explanation of “Intel inside (probably 宅男 outside) “

First things first, I’m complicating stuff by putting some  untranslated Chinese in the title of the post.  So I’ll start there.  That 宅男 (zhai nan) stuff just refers to a very bookish boy.  nciku defines it as otaku… I’m no expert there (unfortunately!), so I’ll just point it out and let others figure out whether it’s accurate.  Anyway, zhainan is apt here, since this is a very nerdy joke.

So, if you’re fairly nerdy, or if you pay attention to advertising, you might know that Intel has used a particular jingle for years and years.  It’s a series of atmospheric melodic dinging sounds.  Here’s a youtube video of it in all its glory:

Now that you’ve got that in mind, let’s think about what the Chinese for “The light! Wait for the light! Wait for the light!” sounds like.  It’s literally,  “Deng! Dengdeng, dengdeng.”  With tones (deng1 deng3deng1 deng3deng1), it could seriously start to sound like the Intel jingle. The 1 tone is flat and slightly above natural register, and the 3 tone is a kind of froggy low tone that’s much lower than the 1 tone.

Finally, I should mention that I’ve taken some license in translating the friend’s response to the “dengdeng.”  Even though “就你有英特尔啊” should be something like “It’s you who have Intel!”, I’ve decided to go with the well-known Intel slogan, “Intel inside,” since it’s clearly supposed to refer to some such phrase.  Anyway, I’m interested if anyone knows whether this is actually a common advertising slogan for Intel in the China market.

2 comments so far

  1. jeniferconifer on

    This is such a cool joke just because it’s only understandable due to the way the language sounds–I love stuff like that! Thanks for starting this blog, it’s pretty interesting so far.

    • chinalols on

      I love this kind of humor too… I’ve been trying to think of an English equivalent joke for some time now but have yet to come up with one that quite works.

      Thanks for reading and enjoying!

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