3 Minute Fever – A brief period of enthusiasm

It seems almost cool to have ADD now, so this Chinese phrase to describe a ‘brief period of enthusiasm’ should come in handy.


Sān fēnzhōng rèdù
A brief period of enthusiasm

The phrase is pretty self-explanatory, to be hot for 3 minutes – to briefly have enthusiasm for something. Here’s a few examples to show how it might be used:

A: 我已經對這種工作沒興趣了,我想要離開公司(我已经对这种工作没兴趣了,我想要离开公司)
Wǒ yǐjīng duì zhè zhǒng gōngzuò méi xìngqùle, wǒ xiǎng yào líkāi gōngsī
I’m not interested in this kind of work anymore, I’m going to leave the company

B: 我以為你很感興趣,你真是三分鐘熱度(我以为你很感兴趣,你真是三分钟热度
Wǒ yǐwéi nǐ hěn gǎn xìngqù, nǐ zhēnshi sān fēnzhōng rèdù
I thought you were really interested, you’re really inattentive*

* The choice of word here is up to you. Since there’s not really an English equivalent for this kind of usage you might use one of the following, depending on the situation: inattentive, indecisive, lacking in staying power, easily distracted.

Looking at a recent Taiwanese news article, the phrase is also sometimes used akin to the English ‘half assed’, which seems to suit quite well:

Mínzhòng rènwéi dāngjú bùyào yǐ sān fēnzhōng rèdù de tàidù lái zhífǎ
The people believe that the authorities should not have a half assed attitude to law enforcement.