'Unique Immigrants' in American English (Part 2)
2008-08-13 15:44:45 [ Big Normal Small ]     Comment
3. Mahjong 麻将

Mahjong is transliterated from the Chinese term "麻将" (Ma Jiang). It's a type of traditional tile-matching game played by four people, involving skill, strategy, calculation and a certain degree of luck.

'Unique Immigrants' in American English (Part 2)


Qian Zhongshu, a celebrated Chinese scholar has referred mahjong as China's "national skill"; Liang Qichao even said that playing mahjong is better than reading; and most people believe mahjong can be found wherever there are Chinese. As is seen, mahjong culture has been deeply ingrained in the Chinese community.

Besides, it appears that mahjong, with its unique cultural characteristics, has received a worldwide popularity today. There happened to be a case for certification: Hu Shi found that mahjong had already settled down in American families on his first visit there and he was no more proud to see that almost every clubs had set the game.

'Unique Immigrants' in American English (Part 2)


Accordingly, the term "mahjong" was most probably introduced to meet the widespread needs in the United States.

4. Long time no see! 好久不见!

Although there aren’t loanwords in this sentence, it’s a saying translated literally against English grammar rules. Actually, it was what we call Chinglish and has become authentic English saying. Thus it can be seen, our extensive and profound Chinese culture has infiltrated into the American English.

Certainly, there still exist many other English words, which are of Chinese origin and rich in particular cultural connotation. If you are interested and eager to learn more, don’t hesitate to take a relevant FREE one-on-one live lesson at eChineseLearning, a worldwide leader in Chinese language instruction.

'Unique Immigrants' in American English (Part 2)

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