Today 26 January is the first day of the Chinese ‘Niu’ Year.
This year is the Year of the Ox (which is why Google has an ox on its home page today) and the Chinese word for “ox” is “niu”, hence the word play.
May I take this opportunity to wish all friends and artists at Red Bubble all the good things that the Chinese wish each other on this very auspicious day.
While four-letter words are rude in English, Chinese good wishes generally come as four-word phrases. The most common is Gong Xi Fa Cai which might also be written as Kong Hee Fatt Choy or Keong Hei Fatt Choi etc and translates to Happiness, Prosperity.
That’s not bad, huh?
Some other four-word phrases, however, can be quite a laugh when translated literally, word for word and with some translator’s licence. Among them:
Horse arrive, work done
Step step, high rise
Year year, got fish
One road, smooth wind
Heart think, work done
Dragon horse, sperm God.
Don’t ask me what these mean. I never studied the Chinese language even though I am Chinese. Those were the days when we could choose our second language and I chose Malay, which is written in the Romanised script and hence easier. Today, ALL Chinese kids in Singapore MUST study Chinese as a second language.
Maybe some of our other Chinese friends here on Red Bubble can explain.
Cheers. Or, in Chinese, Yam Seng or Kan Pei or “Can’t pay!”