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It is probably no exaggeration to say that, these days, anyone who uses the internet on their phone understands the formidable power of a deftly deployed cat GIF, a knowingly dropped “crying with laughter” smiley, or a casually placed icon of a minuscule rose, watermelon, or cup of coffee. Todays world is one in which the emoji reigns supreme. 可以毫不夸张地说,如今,任何用手机上网的人都知道一个熟练发出的小猫动图、一张故意留下的“哭笑不得”的笑脸,或是随便加的小玫瑰、西瓜、咖啡的巨大影响力。当今世界是一个被emoji表情主宰的世界。 “Emoji” is a Japanese word meaning “pictograph,” composed of the Japanese characters e, meaning “picture,” and moji, meaning “written character.” In Japan, it originally referred to the ideograms and smileys used on mobile phones in the late 1990s. Since Apple added emojis to an iPhone update in 2011, they have taken the world by storm. One could say that, in the internet age, emojis are the worlds most widely understood language. “emoji”是一个日语单词,意思是“象形文字”,日文汉字e代表“图片”,moji的意思是“文字”。在日本,emoji原指上世纪90年代末在手机上使用的表意符号和微笑符号。自2011年苹果公司在iPhone中添加了emoji表情更新后,这些表情符号就开始在全世界风靡。可以说,在互联网时代,emoji表情是全球最通用的语言。 However, on Chinese social media, just understanding how to use emojis is not enough. Recently, young Chinese have become infatuated with an even more complex form of emoji called biaoqingbao, or sticker sets. 然而,在中国的社交媒体上,单单了解如何使用emoji表情是不够的。最近,中国年轻人迷恋上一种更复杂的表情符号“表情包”。 Much like emojis, sticker sets are groups of graphics used to express emotions. However, emojis tend to come in uniform sets distributed by phone manufacturers as part of their products operating systems, making them centralized, standardized, and limited in quantity. In contrast, the power to create and distribute sticker sets doesnt lie in the hands of corporations — anyone can create them. Sticker sets are therefore decentralized: They generally comprise images or animated GIFs of popular celebrities, viral quotes, anime scenes, or TV and film stills, frequently paired with a line of text. In essence, sticker sets are considerably more diverse and individualized than emojis. 表情包和emoji表情很相似,就是一组用来表达情感的图形。然而,emoji表情一般是手机厂商在其产品的操作系统中发布的统一图组,这些表情集中统一、数量有限。相比之下,创建和发布表情包并不需要依赖手机厂商。任何人都可以制作表情包。因此,表情包是多种多样的,通常包括名人、流行语、动画场景或影视剧画面的图像或动图,往往还会配上一串文字。从本质上讲,表情包比emoji表情更加多样化、个性化。 Sticker sets have come to dominate the social networks of young Chinese people, especially those born in the 1990s. For some of them, verbal and text-based conversations have given way to a barrage of stickers, furiously posted in a kind of competition to see who has the most or the funniest. 表情包已经占领了中国年轻人的社交网络平台,特别是90后。对于一些90后来说,语言文字交流已经被表情包斗图所取代。他们会发一大堆表情包,比赛看谁的表情包最多、最有意思。 During a recent conversation with an acquaintance of mine — a 90s kid — over messaging app WeChat, I wrote that I disagreed with something he had said. In response, he shot back a rapid volley of stickers. The first was a screenshot taken from the hit Chinese political drama “In the Name of the People,” in which an actor, Xu Yajun, purses his lips in a look of suspicion. Next came a popular internet meme of a floppy-limbed girl pulling a face of exaggerated exasperation, followed quickly by an image of a ginger cat whose comically drawn-on frown was supplemented by a single character meaning “Hmmph!” Last but not least, my phone lit up with the pouting baby face of Huang Zitao, a Chinese singer and actor best known for his involvement in popular boy band EXO. None of these stickers expressed genuine anger, despite their obvious petulance. Instead, they were meant as a rather coy way of saying: “Why dont you agree with me?” 最近我和一个90后熟人在微信上聊天时,我说我不同意他的观点。他则迅速连发一串表情包回击我。第一个是演员许亚军撇着嘴一脸怀疑的表情,这个截图来自国内热播政治剧《人民的名义》。