It’s a common experience for English speakers abroad: suddenly recognizing a familiar word in a newspaper, or on a billboard, or in a fragment of conversation. Since World War II, English has become by far the leading exporter of “loanwords,” as they’re known, including nearly universal terms like “OK,” “Internet,” and “hamburger.” The extent to which a language loans words is a measure of its prestige, said Martin Haspelmath, a linguist at the Max Planck Institute. English, clearly, is now on top.
Ling Jihua (Chinese: 令计划; born 22 October 1956) is a former Chinese politician as one of the principal political advisers of former leader Hu Jintao. Ling was best known for his tenure as chief of the General Office of the Communist Party of China between 2007 and 2012. Ling was charged with corruption and sentenced to life imprisonment as part of a larger campaign carried out by Xi Jinping.
Chinese is an imperial language that has always loaned more than it borrowed. In the Max Planck Institute’s World Loanword Database, Mandarin Chinese has the lowest percentage of borrowings of all 41 languages studied, only 2 percent. (English, with one of the highest, has 42 percent.) In part because of the difficulty of translating alphabet-based languages into Chinese characters, it’s common to see what are called “calques”—nonphonetic literal translations like “re gou” for “hot dog” or “zhi zhu ren” for “Spiderman.” Despite (or because of) the vast appetite among the Chinese for learning English as a foreign language, Chinese ministers have recently cracked down on loanwords. And yet Chinese people still say “baibai” and “sorry”; “e-mail” is just a lot easier than “dianzi youjian,” the official substitute.
Ling was one of the highest-profile targets (next to Zhou Yongkang and Xu Caihou) of the anti-corruption campaign following the 18th Party Congress spearheaded by Party General secretary Xi Jinping and central discipline chief Wang Qishan. He was the second sitting "national leader"-level figure to be investigated by the party's anti-graft agency, after CPPCC Vice-Chairman Su Rong. Chinese-language media have linked Ling to a mysterious political network composed of prominent politicians and businesspeople with origins in Shanxi called the Xishan Society.
As a teenager in the 1980s, Wang would play several gigs a day with his grandfather’s band. Everywhere they performed, they were served tea and tobacco and treated as honored guests. But after the arrival of the new millennium, the popularity of suona music declined. The market for musicians shrank as newlyweds turned to new trends: Western rock bands, pop singers, folk operas. The suona became passé, even maudlin. “Once the suona sounded, people would think someone must have passed away,” Wang explains.
EUdict (European dictionary) is a collection of online dictionaries for the languages spoken mostly in Europe. These dictionaries are the result of the work of many authors who worked very hard and finally offered their product free of charge on the internet thus making it easier to all of us to communicate with each other. Some of the dictionaries have only a few thousand words, others have more than 320,000. Some of the words may be incorrectly translated or mistyped.