Chinese Language Ads: Windows Phone

When I originally picked up this marketing material I thought it was for the new Windows Phone 7, although on closer inspection it seems to be for Windows Mobile 6.5 – Microsoft must have just been preparing for the imminent change over. Anyway, let’s have a look at some of the marketing speak used by Microsoft in their battle against  Apple and Google’s mobile offerings.


Pinyin: shǒu jī wán shì dài lái le
Zhuyin: ㄕㄡˇ ㄐㄧ ㄨㄢˊ ㄕˋ ㄉㄞˋ ㄌㄞˊ ㄌㄜ˙
English: mobile phone 手機 fun 玩 generation 世代 is here/is coming 來了

隨心玩觸控 (随心玩触控)

Pinyin: suí xīn wán chù kòng
Zhuyin: ㄙㄨㄟˊ ㄒㄧㄣ ㄨㄢˊ ㄔㄨˋ ㄎㄨㄥˋ
English: To your heart’s content 隨心 play 玩 (with the) touch screen 觸控. Here 觸控 is short for 觸控面板 (touch screen/panel)

即時玩分享 (即时玩分享)

Pinyin: jí shí wán fēn xiǎng
Zhuyin: ㄐㄧˊ ㄕˊ ㄨㄢˊ ㄈㄣ ㄒㄧㄤˇ
English: Instant/immediate 即時 play 玩 sharing 分享. The use of 玩 doesn’t translate well into English, which would be something along the lines of ‘have fun’, ‘enjoy’, or simply ‘use’, instead of ‘play’ – but of course ‘玩’ is the keyword for this ad campaign

線上玩備份 (线上玩备份)

Pinyin: xiàn shàng wán bèi fèn
Zhuyin: ㄒㄧㄢˋ ㄕㄤˋ ㄨㄢˊ ㄅㄟˋ ㄈㄣˋ
English: online 線上 enjoy 玩 backup 備份. Again, not sure how you can have fun backing up your data, not the most exiting of tasks – but apparently it is on Windows Phone!

下載樂無限 (下载乐无限)

Pinyin: xià zǎi lè wú xiàn
Zhuyin: ㄒㄧㄚˋ ㄗㄞˇ ㄌㄜˋ ㄨˊ ㄒㄧㄢˋ
English: download 下載 happy/fun/cheerful 樂 unlimited 無限. Translated to something like: “Enjoy unlimited downloads”. 無限 is a good word to remember, especially if you want to buy a 3G data service in China/Taiwan

生活有樂子 (生活有乐子)

Pinyin: shēng huó yǒu lè zi
Zhuyin: ㄕㄥ ㄏㄨㄛˊ ㄧㄡˇ ㄌㄜˋ ㄗ˙
English: life 生活 (will) have 有 fun 樂子

工作更輕鬆 (工作更轻松)

Pinyin: gōng zuò gèng qīng sōng
Zhuyin: ㄍㄨㄥ ㄗㄨㄛˋ ㄍㄥˋ ㄑㄧㄥ ㄙㄨㄥ
English: work 工作 (will be) more 更 relaxed/easy going 輕鬆

現在就玩Windows Phone (现在就玩Windows Phone)

Pinyin: xiàn zài jiù wán Windows Phone
Zhuyin: ㄒㄧㄢˋ ㄗㄞˋ ㄐㄧㄡˋ ㄨㄢˊ Windows Phone
English: Now 現在 just 就 play with/use 玩 Windows Phone!

The complete translation going something like:

The fun mobile phone generation is coming!

Play with the touch screen to your heart’s content, enjoy sharing with your friends,

Enjoy online backups (haha), and unlimited downloads!

Life will be fun, work will be easier!

Now go and play with a Windows Phone!

Looking at the advert above with a measly few apps flying through the air, it’s easy to see why Microsoft is losing out to Apple and even Google’s Android. Although it’ll be interesting to see if Microsoft can win back some favour when Windows Phone 7 is actually released this year.

Obviously the main keyword for this slogan is “玩”, but translating in English at times can be weird, if you have any input on the sentences above that us 玩 please leave a comment below: