Perfect translation

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Meme online from a Chinese forum (fortunately I have a screenshot). Hilarious, but sad, though, considering China’s reported covid conditions.

chéngwéi yángxìng
become positive

chéngwéi bìngrén
become a patient

If you test positive but are asymptomatic, are you a patient?

Selected readings


  1. Peter B. Golden said,

    December 23, 2022 @ 3:38 pm

    Our nephew in Shanghai held a big birthday party several days ago, inviting nearly 100 people. Of those only his mother (my wife's sister), father, wife and two friends appeared. The rest "were at home with Omicron." This is the situation in Shanghai.

  2. S Frankel said,

    December 23, 2022 @ 3:57 pm

    @ Peter B. Golden – Maybe your nephew's parties are just kind of lame?

  3. Peter B. Golden said,

    December 23, 2022 @ 5:03 pm

    @S Frankel – My nephew is a lively, intelligent fellow with lots of friends. Your comment is "lame" (I am being charitable). The Covid situation in Shanghai and elsewhere in China is not a laughing matter.

  4. Jenny Chu said,

    December 23, 2022 @ 8:47 pm

    A little dark humor is what gets us through times like these.

  5. Jerry Packard said,

    December 26, 2022 @ 10:01 am

    I find myself trying to figure out what a Chinese website would mean by saying ‘ 成为病人’ (become a patient).

  6. John Swindle said,

    December 27, 2022 @ 8:33 am

    @ Jerry Packard: It’s a bilingual pun. The humor is in the intentional mistranslation from English.

  7. Jerry Packard said,

    December 27, 2022 @ 11:30 am

    Ah, I see. Thanks.

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