5 Reasons to Love Google+ in Chinese

Google+ has been out for a month or so now and is quickly gaining in popularity, recent reports have said that the new social network has already surpassed 20 million users. Google+ has to compete with Facebook, a social network that everyone and their ama is using, so Google needs a few ways to lure away those heavy Facebook users.

ZDNet in Taiwan last month posted an article that looked at 5 reasons to love Google+, and today were going to look at the Chinese that they used for the main points of the article. Great excuse to learn some more Chinese!

Google+

Reason 1: Circles

輕鬆(轻松)

Pinyin: qīngsōng
English: relaxed, effortlessly, easily

特定(特定)

Pinyin: tèdìng
English: specific; particular

群組(群组)

Pinyin: qúnzŭ
English: a group

分享(分享)

Pinyin: fēn xiǎng
English: to share

資訊(资讯)

Pinyin: zī xùn
English: information; data

社交圈(社交圈)

Pinyin: shè jiāo quān
English: social circle

Reason 1 Translation

Traditional
能輕鬆與特定群組分享資訊:社交圈(Circles)

Simplified
能轻松与特定群组分享资讯:社交圈(Circles)

Pinyin
néng qīngsōng yŭ tèdìng qúnzŭ fēnxiǎng zīxùn: shèjiāoquān (Circles)

English
You can easily share information with specific groups: social circle (circles)

Even though 輕鬆(轻松 qīngsōng) means something more along the lines of “relaxed”, for this sentence “easily” works better in English. The Chinese could have also been 容易(róng yì), which literally means “easy”, but it just doesn’t sound as good, you’ll see 輕鬆 frequently used in advertising by companies to describe how using their service is pleasant and easy.

Reason 2: Data Ownership

個人資訊(个人资讯)

Pinyin: gè rén zī xùn
English: personal data

所有權(所有权)

Pinyin: suǒ yǒu quán
English: ownership; possession

Reason 2 Translation

Traditional
我有個人資訊的所有權

Simplified
我有个人资讯的所有权

Pinyin
wǒ yǒu gèrén zīxùn de suǒyǒuquán

English
I have ownership of my personal data

Remember that the 個(个) in 個人(个人)is fourth tone and not fifth tone like in 一個人(yī ge rén). Also, 資料(资料 zī liào) could have been used instead of 資訊(资讯 zī xùn), 資料 is more like “data”, which 資訊 is information though, like the English equivilents there are instances where they can be interchanged.

Reason 3: Data Portability

不再(不再)

Pinyin: bú zài
English: no longert, never again

使用(使用)

Pinyin: shǐ yòng
English: to use

帶走(带走)

Pinyin: dài zǒu
English: take with you; to take away

Reason 3 Translation

Traditional
如果不再使用Google+,我可以帶走我的資訊

Simplified
如果不再使用Google+,我可以带走我的资讯

Pinyin
rúguǒ búzài shǐyòng Google+, wǒ kěyǐ dàizǒu wǒ de zīxùn

English
If I stop using Google+, I can take my data (with me)

使用(shǐ yòng) means ‘to use’ and while in Taiwan a 使用者(shǐ yòng zhě) is a “user”, as in the user of a service or computer etc, in China 用戶(用户 yòng hù) is often used instead.

Reason 4: Video Conferencing

整合(整合)

Pinyin: zhěng hé
English: integrated

視訊會議(视讯会议)

Pinyin: shì xùn huì yì
English: video conference

Reason 4 Translation

Traditional
整合的視訊會議

Simplified
整合的视讯会议

Pinyin
zhěnghé de shìxùn huìyì

English
Integrated video conferencing

You might also see 視頻會議(视频会议 shì pín huì yì)used to describe a “video conference”, so keep an eye out for this one.

Reason 5:

勝過(胜过)

Pinyin: shèng guò
English: to surpass; to excel

讚(赞)

Pinyin: zàn
English: to praise, to ‘like’

Reason 5 Translation

Traditional
Sparks勝過讚(Like)

Simplified
Sparks胜过赞(Like)

Pinyin
Sparks shèngguò zàn (Like)

English
‘Sparks’ is better than (Facebook’s) ‘Like’

This is an interesrting one, as although the article is aimed at a Chinese speaking audience, an English word has been used to clarify the meaning of a Chinese character. The reaosn is that even though the official word used by Facebook for “like” in Chinese is 贊(赞 zàn), almost no one uses the Chinese and everyone simply says “like” – you might even get a weird look if you used the word 贊 instead of “like” in a conversation about a Facebook page with a Taiwanese person. This probably also explains why not all of the main features of Google+ have been transalted into Chinese – both Hangouts and Sparks have retained their English names, Google might feel that a ‘hangout’ is a well-know enough Englosh word.

Regarding the choice of words used here, 勝過(胜过 shèngguò) was used to express that Sparks ‘surpassed’ Like, 超越(chāo yuè) could have also been used as it is a very similar word, but 勝過 was used as 勝 expresses “victory” in addition to simply surpassing.

  • Tommi

    On the mainland social networks such as 人人,the word 赞 is used by default and more commonly instead of like.

  • Jason Lam

    I’d love to take a closer look. Any idea how to get a Google + account?