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Dealing it Asian Style May 5, 2006

Posted by Chris W in reflections, show all entries.
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deal or no deal

The nation had a little Chinese lesson last night.

"Jiao Yi, Bu Jiao Yi"

That's right, that's Deal or No Deal in Mandarin Chinese. Howie got into it and instead of his standard, he did it Asian style polling the contestant with those 4 little words. He even got the audience going, getting them to chorus along. Of course, we have the contestant and her troupe to thank for the delightful Oriental linguistic instruction. Her hubbie and mom were both chanting in Chinese at the of each stage as she decides to continue with the game or accept the deal from the banker.

Eager to build upon the evening's head start in foreign language, Howie asks what "Open the case" would be in Chinese. And she goes,

"Pa Kui!"

And I go

"What?!?!"

It should've been,

"Ta Kai!" or "Kai Pao Siang!"


That ain't Mandarin Chinese, its Hokkien or Taiwanese. The whole time whenever she does the "No Deal" or "Bu Jiao Yi" in Chinese, a mechanically-anglo-rigid accent could be detected. In fact, she doesn't sound too different than her husband and Howie. Alright,the novelty lasted about as long as William Hung did on American Idol.

Well, I guess its kinda embarrassing to be on national tv and not really know/not know what your "mother tongue". But that seems to be problem, lots of Bananic-Americans; kinda yellow on the outside, kinda white on the inside,and just kinda sad. Heritage in atrophy=Neu-Heritage.

Incidentally, I found out that the word of the day at Merriam-Webster Online was mien; not to be confused with my lunch mein. (BTW, it really should be "chao mian" according to the Hanyu Pinyin standard, other phoentic representations are simply inferior)

Anyways, I digress.

I wonder if she knows how to use the chopsticks…the proper way.

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