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Animated Comedy and Social Issues: 小报告 (Episode 8)

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小报告   Xiao Baogao


A very short, fantastically well animated series of online videos offering analysis of current trends and talking points among younger Chinese people, as well as musical parodies.


What does the title mean? ‘Little report’, obviously, but also ‘snitch’ or ‘telltale’ or something like that.


I’m going to post up some of these videos with a translation of the first minute or so, and vocabulary (in the style of realmayo’s excellent work with 锵锵三人行). The full length is generally 5-6 minutes, but there is a vast amount of content packed in.

I’ll also put a few questions up that you can use to check your comprehension.


Level of Chinese: advanced. It’s really fast and full of complicated language and stuff that doesn’t appear in dictionaries.


Finding it online: it doesn’t seem to be on Youtube, so if you don’t want to use Tudou I recommend downloading an mp4 using a site like flvdown.com


NSFW status: some scenes in these videos may prove a little outré for your co-workers, I dunno…

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Episode 8:      X


“Young people who say No”




This episode is about counter-culture in China, or at the very least about young people refusing to follow typical social norms.


Three particular ‘types’ are illustrated: refusing to get married, refusing to get enough sleep, and refusing to return home for Chinese New Year.


Other episode themes which hopefully I will post up soon: shopping abroad, long-distance relationships, surrogacy services. 9 episodes have been released so far.

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(text in blue is included in vocabulary section below)


0.00 – 1.26



These are so-called ‘problem youth’, a group who have labelled themselves with the word ‘No’. They say ‘no’ to marriage, ‘no’ to sleep, ‘no’ to going back home [for Chinese New Year].


生活的多样性于他们就于性取向一样,从来不止一种. 他们就是不X(念:插)族

The many ways to live your life are, to them, the same as your sexual orientation – there is no one right answer. They are the ‘naysayers’ [if anybody would like to come up with a better translation, feel free]



1) Say No to Marriage



Marriage is like a fortress besieged: those inside long to get out, those outside long to get in. But those who say No to marriage are reluctant to step into those murky waters.



What type of people are they? Financially unconstrained, not scrimping and saving for life’s necessities, they prefer a single life, footloose and fancy-free. The women say “what use is a husband you don’t love? A dog would be a better choice…” The men say “why would I want a nagging wife, when I can come home and go tree-climbing?” [watch the video to see what that’s in reference to!]



Of course, these young people are still interested in relationships, they move in together, enjoy carnal pleasures. The way they see it, saying “I love you” and wanting to get married are two completely different matters.


据《2013中国男女婚恋观调查》显示,8% 的男人和5% 的女人认为感情不必靠婚姻维持。在结不起婚逼婚成风的当下,不婚族更在意自己的需求。

A 2013 survey on Chinese men and women’s views on love and marriage showed that 8% of men and 5% of women believe that your feelings don’t need marriage as a crutch. Faced with a rising tide of financial and parental pressure, those who say No to marriage prefer to concentrate on their own well-being.



They know that marriage is no laughing matter, and are not willing to put on a show just for the sake of keeping up appearances at home.



They would prefer to perform in their own show, as so-called ‘leftover men or women’, and the 9RMB for a marriage certificate that will stop their parents’ nagging still seems like a price not worth paying. [impression of the parents] “Son, you’re all grown-up now, you need to marry. Mr Wang next door already has grandchildren old enough to go to the shops on their own.”



People often say that marriage is a serious matter, and that being the case, it needs considering carefully… for your whole life, if necessary.

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Vocabulary from Part 1 (say No to marriage)


性取向   Sexual orientation

无拘无束   Free from constraints

同居   Co-habitation

滚床单   To have sex

结不起婚   To be unable to get married (most usually because of financial status)

逼婚     To be pressured into getting married (by your parents, probably)

非同儿戏   No laughing matter, a big deal

家长里短  The gossip of neighbours in your community

逢场做戏   A fake performance

独角戏      A one-man show

老大不小  A grown-up, not a child any more

打酱油   To go and buy soy sauce – here the meaning is that the kids have grown up enough to be able to run errands




出轨    to cheat on someone

泡妞    to hit on women

出柜     to come out of the closet

传宗接代    to carry on one’s ancestral line

愿打愿挨    sadomasochism


Vocabulary from Part 2 (say No to sleep)


黑着眼眶     with bags under one’s eyes

追剧          to avidly follow TV shows, waiting for the next episode to be released

心痒痒     an ‘itchy heart’ – some nagging feeling or desire

五妹   not a real expression – watch the video and see what is meant

夜宵   a late-night snack


Vocabulary from Part 3 (say No to going back home)


衣锦还乡  to return home in style

盘问   cross-examination, interrogation

物是人非   things stay the same, but people change

一事无成   to accomplish nothing

编理由     to invent a pretext or excuse

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Some questions about the video, for you to check your comprehension (if you so wish…)


1. What would some Chinese women prefer to a husband?


2. How many hours a night do young creative-types average?


3. What is Xi Jinping’s take on young people’s lifestyles?


4. Why is it sometimes disappointing to meet your old school friends?


5. What is the most useful reply when faced with interrogation about your prospects from your extended family?


6. What’s the best way to get out of going home for New Year?

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There is also of lot of interesting text in the video, on mobile phone screens, in speech bubbles, on signs, etc.


For example, just at the point when the narrator is saying that, for the 不婚族, marriage is something to be considered very carefully, there is the line 以结婚为目的的恋爱都是耍流氓 written at the top of the screen. This is a deliberate twisting of a quotation from Mao – see here for source and here for a horrible yet very popular song based on the original quote.


This is another reason why I think these videos have a lot of replay value – you see something new each time.

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Great stuff, but it's way too fast for me.

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Too fast for me too, and headache inducing flashing colours and images. I suspect if you are young and your Chinese is better, it would be quite good.

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li3wei1 - I think it's pretty much too fast for any non-native speakers and a lot of native speakers to 'get' in one go, since the way it's made has packed in a lot of meaning, actions, text and audio into each section. I think it's designed more to be decoded or passed around, shown to friends and then watched with them, and each time noticing a few new things


I should mention that I was introduced to it by a Chinese teacher, who said that there were a few times when he was going by context to get the meaning


Shelley - sorry! Hope your retinas have suffered no lasting damage. I think the first ten seconds is especially loud and explosion-y

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Hey no problem, no lasting damage.


It is a shame because I would like some sort of animation more at my level (much lower than this), but subject matter is always a problem.

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