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“无语(wúyǔ)” – I am speechless!

Jun. 4, 2014
Have you ever been in a situation like in the picture above? Have you ever been speechless, did not know what to say, or felt like that there were no words that could express your thoughts? Nowadays, Chinese people tend to use 无语(wúyǔ)” to describe this kind of feeling both on the internet and in daily communication. 无语(wúyǔ)quickly become a popular and frequently used catchphrase.

Literally, 无()” means “not have” or “without.” 语() means language or speech as in “汉语(hànyǔ) Chinese” and “英语(yīngyǔ) English.” “无语(wúyǔ)” literally means speechless, or having nothing to say. It originally came about on the Internet and is usually used by young people, while older generations seldom say it. “无语(wúyǔ)” could express many different feelings. If you are a big fan of Chinese catchphrases, be sure you don’t miss today’s Chinese lesson. Now, let’s begin by taking a closer look at how to use today’s phrase.

1. 很/真无语(hěn/zhēn wúyǔ)

“无语(wúyǔ)” could be used when you feel confused or have no idea. This usage is quite similar to “I don’t know” and “I can do nothing to help.” “很无语(hěn wúyǔ)” or “真无语(zhēn wúyǔ)” is currently one of the most popular phrases being used. In this phrase, “很(hěn)” means “very” or “quite,” and “真(zhēn)” refers to “indeed” or ”really.” Therefore, “很无语(hěn wúyǔ)” or “真无语(zhēn wúyǔ)” means “somebody indeed has nothing to say” or “somebody is really speechless.”

Examples:

Jīntiān yòu xiàyǔ? Wǒ yòu méiyǒu dàisǎn, zhēn wúyǔ a!
今天   又   下雨?  我   又    没有      带伞, 真    无语 啊!
It’s raining again today? Yet again, I have no umbrella. What can I say!

 

Wǒmen mílù le! Wǒ bùzhīdào wǒmen zài nǎr, wǒ hěn wúyǔ.
我们     迷路  了!我 不  知道  我们    在  哪儿,我 很  无语。
We got lost. I don’t know where we are. I indeed have nothing to say.

 

2. 我无语了(wǒ wúyǔ le)

Sometimes, “无语(wúyǔ)” can be used as an exclamation. When you admire or disdain someone so much that you can’t properly express it or you fail to find a suitable expression, you could use “无语(wúyǔ).” “我无语了(wǒ wúyǔ le)” is frequently used to convey strong emotion towards another person.

Examples:

Jack měicì kǎoshì dōu dé A, wǒ wúyǔ le!
Jack  每次  考试    都   得  A,我 无语了!

Jack gets an A in every examination. I am speechless!

 

Wǒ wúyǔ le! Nǐ yòu piànwǒ!
我   无语 了!你 又   骗我!

I am speechless! You cheated me again!

 

3. 真让我/人无语(zhēn ràng wǒ/rén wúyǔ)

“无语(wúyǔ)” can also be used to express the way you feel when you are reluctant to comment or discuss somebody or something because you have no choice but to let it go. ”真(zhēn)” means “really” and “truly.” “让(ràng)” means “to make.” So, “真让我无语(zhēn ràng wǒ wúyǔ)” or ”真让人无语(zhēn ràng rén wúyǔ)” means "It really makes me speechless.”

Examples:

Cathy měicì dōu chídào, zhēn ràng rén wúyǔ.
Cathy  每次  都   迟到,   真     让     人  无语。

Cathy is late every time. It makes me speechless.

 

Nǐ de xīn fàxíng zhēn ràng wǒ wúyǔ!
你 的  新 发型    真     让    我  无语!

Your new haircut makes me speechless!

 

4. 让我/人无语的(ràng wǒ/rén wúyǔde)

“无语(wúyǔ)” is also an adjective which describes someone or something that makes people speechless. For example, in the phrase”让我无语的(ràng wǒ wúyǔ de),” “无语(wúyǔ)” serves as an adjective and “让((ràng)” means “to make.” Therefore, “让我无语的(ràng wǒ wúyǔ de)” or “让人无语的(ràng rén wúyǔ de)” refers to “something or someone that makes me speechless.”

Examples:

Zhè shì yíbù ràng rén wúyǔ de diànyǐng.
这    是  一部  让     人  无语 的   电影。

This is a movie that makes me speechless.

 

Nǐ shì yígè ràng wǒ wúyǔ de rén.
你 是  一个  让    我  无语  的 人。

You’re the kind of person who makes me speechless.

 

Quiz

1. Jack’s colleagues consider him “真让人无语(zhēn ràngrén wúyǔ).” This is probably because Jack is___

A. a man who can’t talk. His colleagues cannot communicate with him.

B. a man who often makes mistakes even when he does something easy. His colleagues do not want to speak of him.

C. a man who is good at talking. His colleagues like him very much.

2. Jenny updates her Facebook page with “我很无语(wǒ hěn wúyǔ).” She probably___

A. passed an important examination.

B. failed an examination for the third time.

C. is glad because tomorrow is a holiday.

See Answers

 

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