Posts by Anthill

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100 words of China clichés

 

To celebrate our 100 posts centenary on the Anthill, I've put together exactly 100 words (inspired by the mini fiction on this site) of clichés about China – the kind of clichés we're trying to belie at the Anthill, with stories of everyday experience rather than the "big picture".

Who can add to the list?

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One year of Antics

 

We've hit one year and 100 posts at the Anthill. If you're in Beijing, come celebrate at our drinks night at Cuju bar next Monday. In the last year we've had over 40,000 visits and are up to 4,000 monthly unique visitors. Over 20 writers have joined the colony – why not submit a story to join the colony too? Special thanks to Beijing CreamHAL publishingSam Duncan and Tom Pellman.

We're taking this opportunity to dig up some gems from the archive that new readers might have missed. Happy reading, and don't forget to follow our Facebook and Twitter.

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Chinese Tuesdays: Swallow

 

A friend pointed out this little mind f*ck coincidence to me the other day:

In English, the word "swallow", as in the bird, is the same as "swallow" as in the act of getting something down your gullet.

In Chinese, it's the same. Swallow, the bird, is yàn (燕). Swallow, the act, is yàn (咽). Exactly the same pronunciation.

Of course, with the limited number of phonemes in Chinese this isn't a wildly improbably coincidence. And another more common word for swallowing in Chinese is 吞 (tūn), with the two combined in 吞咽 (tūnyàn). But still.

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Chinese Tuesdays: Intercourse with Ghosts

Editor's note: Chinese Tuesdays, our weekly feature in collaboration with Sam Duncan's blog, is now opening up to submissions from anyone with a language titbit to share, though Sam will still be writing most of them. Here's one from me.

 

I came across 夜梦鬼交 (yè mèng guǐ jiāo) via pg-robban on this Reddit thread, who seems to have found it accidentally by searching for "dreaming" in the Pleco dictionary app. It translates as "dreaming of intercourse with ghosts". Naturally, that piqued by curiosity ...

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