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Word of the Year in China (2010)-给力 (Advanced)

Jan. 8, 2011

Learn the Hottest Phrase in China–给力

Key Learning Points (Preview)

给力 (gěilì): adj. cool/great


流行 (liúxíng): adj. popular


"给力 (gěilì)" was probably one of the most "流行 (liúxíng) popular" new phrases in theChinese language in 2010. It is an expression deriving from the Manlam dialect and it means "awesome" or "very good."

It spread widely during the period of 2010 World Cup because it expresses excitement of the soccer fans. If we choose words from modern English to explain the expression, "awesome," "cool," and "exciting" are suitable choices. Foreign media sometimes translate it literally as "giving power." Interestingly, it was not "给力" but it was the antonym "不给力 (bù gěilì)" that was popular on the Internet at first.

In fact, "给力" is an ancient word in the Chinese language. It describes how government authorities used to pay for their officials with servants. More specifically, the royal government gave different officials different numbers of servants depending on the rank of the officials. These servants provided free household services or worked in the fields for the officials.

Key Learning Points (Preview)

给力 (gěilì): adj. cool/great



    Zuótiān wǎnshang nǐ kàn NBA bǐsài le ma?
A: 昨天         晚上      你  看 NBA 比赛了   吗?


    Did you watch the NBA game last night?

    Dāngrán. Húrén duì tài gěilì le.
B: 当然。      湖人   队 太 给力了。


    Of course. The L.A. Lakers was great!

Zhège yóuxì yìdiǎnr dōu bù gěilì.
这个    游戏  一点儿   都  不 给力。


This game is not cool at all.

流行 (liúxíng): adj. popular



Fěn sè jīn nián hěn liúxíng.
粉   色  今   年   很    流行。


Pink color is very popular this year. 

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Yeah that’s what I’m talknig about baby–nice work!

Beneficial info and excellent design you got here! I want to thank you for sharing your ideas and putting the time into the stuff you publish! Great work!

woot, thank you! I’ve finally came across a website where the owner knows what they’re talking about. You know how many results are in Google when I check.. too many! It’s so annoying having to go from page after page after page, wasting my day away with tons of owners just copying eachother’s articles… ugh. Anyway, thankyou for the information anyway, much appreciated.

Does the word “bu” indicate a negative meaning in the Chinese language?

Yes. The word “不” can be added before some adjectives, adverbs and verbs to show a negative meaning in the Chinese language. For example: 好hǎo/不好bù hǎo (good/ not good), 经常jīngcháng/不经常bù jīngcháng (frequently/infrequently), 会huì/不会bú huì(be able to/ be not able to). What’s more, when the word “bù” is in front of another syllable with a fourth tone, it should be changed into a second tone.

How is “给” different from “给予” in the Chinese language?

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