I have learned a lot more Chinese living in HK despite it being a place where you really don’t need Chinese to live. But the reality remains that HK is still very much a Chinese place, and there are many opportunities to practice and learn the language.
One way I learn more Chinese is from television — even English television programming, because most channels automatically feature Chinese subtitles. I have come to a point where I don’t always ignore the characters below and even can’t help but read.
Recently while watching an episode of New Girl I learned that 炒饭 or fry rice is the translation for make love! I did a double-take initially when I saw that translation, but then Winston said it again and it was again translated this way.
Where this comes from, I have no idea. I learned during an internship providing legal aid to indigent Chinese that to fry squid means to get fired, so I can’t say what the connection is.
But next time you say you want to fry rice, be sure it’s clear what exactly you want to do!
Note – despite my usage of simplified Chinese above (I still haven’t figured out how to use my traditional Chinese language inputter quite), this slang might just be in use in Cantonese and not Mandarin – so don’t be surprised if this is inapplicable on the Mainland (though there is a good chance it is).