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How to talk dirty in Chinese


SLiu1996
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脏话 is bad words, cursing and such, and I totally see how a Chinese speaker would translate that as 'dirty talk', never realising it's wrong.

I actually don't know how to say 'talk dirty' in Chinese. 床上话?

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On 9/7/2022 at 2:09 AM, MTH123 said:

So, to Chinese people, "talking dirty" and "swearing" are pretty much the same thing

Two factors I think:

1) Literal translation of 说脏话. (Lu beat me to it.)

2) Blasphemy was never a thing.

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On 9/6/2022 at 4:10 PM, Publius said:

Blasphemy was never a thing.

 

Would you please expand on this? Chinese people who immigrated to the U. S. have certainly gotten into swearing in English, like my dad. Are you suggesting that they aren't inclined to do the same in Chinese?

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Quote

>>"Would you please expand on this?"

 

上帝 doesn't feature prominently in the minds of the average Chinaman. 

 

Blasphemy = "the act or offense of speaking sacrilegiously about God or sacred things."

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I second Lu's and Publius' point about a likely interference with 脏话 and suggest that another reason something may have gotten lost in translation is that 脏话 could reasonably be rendered as either "dirty talk" or "dirty word". Chinese learners of English will be more familiar with the latter phrase (which does mean "swear/expletive") and unwittingly extend its meaning to the former (which actually means "erotic dialogue"), especially when using it as a verbal phrase (so that: 说脏话 -> to say dirty words -> to talk dirty).

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On 9/6/2022 at 11:10 PM, Publius said:

2) Blasphemy was never a thing.

I disagree! Chinese people don't really curse with God, but they curse with each other's parents and ancestors, which in the Chinese context is certainly blasphemous.

 

@abcdefg, the word 'Chinaman' has strong racist connotations, best avoid using it unless you want to insult someone.

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On 9/7/2022 at 5:22 AM, MTH123 said:

Would you please expand on this?

The original meaning of 'swear' is 'to take an oath'. Only through the extended notion of 'invoking sacred names' did it acquire the bad language sense.

 

There are two kinds of taboos involved in European swear words - the taboo of taking God's name in vain, and the taboo of mentioning certain body parts or bodily functions/actions. Taboo is the power source of expletives.

 

Due to the lack of an all-powerful, well-organized, monotheistic religion, Chinese people don't have that kind of religious taboo. There is no Chinese equivalent of 'blimey', 'darn it', or 'holy cow'. The main ingredients of Chinese 脏话 are unspeakable actions, close relatives, and body parts.

 

My point is, disguised though it may be through layers upon layers of euphemism/ellipsis, there really is only one kind of swearing in Chinese. Hence the confusion.

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On 9/7/2022 at 4:40 PM, Publius said:

Due to the lack of an all-powerful, well-organized, monotheistic religion, Chinese people don't have that kind of religious taboo.

 

This is also why they don't have the concept of "good Samaritan".  You help someone in distress and they sue you for damages.  The good Samaritan is a Christian concept that doesn't exist in other cultures.  

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On 9/7/2022 at 12:42 PM, vellocet said:

The good Samaritan is a Christian concept that doesn't exist in other cultures. 

That's not true, fortunately. The story of the good Samaritan is a Christian story; the concept of helping other people in distress is pretty universal. Even in China, people help each other, except for some shocking exceptions.

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Good Samaritans, or rather I should say people who help out, get sued all the time for helping out, and the judges rule against them.  While in America there are deliberately crafted laws to protect these people from being sued.  

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On 9/7/2022 at 9:40 AM, Publius said:

Due to the lack of an all-powerful, well-organized, monotheistic religion

but if you take out the word "monotheistic" then you get a Confucian/imperial religion with beliefs and corresponding taboos. Ancestors mentioned above. But also: common 汉字 becoming taboo because they form part of an emperor's name?

 

Arguably the long-standing distinction between religious and secular in Europe means it was easier to get away with blashphemy/breaking taboos, whereas in other state-religion type societies like China the state would punish you more severely? That is, Chinese people wouldn't dare use an emperor's name as a curse word, whereas Europeans would use God's name as a curse word.

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On 9/4/2022 at 5:27 PM, 889 said:

other non-native speakers sound when they try to use English curses

In non-English speaking Europe, it's not unusual to use English swear words, in both English and the native language - even from German chancellors like Angela Merkel:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/06/europe/angela-merkel-shitstorm-scli-intl-grm

 

I loved her response when her use of this word in a speech triggered much online discussion:  Laughing at the online fallout over her comment, she said “Das hat mir einen grosen Shitstorm eingebracht,” which translates as “it generated quite a shitstorm for me.”  (from the link above) 

 

Similarly, once while in an airport shuttle bus in Copenhagen airport, a well-dressed, formally dressed French business woman next to me liberally sprinkled in f* and s* into our discussion in English.  These words were just words to her words to her - not really swear words.  

 

In a similar vein, Chinese friends have told me it's much more comfortable for them to discuss sex in English than in Chinese.  The English words have much less "weight" to them.  

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