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  • Gordon Dumoulin

2021 buzzwords in Chinese social media...



Buzzwords in social media reflect the state and emotion of society in a particular time. The National Language Resources Monitoring and Research Centre, an institution administered by the China’s Ministry of Education, after checking billions of online social media posts came up with among others following trending buzzwords in 2021 : 永远的神 (yǒngyuǎn de shén), literally “𝗙𝗼𝗿𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿 𝗚𝗼𝗱” A phrase often used by fans to praise their idols or simply to describe something they are fond of. Often just typed as pinyin abbreviation "yyds". Similar to the American slang term GOAT (Greatest of All Time) 觉醒年代 (juéxǐng niándài), “𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗔𝗴𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝗔𝘄𝗮𝗸𝗲𝗻𝗶𝗻𝗴” One of the most popular TV dramas in China in 2021 about the founding of the Communist Party in early 20th century. Especially notable because of the commercial success as the younger generations admired the series, much more than previous TV dramas about historical events.


双减 (shuāngjiǎn), “𝗗𝗼𝘂𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝗥𝗲𝗱𝘂𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻” Extensive education reforms to reduce the homework burden, after-school tutoring pressure and excessive competitiveness on primary and middle school students. 伤害性不高,侮辱性极强 (shānghài xìng bù gāo, wǔrǔ xìng jí qiáng), “𝗡𝗼𝘁 𝗛𝗮𝗿𝗺𝗳𝘂𝗹, 𝗕𝘂𝘁 𝗩𝗲𝗿𝘆 𝗛𝘂𝗺𝗶𝗹𝗶𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴” This buzzword caught life after a Douyin (Tiktok) clip of two men and one woman eating on a table went viral. While the men were affectionately passing food to each other with their chopsticks, the woman, sitting in the middle, was left out. Meaning a situation that appears benign at first but is actually really bad, “more of an insult than an injury”. 躺平 (tǎngpíng), “𝗟𝘆𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗙𝗹𝗮𝘁” A reaction by younger generations to last year’s buzzword “involution” (内卷 nèijuǎn), or intense economic competition for ever scarcer resources. To lie flat is to escape involution and high-pressure city life, opting for a life of low consumption and little social interaction. Other popular China 2021 online buzzwords ;

破防 “𝗯𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗸𝘁𝗵𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗴𝗵 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗱𝗲𝗳𝗲𝗻𝘀𝗲, overwhelmed to the point of losing control”,

元宇宙 “𝗺𝗲𝘁𝗮𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗲, related to new evolutions in physical, augmented and virtual realities”,

百年未有之大变局 “𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗳𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗱 𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗻𝗴𝗲𝘀 𝘂𝗻𝘀𝗲𝗲𝗻 𝗶𝗻 𝗮 𝗰𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘂𝗿𝘆”,

强国有我 “𝗮 𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗼𝗻𝗴 𝗰𝗼𝘂𝗻𝘁𝗿𝘆 𝗵𝗮𝘀 𝗺𝗲”


#socialmedia #chinasocialmedia #wechat #weibo #china2021



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