The language thing

Is there difference between ‘get rich’ and ‘发财’? To me, there is. Getting rich is generic to me while 发财 has a low conotation, kiddish and coarse.

I think the reason has to do with English isn’t my native tongue. And being the language of prosperity, I probably took in everything bit more favorably. After all, I didn’t grow up with it, and don’t know it well.

But Chinese on the other hand, is in my veins. Can’t brag to say I know it inside out, but at least I knew it well, have deeper feeling for it.

The other day, I was with few friends of a friend. One of them was a father of three, in his 40s with a stay-home wife. He has a degree from one of known universities in China and is working for a major bank in another state. While the short time we were together, he said no less than five times that he wants to quit his job that won’t get him rich, and start a biz to ‘发财’. Hmmmmm .. I finally had enough, so teased him, “do you think you have the fate or fortitude?” Seriously, don’t Chinese like to say 大富由天,小富由俭?  I’m not discounting people at any age who could make something out of nothing.  But don’t they all share one basic trait: a passion n drive for something?  发财 could be his passion and drive .. .. but I think it just too thin to cut it.

* * *

The other day, I read a blog describing Internet Cafés in Beijing, with boys playing games and mutter 我操. The English writer translates that as ‘f..k me’. Although I don’t use those two phases, but if I were .. I’d stick with the English one than the Chinese one. Because I grew up with Chinese and knew it well, have too much feeling for the language.

Oh, another point, shouldn’t it be translasted as ‘I f..k’ than ‘f..k me’?

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