July 29, 2015

"Be careful of having the water meter checked in your country in this Dama era."

Washington Post The sentence may sound like nonsense, but in China, it’s Internet code for having the police knocking at your door in this time of heavy government controls. By Anna Fifield

'Just as new words are being added to the English language all the time — the Oxford English Dictionary this year added "twerking" and "sext" — so, too, is Chinese evolving, although for very different reasons.

'Chinese netizens are finding all sorts of creative ways to avoid the censors’ filters, coming up with a whole new vocab to talk about sensitive subjects. Many of them require only a slight tweak in tone to sound like something entirely different.

'This year, 25 new words or phrases have been added to an unofficial lexicon collating these terms.

'In "Decoding the Chinese Internet: A Glossary of Political Slang," authors Perry Link and Xiao Qiang write that linguistic innovations have helped the Internet seem like a “new, open realm” in a China where plenty of subjects remain taboo.'

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