jen_not_jennyMay 28, 2010, 07:07 AM posted in General Discussion
So in a conversation with a Chinese friend last week we were discussing my (admittedly ancient) cell phone. It's the first phone I bought when I moved here. It's a flip phone that only ever "flipped" the first three weeks of our time together. I've dropped it, scratched it, even sat on it crooked so that the extremely sturdy little antenna tilts its little head.
My friend took a look at my poor little phone and called it a 文物wénwù, an artifact or a historical relic. I asked if you could also call it a kǒnglóng 恐龙, much as we do with old computers, cell phones, etc. in English. Nope. It's a 文物。
I think semantically you would be a 恐龙, as I have heard this applied to people... so I assume this is the term for organic relics, while 文物 seems to apply to ancient technology or man made items like John Bird's sextant or jen_not_jenny's cell phone.
I asked my friend about 恐龙, too, and she said that it can be used to describe women....not old women, but ugly women, seriously ugly women. Not very nice!! I think xiao_liang gets off scott free this time...
bodaweiMay 28, 2010, 02:24 PM
One of my students looked at my mobile phone and said, with an absolutely straight face and, unfortunately for this thread, in English, 'your phone is unintelligent'. :)
Thanks by the way for 文物 - good one. :) But I am wondering if, like my 'unintelligent' example, if we think that this is funnier than they do?
xiao_liangMay 28, 2010, 10:35 AM
I feel a bit like a 文物 quite a lot of the time :)