Language Log fan club in China

« previous post | next post »

We have an ardent group of fans in Shenzhen, a large metropolitan area in the Pearl River Delta, just north of Hong Kong.

The word for "fans" in Chinese is interesting:

fěnsī 粉丝 (lit. "vermicelli made from bean starch, etc.", but now commonly used to transcribe the sounds of the English word)

Comment by Cynthia McLemore upon seeing the above photographs:

this is such a hoot! fans in Shenzhen, China held a Language Log party, and sent pictures. wearing jerseys! such a fun surprise. I’m sure after he finished his stint as quarterback in high school, Mark Liberman never imagined someone wearing a jersey with his name printed on it half a world away :)

Here's a video of some of the action at the LLog party in Shenzhen (hosted at an Argentine Mexican restaurant).

What they say in unison is this:

Shēnzhèn ài Language Log 深圳愛Language Log
("Shenzhen loves Language Log")

As will be demonstrated in the next post, these Chinese fěnsī 粉丝 ("vermicelli / fans") are true believers.


  1. Dagwood said,

    June 2, 2018 @ 11:38 pm

    What in tarnation!?!

  2. djen said,

    June 3, 2018 @ 2:36 am

    languagelog has more interest in Chinese Mandarin than any other language; maybe because China is the second world's power.

  3. Bathrobe said,

    June 3, 2018 @ 3:41 am

    Well, with the way politics is headed in China, they've probably already been rounded up by the local constabulary.

  4. russetvelvet said,

    June 3, 2018 @ 5:58 am

    Maybe I should start one of these clubs in Guangzhou…

  5. Alex said,

    June 3, 2018 @ 6:24 am

    Hello neighbor! If you are ever in sz definitely ping. Wechat: Cyrusaurelius . open invitation to anyone visiting Hong Kong or Shenzhen.

  6. Dave Cragin said,

    June 3, 2018 @ 8:47 pm

    When I've given briefing at work about the speed of change in China, Shenzen is a perfect example. The change in its population is nothing like we've experienced in the US:
    1979 30,000
    1985 350,000
    2011 14 million
    Source: SCIENCE VOL 333 29 JULY 2011 p. 555 (other sources give different population estimates. Regardless the change in population is amazing).

    It's a city I'd definitely like to visit.

  7. Chas Belov said,

    June 4, 2018 @ 12:55 am

    In the 1993 Cantonese hip-hop album Broadcast Drive Fans Murder by SoftHord, the song 廣播道Fans殺人事件 transcribes "fans" without assigning it to a character and pronounces it "fan-see" (/fænsiː/).

RSS feed for comments on this post