Chinese Create Slang for New Technology

Cell phone, computer make way into written and spoken Mandarin
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted May 28, 2008 5:05 PM CDT
Chinese Create Slang for New Technology
Volunteer teacher Hanae Ota writes the Chinese character for the word, "forever" during a Chinese Level 2 class at Monta Vista High School in Cupertino, California, on February 10, 2005. The class was   (KRT Photos)

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 to resort to slang. The new words are spread through television and other pop culture.

Some novel expressions even get their own written characters. One artist created new characters for “pollution” (a combination of existing roots for “air” and “poison”) and “computer” (a square in the middle to represent the monitor, a long cross stroke under the square for the keyboard, and a dot on the right for the mouse).

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