The Perfect Word to Get the Right Smiles – “茄子(qiézi)”

Say 茄子(qiézi) when you taking photos

Do you know what Chinese people say when trying to get everyone to smile for a photo?

While Western people usually say “cheese” when taking photos, in China, people usually shout out “茄子(qiézi)!” which means “eggplant.”

Why Western people usually say “cheese” when taking photos? Here’s the story.

The idea of saying words that force your mouth into a smile comes from an American photographer who wanted his model to give a smile, but still thought the smile was rather unnatural after several attempts.

Later, he discovered that people seem to create a nearly natural smile when they say the word “cheese.” The idea of saying “cheese” when taking photos caught on in America and now the concept is used around the world.

Chinese words -茄子(qiézi)

“Cheese” means “奶酪(nǎilào)” in Chinese. Usually, in China we don’t say “‘奶酪(nǎilào)’” when taking photos since the word wouldn’t produce the same mouth shape as “cheese,” so the Chinese version is to shout out “茄子(qiézi)”!

“茄子(qiézi)” is the perfect word to get the right smile since it is a prolonged sound, helping to make your smile bigger and last longer.

So next time you take a photo with Chinese friends, remember to shout out “茄子(qiézi)!”

HSK 3 quiz

1. What do Chinese people say to show natural smiles when taking photos?

A. “Cheese!”
B. “奶酪(nǎilào)!”
C. “茄子(qiézi)!”

2. What does the word that Chinese people say to get everyone to smile when taking photos mean in English?

A. Cheese
B. Eggplant
C. Apple

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