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处处漂亮 (Chùchù piàoliang) Everywhere is beautiful.

Apr. 2, 2015

A:   Nĭ zhăng dé zhēn piàoliang.
A:你    长    得   真       漂亮。
You are so beautiful.

B:   Nălĭ   nălĭ.
B:哪里 哪里!
You flatters me.

A:   Méimao, yănjing, ĕrduo,  bízi,    zuĭ chù chù dōu piàoliang!
A:眉毛、      眼睛、 耳朵、鼻子、嘴  处   处   都     漂亮!
Your eyebrows, your eyes…everywhere (on you) is beautiful.


Analysis

In China, 哪里(nălĭ) is used not just for asking directions, but also as a way of being modest when someone offers you a compliment. The use of 哪里哪里(nălĭ nălĭ) here is a way of deflecting the compliment as if by saying, “Where? I don’t know what you’re talking about.” The punch line, then, comes from A’s literal response to the question: “Your eyebrows, your eyes…everywhere (on you) is beautiful.”

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