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Calling all Chinese language wonks!

The Grass-Mud Horse Lexicon, a Chinese netizen lexicon. For example:

The term grass-mud horse, which sounds nearly the same in Chinese as “f*** your mother” (cáo n? m?), was originally created as a way to get around, and also poke fun at, government censorship of vulgar content. After netizens created an online video depicting the grass-mud horse at war with and eventually defeating the river crab, a homonym for "harmony," a propaganda catchword, the idea caught fire and the video became a viral hit. Netizens continually expanded the lore of the grass-mud horse by creating catchy songs and fake nature documentaries on YouTube and other video sharing sites.

The phrase is especially meaningful on a political level because the Communist Party is often described as "the mother" of the people--thus the phrase, "f*** your mother" can also suggest "f** the Party." The grass-mud horse is one of many mythical creatures created by netizens in response to increasingly strict censorship measures.

Readers, I'm sorry that Chinese characters may not reproduce in posts, because the database does not support UTF-8 (?), the character set required to display them.*

NOTE * One more reason I should bite the bullet and do the upgrade to Drupal 7. It's just that tens of thousands of posts give me pause.....

NOTE Via McClatchy.

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Jeff W's picture
Submitted by Jeff W on

That lexicon has been around for a few years and looking it over actually gives a pretty good sense of the resistance and cynicism among Chinese netizens.

I like Believe in Han Han and you won't be a retard because I'm kind o a fan of Han Han (China's bad boy novelist, race-car driver and blogger)—he manages to know exactly what to say and what not to say to get his point across.

The lexicon actually organized alphabetically by pinyin but the pinyin doesn’t appear, making the organization appear random.

And, c'mon, lambert, upgrade. (I can think of at least one other Correntian who would agree with me.) Not being able to display Chinese characters or even the pinyin is not just Western-centric, it’s so 1995.

Submitted by lambert on

.. it's a long job, converting 20 or 30K of posts can be risky, I'd have to rework the theme people didn't like, and I'd also have to shut the site down for at least a day, or freeze the ability to post and comment.

So it's more like this:


Jeff W's picture
Submitted by Jeff W on

but it doesn't seem like that's an option.

You're bearing the brunt, no, all of the transition costs, lambert and you obviously are aware of the pluses and minuses. I'm just throwing in my 2¢ (and, neat, that ¢ sign does appear). I appreciate that you're considering it. :)

Submitted by lambert on

Hipp said she'd help with that...

What I wish I had was a kiler app that only D7 can provide. For awhile, I thought that ecommerce would do that....

UPDATE Maybe is the killer app. People seem to enjoy uploading photos and right now it is not easy at all....

Submitted by Hugh on

You could approximate grass mud horse leaving out the tones with tsau ni ma. Horse and mother have different tones anyway. Chinese is super heavy with homonyms, even with the same tones.

MsExPat's picture
Submitted by MsExPat on

One request: If you ever get around to doing this, please do put in the Traditional Chinese character set. Otherwise all us Hong Kong and Taiwan language geeks will feel majorly frustrated.

Is it really that hard to get the characters in here? They work automatically in FB, Twitter and most blogs.

Re: the Lexicon. It doesn't scan at all in Cantonese. The phrase for f yr old mother comes out sounding like: Delay No More. A popular cheeky hip housewares store has appropriated it for a slogan.