Chinese Tuesdays: 观海听涛


观海听涛 (guān hǎi tīng tāo) means “Watch the sea and listen to the waves”. A scroll like the one above was given as a gift to President Obama a few years ago by a Chinese general. The interesting part is that because the last character 涛 is the same as the tāo in [former leader] Hu Jintao, Chinese netizens have interpreted the gift to mean that Obama should listen to Hu, and watch China from across the sea, suggesting that the US is a vassal state of China. As a result, some have taken to calling Obama 观海 (guān hǎi) – “Sea Watcher”.

Every Tuesday on the Anthill, Sam Duncan posts a langauge titbit from his blog. Read them all here