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Enchanted Chinese Video Spreads Youthful Olympic Vitality!

Although there’s been some press about how inhospitable to tourists Beijing will be during the Olympics, this video, in complete saccharine madness, argues otherwise.

Since we’re taking a trip to Beijing in about a month, it was cool to see all the sites in this video (Apparently all the singers are famous people too. Did you see Jackie Chan?). But I also laughed at several parts, just because the song is so long and there are so many huge smiles in it and there are, like, several beautiful women telling me their doors are always open…it just got kind of silly.

But when I looked at the comments, everyone was taking the video totally seriously!

When I pointed out what I thought was one of the funniest quotes to Jewel, our resident Mandarin speaker, she was able to explain why I thought the video was funny even though it’s not supposed to be. Here’s the line:

The flowing enchantment and charms are filled with youthful spirit and vitality.

Apparently, that’s relatively normal speech in China. While in recent decades the English style has become as concise as possible, Chinese writers (and weird promotional video makers) embrace flowery language.

This gives me even more reason to learn Mandarin. When I first started writing I was drawn to the flowery style. Now I like being economical with words, but it took some getting used to. Maybe I find my way back to the sinuous delights of language wrought with sonorous hues, or something like that.

But anyway, I suppose the tendency to be over the top with language might help explain this highly exuberant video. I can’t wait to get over there and see the enthusiasm first hand. I want to learn the “Beijing welcomes you” part and sing it to people when they ask how I like the city.

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