Thursday, April 10, 2008

520 1314 = I love you, always and forever!!

Numbers have a whole different meaning in China.

Most of us know that the Chinese are very superstitious, but just HOW superstitious didn’t become clear to me until yesterday when our teacher went through some very interesting number facts.

The number 8 is as known a lucky number in China (why else do u think the Olympic Games opening ceremony will take place on the 2008-08-08, at 8pm?) The reason why? Well, the pronunciation of ‘8’ in Chinese is ‘ba’ 八 which is very similar to ‘fa’ 发 which in Chinese means wealth/make a fortune.

When the Chinese choose mobile phone numbers, a number combination like ‘188’ or ‘518’ is very popular, and this is because ‘188’ (yi-ba-ba) also can sound like ‘yao fa fa’ 要发发 (want to make a fortune), and ‘588’ (wu-ba-ba’) can be read as ‘wo fa fa’我发发(I make a fortune).

The Chinese despise the number 4, however, because 4 is pronounced ‘si’四 and is very similar to another word: ‘si’ 死which means death in Chinese.

In the complex where I live, there are 28 floors, but no 4th, 14th or 24th floor. Yup. That’s how much they despise number 4! Giving presents that includes the number four, like 4 boxes of chocolate, an envelope with 400 kuai etc.. is therefore a big no-no. Go for number like 8 or 6 instead.

If you find yourself falling for a Chinese boy or a girl, but are on the shy side, you can always express your emotions with a cute number-sms: 520 (wu 五 er 二 ling零 –which almost sounds like ‘wo 我ai 爱ni 你’= I LOVE YOU) and then 1314 (yi 一 san 三 yi 一si 四 –which sounds like ‘yi 一sheng 生yi 一shi世= ALWAYS AND FOREVER)

There you go. Love and numbers. Now u can finally tell your partner what s/he's been longing to hear...


Anonymous said...

I should work...but anyway..
Chinese, as you just found out, are very superstitious. There are a lot more phonic superstitions than just numbers. I'm not sure if you heard about 福 written upside down meaning fortune arriving. There are many other ones like, you have fish but don't finish eating it at CNY - nian nian you yu. Then there is after getting married, they put some dates and something else, which i don't remember anymore, under your pillow - zao shen gui zi (you'll have a son quickly) etc etc. sooooo many superstitions *sigh*

Anonymous said...

So what about the following seven digit cell phone numbers (all of which are in my family):

1. contains two fours and two eights.

2. contains two fours and three eights.

3. contains one four and the number 8000.

Are these lucky, neutral, or cursed?

Jonna Wibelius said...

China law blog -dunno if you're cursed or lucky. Just know that the numbers really matter to a Chi. When I bought my last mobile plan from China Mobile they asked me to pick a number from a long list, and when i replied with 随便 (sui bian) which means 'whatever, anything is ok' the whole room went 'ohhhhh'... Probably they all thought I was a dummy not caring about what numbers I got (in the end I got no 4s or no 8s).

Kenth Fagerlund said...

Roligt det där med nummer. Min flickvän är från Hong Kong och vi letar lägenhet just nu.
Vi var och tittade på en lägenhet. Den hade nr 414.
Hon protesterade direkt så vi skippa den.. Som tur är var lägenheten ganska kass ändå :D

Anonymous said...

All my China lawyer friends act like I have great numbers, but maybe they are just being nice. I will have to hire a consultant for an independent assessment.

Anonymous said...

This really helped me a lot. 3x.

Right now, I am choosing the number-plate for my car. So I will take something like: 518.

A friend suggested: 520. So maybe she thinks I am in love with my car ;-)