Writer's Block

The USA is the place I was born. Canada is the place I was raised. Taiwan is the place in my heart.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Just Another Sunday Afternoon in the Streets of Kaohsiung- A Protest of China's Anti-Secession Law

Here is a photo of one of the more spirited protesters seen that day... a translation/explanation of this sign is probably in order

For those of you who don't read Chinese, here's my attempt at a translation and explanation of the sign being held up by the protester in the photograph above:

First, let me begin by explaining the two Chinese characters for China (are read according to Hanyu Pin Ying as): zhong (first tone) guo (second tone). These two characters are literally translated to mean middle (zhong) country (guo), central country, or even middle kingdom, as in the middle or center of the world.

The sign in the photo above can be literally translated as: Taiwan does not equal "central dog."

The two characters on the right side of the sign are: zhong (first tone)- which means middle or central, guo (third tone)- which means dog. These two characters are a play on the two characters for China, in other words, the characters for "central dog" and "China" are like homonyms. The first Chinese character for "central dog" and China, is written and pronounced the same (zhong ), but second character guo- for dog and guo-for country sound similiar, but the tone used to pronounce the character guo for dog and country are different.

So in essence the sign is saying that Taiwan is not like those Chinese dogs, the central, "top dog" of dogs of the world. The Chinese nationalists dogs who fled to Taiwan from the Communist Chinese and enforced an authoritarian rule and now the dogs of the People's Republic of China, who continue to threaten and intimidate Taiwan. It amounts to the name calling that Taiwanese use to express how indecent, uncivilized, backward those Chinese dogs, or more specifically, the PRC are.


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