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English-Chinese dictionary gets internet slangs

2013-06-14 16:34 The World of Chinese Web Editor: yaolan

About 300 internet terms will appear in the 4th Edition of A New English-Chinese Dictionary, the foreign language dictionary that has a circulation of 1.3 million. It is the first time that such a large amount of internet slang terms are appearing in a comprehensive English dictionary, Shanghai-based newspaper Wen Hui Bao reports.

Want China Times says that the internet phrases will be found in the appendices, and that:

"…for the first time 297 phrases used regularly by internet users such as the term 'ZZZ,' meaning 'to feel tired,' '2D4,' an abbreviation meaning 'to die for,' and 'BFF' — 'best friend forever.'"

The latest edition is including internet slang and abbreviations to meet the increasingly active social thoughts today, Wen Hui Bao adds: "The selection adds trendy characteristics to the dictionary, with vocabulary such as 'aak' (asleep at keyboard), 'kiss' (keep it simple, stupid), and 'yyssw' (yeah, yeah, sure-whatever)," similar to the Chinese internet expressions "表" (biǎo, character for "table" that sounds similar to 不要 búyào "not want"), and "酱紫" (jiàngzǐ, literally "purple paste", sounds similar to 这样子 zhèyàng zi "like this")."

In addition to these internet terms, the dictionary also uses cheeky internet sayings as sample sentences. For example, for the explanation of the word "smog" (雾霾 wù mái), the dictionary lists the popular playful phrase "the longest distance in the world is me standing on Tiananmen Square and I cannot see Chairman Mao." Other new words include: waterfootprint, eco-management, hypermiling, plastic soup, camgirl, Facebook, mobisode, and helicopter parent.

While it is somewhat strange for an English-Chinese dictionary to include these buzzwords, the article does point out that dictionaries with over 100,000 words usually update once every 10 years, and dictionaries with over 50,000 words update once every 5 to 6 years. Perhaps A New English-Chinese Dictionary is making a daring and risky move, speculating that these buzzwords will have a relatively long shelf-life.


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