Why Thai Laugh When Chinese Cry?

Pig - er bai wu

Er bai wu (250)

One friend of mine recently told me a curious story. He had a girlfriend from Thailand. She was half Thai, half Chinese. And they were communicating a lot by messenger. During one of their online conversations he “told” her a joke and in response got a message:

“What’s wrong?” – he asked – “Why are you crying?”
“No, no, I am laughing” – she answered.
“How come? 555 is crying”
“No, 555 is laughing!”

I think that you already understood the reason of their confusion. They were referring to different phonetizations of the same symbols.
While their chat was mainly in English, they sometimes exchanged some internet slang in Chinese. But this time the girl made a mistake and used “555” in Thai variant which sounds as “hahaha” (something that English speaking netizens cipher as LOL or ROFL). However, my friend used the Chinese variant and it sounds as “wuwuwu” which stands for crying.

Well, most of my blog’s readers are foreign guys married to or dating or wanting to date Chinese girls. Thus, it’s not uncommon for you to spend time on internet and have an online chat with your Chinese soulmates. Some of you even know Chinese, this knowledge varying from simple “ni hao” and “xie xie” to ability of fluent talk.
But independently of your language level you can quickly incorporate some popular Chinese slang idioms into your vocabulary and use them in online conversations.

Chinese internet slang follows similar rules to English slang. It is either direct abbreviation – like “BRB” (be right back) or phonetization of certain symbols which produces a different meaning – like “c u” (see you).

Lets begin with the most widespread expression used in the end of chat.
88. Easy, right? “8” in Chinese is “ba”. Two “eights” stand for “ba ba” or “bye bye” .
This is quite straightforward and it’s easy to see the link. A little bit more difficult to understand why an affectionate way to say “bye bye” has “6” (liu) in the end and is written as 886. I myself don’t know and will leave it for your further exploration ;-)

The second most popular abbreviation is “520”. These numbers are pronounced as “wu er ling”, and due to some similarity to “wo ai ni” (我爱你I love you) – one can use them to express love… However, you should be very careful and not forget the correct order. Otherwise you risk to make a shameful mistake, since “250” is used to label someone as “idiot”.

Saying that a girl is beautiful can be reduced to just four letters “PLMM” (漂亮妹妹 piao liang mei mei). And sharing the information about family is even shorter. Elder sister is just “JJ” (姐姐 jie jie) , while elder brother is “GG”(哥哥 ge ge).

If you would witness two onliners exchanging the following codes
– 5376
– 8147
you shouldn’t think that they are playing “bulls and cows” game. In fact, they are having a meaningful conversation :-)
5376” is translated as “I am angry” –> “wu san qi liu” ( 我生气了wo sheng qi le). And the answer “8147” is “Don’t be angry” –> “ba yao si qi” (不要生气 bu yao sheng qi).

Another example of a dialog could be
– 596
– 098
where “596” stands for “I have to go” –> wu jiu liu (我走了wo zou le) and “098” for “Okay, go!” –> “ling jiu ba” (你走吧 ni zou ba).

Well, let’s not forget our goal and in the end learn few more sweet words… errr… sorry, few more sweet numbers that you can send to your beloved.

We, Chinese have our own way to say “XOXO”. It goes like that: 770880, “qi qi ling ba ba ling” (亲亲你抱抱你 qin qin ni bao bao ni) and means “kiss and hug you”.
And instead “miss you” you can just type “360”, “san liu ling” (思恋你 si lian ni).
If you feel that the girl is your only one, why searching for words when five digits are going to express it better? “04551” or “ling si wu wu yi” will tell her “you are my only one”! (你是我唯一 ni shi wo wei yi).
Finally, when you are overwhelmed with emotions and ready for commitment – look no further and bravely type “5170”, “wu yao qi ling” (我要娶你 wo yao qu ni) –> I want to marry you.

88 - bye bye

88 (bye bye)

Armed with this simple mathematics/linguistics you are now qualified for highly sophisticated online conversations.

C u, 88, Crystal Tao

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