When you think of the word ‘kung fu’ in Chinese you’d be forgiven for thinking of Bruce Lee, Jacky Chan, and depending on your age, Kung Fu Panda. Though, in actual fact, this word has many more uses than simply martial arts.
That’s quite a few varied definitions for one word, so how is each meaning used in a sentence? Below are four excerpts from actual news article that show each of the usages in action.
dàxuéshēng gǎo chuàngyì jiētóu shàng yǎn gōngfū
A university student gets creative, performs Kung Fu in the street.
Jolin yǎng shòu! zhè cái shì shòushēn zhēn gōngfū
Jolin is thinner! Now this is real dieting ability.
yīnwèi wèn de rén duō, méi gōngfū yī yī huíxìn
Because so many people asked questions, there was no time to reply to them all.
wángguāngyǎ xīwàng àomén xiàgōngfū gǎohǎo jiàoyù jí réncái péiyǎng
Wang Guang Ya hopes that Macau can put effort into improving education and cultivating talent.
The next time you hear the word 功夫 used in Chinese you’ll know that the meaning isn’t necessarily about the martial art. This really is a useful and versatile word that is worth learning, and if you’ve learnt Chinese for long enough and complained to your teacher that it’s difficult you have no doubt heard the words 你要更下功夫一點！
Now if you are 機車 enough you could also use your new knowledge to confuse some friends who are just starting out learning Chinese.