第二个表情是一张网上流行的恶搞图片,图中女孩四肢瘫软,脸上透着夸张的愤怒,紧接着下一个表情是一只画了卡通眉毛的橘猫图片,上面加了一个“哼”字。我手机上出现的最后一个表情是中国歌手兼演员黄子韬的傲娇宝宝脸,他因在人气男子组合EXO的活动而为人熟知。尽管这些表情包明显是在闹情绪,但都没有表达真正的怒意。相反,它们是用一种委婉的方式表示:“你为什么不同意我呢?” Chinese people born in the 90s grew up in a fundamentally different environment from their elders. Today, connected to a veritable ocean of online information and surrounded by the clamor of differing opinions, new youth subcultures have emerged, challenging the previously hegemonic power of central ideology and opening up space for greater individualism and creativity. 中国90后和他们的长辈的成长环境完全不同。当今世界与网络信息海洋互联互通,充斥着各种不同的声音,新青年亚文化在这种背景下应运而生,挑战着此前占据主导的核心意识形态,并为更强的个人主义和创新思维开拓空间。 Young people have used this technology to construct their own system of expression and communication, complete with unique aesthetic and value systems. The internet has, in many ways, given them a means of constructing new cultural identities. It is precisely for this reason that sticker sets have won their affection. Socializing in China traditionally places a great emphasis on established etiquette that governs everything from what you wear, to how you sit, to how you treat your elders. Unsurprisingly, young people tend to dislike such over-elaborate formalities. 年轻人用表情包建立了具有独特审美和价值体系的专属表达交流系统。互联网以各种不同的方式赋予他们构建新的文化认同的途径。正因如此,表情包才能赢得年轻人的喜爱。中国传统社交特别注重礼节,从穿着打扮、坐姿到与长辈的相处之道,人们的一举一动都受其约束。而毋庸置疑,年轻人往往不喜欢这些繁文缛节。 Online messaging frequently lacks the context clues and mood indicators that we take for granted in real life, such as facial expressions, tone of voice, and pauses in speech. In China, the solution is to employ cheerful, entertaining, and tongue-in-cheek sticker sets. A skillfully used sticker is capable of accurately expressing the speakers state of mind without risking the tension or awkwardness that comes with social misunderstanding. They serve the same purposes as mood indicators. 网上聊天一般缺乏现实生活中我们习以为常的语境和面部表情、语调、讲话停顿等情绪暗示。对此,在中国应对之策就是使用欢脱搞笑的表情包。表情包能起到暗示情绪的作用。巧妙运用表情包可以准确传达讲话者的心情,不会产生社交误解,导致气氛变得紧张尴尬。 To give another example, this sticker serves to put an end to the conversation when its user is ready to go to bed. Between close friends or in the context of a romantic relationship, merely saying “Goodnight” might seem perfunctory. Instead, the image shows a man in bed, his face flushed, accompanied by deliberate sexual innuendo: “Im off to bed — Ill leave the door open though.” Not only is this sticker able to effectively terminate the conversation, but it also reaffirms a degree of intimacy between speakers. It lets the recipient know that, in the other persons eyes, they are more than just a random acquaintance. 再举个例子,当你准备休息时,可以用表情包结束对话。如果是亲密的朋友,或是情侣,仅仅说一声“晚安”似乎太敷衍了。相反,如果发一个人红着脸躺在床上的人,再配上一句挑逗的文字“好困,我先睡辣,我房门没关哦”,不仅能有效终止对话,而且还强调了双方的亲密关系。收到这个表情的人会觉得,在对方眼里,他们的关系不仅仅是普通朋友。

    蛐蛐英语 www.qqenglish.com

Sticker sets are the new language of Chinas youth. Some of the countrys scholars are concerned that young peoples literacy skills will decline as stickers continue to dominate social media. While these concerns are not completely unfounded, they are somewhat excessive. What Chinas youths need now is more channels of self-expression. We must allow them to speak more freely and independently, so that their unique subcultures may challenge mainstream culture and make mainstream values more relaxed, diverse, and tolerant. For the moment, at least, sticker sets are playing this critical role. 表情包是属于中国年轻人的新语言,国内有一些学者担心,如果表情包继续在社交媒体上占据主导地位,可能会导致年轻人的识字能力下降。虽然这些担心并非完全没有根据,但有些夸大其词。中国年轻人现在正需要更多表达自我的渠道,我们必须让他们更加自由独立地表达,这样年轻人独特的亚文化才可能挑战主流文化,使得主流价值观更加轻松、多元、包容。至少,目前表情包正发挥这个关键作用。



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