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Buying Soy Sauce in China. (Elementary)

Apr. 17, 2013

Soy sauce is a traditional Chinese condiment which is used almost every day by Chinese people. Before supermarkets appeared in China, Chinese people brought their empty soy sauce bottles to shops in order to refill them. We call this traditional activity 打酱油 (dǎ jiàngyóu), or, "buying soy sauce.” Currently in China, this old expression has taken on a new meaning. Here’s the story of how the new definition came into being.

A TV station was conducting a street interview, asking ordinary people their opinions on celebrity scandals. In one particularly memorable interview, the interviewee said calmly to a journalist about a recent scandal, “It’s none of my business. I just went out for some soy sauce.” This video was uploaded to the internet and ever since, 打酱油 (dǎ jiàngyóu) has been the popular way netizens say that something is none of one’s business.

Example:

      Nǐ yě cānjiā hànyǔ bǐsài ma?
A:你 也  参加    汉语  比赛  吗?

     Wǒ shì lái dǎ jiàngyóu de.
B:我   是 来 打   酱油     的。

           Nǐ jiéhūn le ma?
Jane:你  结婚  了 吗?

           Are you married?

          Wǒ háizi dōu huì dǎ jiàngyóu le.
  Lily:我  孩子   都  会   打   酱油     了。

See answers

 

Chinese Popular Words (Fun Stuff)

HSK Test

General Chinese (Beginner Level)

General Chinese (Intermediate Level)

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