Chinese Movie: 人在囧途 Lost on Journey

人在囧途 (Rénzài jiǒngtú) Lost on Journey

Key Learning Point (Preview): 

囧 (jiǒng): adj. depressed; embarrassed and mortified

Watch the movie tailer:

Have you ever seen the movie “人在囧途 (Rénzài jiǒngtú) Lost on Journey?” It is a comedy about a “农民工 (nóngmíngōng) migrant worker” and a small “老板 (lăobăn) business owner” who meet each other during “春运 (chūnyùn) the travel period of Spring Festival” and share “囧 (jiǒng) depressing, embarrassing and humiliating” stories with one another. It is not a big budget movie, but has turned out to be a hit and has become popular with movie goers because of the “囧 (jiǒng) embarrassing” stories.

“囧 (jiǒng)” is a rarely used Chinese character so it can’t be found in modern Chinese dictionaries. However, since 2008, it became a popular expression with online communities and has become one of the most used Chinese characters for chatting, forums as well as blogs. It was termed the most popular Chinese character in the 21st century.

The appearance of the character “囧 (jiǒng)” looks like the expression shown when people are depressed or embarrassed. The “八 (bā) eight” inside looks like human eyes and eyebrows, while the “口 (kŏu) mouth” inside is like a mouth. Because of its shape, it was given the meaning mentioned above and is used as an adjective to express feelings of frustration. For example:

“囧事 (jiǒngshì) an embarrassing event.”

It is simple and can illustrate a person’s feeling very well. So next time when you are embarrassed, you can say:

“我很囧。(Wǒ hĕnjiǒng.) I am very embarrassed.”

Today, the use of “囧 (jiǒng)” has become trendy. Some industries, for example, the film and advertising industries, have taken advantage of “囧文化 (jiǒng wénhuà) the jiong culture,” as can be seen in the film 人在囧途 (Rénzài jiǒngtú) Lost on Journey.

Key Learning Point:

囧 (jiǒng): adj. depressed; embarrassed and mortified


Zěnme le, kàn nǐ chuítóusàngqì de.
Kathy: 怎么  了,看 你 垂头丧气       的。
What’s wrong with you? You seem down today.

Jīntiān shàngkè dǎdǔn bèi lǎoshī mà le, zhēn shì tài jiǒng le.
Rita: 今天 上课        打盹    被 老师    骂 了,真    是 太  囧   了。
I was dozing in class today and I am very embarrassed.

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