that probably speaks a little English, but not much. Simple words that convey broad concepts, like “friend” or “love,” are more important than proper English. And English is chosen because it is hip, cool and foreign. Sound familiar?