Don’t get me wrong. I’m not touting one language as superior to the other. But ’tis a catchy title, don’t you agree?

What happens when you try to respond in Mandarin while thinking in English? With a little craft, standard Chinese text can be cleverly twisted into WittyCulus answers. Let’s have a look at some examples. Now we’re talking…

🙂 – 🙂 – 🙂 – 🙂 – 🙂

A woman was unable to have kids because her hubby was infertile. She kept it quiet all this while, even when repeatedly prodded by relatives during each Chinese New Year. Until one day, when she decided to tell them to mind their business. What did she say?

She told them it was a case of Chinese characters, literally meaning "cannot give birth on my wish alone", expressing that it takes two to make a baby. This sounds almost like the Chinese idiom Chinese characters for idiom meaning "not of one's own volition" that means “not of one’s own volition”. Yup, indeed she has tried her best, in the context of having babies.

🙂 – 🙂 – 🙂 – 🙂 – 🙂

A graffiti artist became disillusioned when a fellow junior practitioner got arrested for vandalism. Angst over the situation somehow got to him and he needed to express himself. What did he do?

He went back to the “dark days” and Chinese characters literally meaning "take it out on the wall, by smearing it", defacing a wall with paint to vent his anger. (Not a tasteful thing to do, since graffiti art has gained some acceptance). At play here is the Chinese idiom that sounds exactly the same and means “to pull up one’s socks”, i.e. to be determined to do better: Chinese characters for idiom meaning "to pull up one's socks". Both are pronounced the same way, yet are poles apart in desirability.

🙂 – 🙂 – 🙂 – 🙂 – 🙂

A fat girl tried to lose weight and has been on a slimming diet for weeks. Those yucky-tasting liquid meals were making her sick and she’d been craving for some real food. Before long, she caved in and gave up on becoming thin. Her parting shot was “And I quit!”, followed by some Chinese remark. Can you guess what she exclaimed?

She retorted with Chinese characters literally meaning "can't go any thinner', proclaiming she can’t get any thinner. At the same time, she’s cursing those ill-tasting diet food with a double play on another Chinese phrase Chinese characters meaning "can't take in any longer", which means “can’t take it anymore”. What a nice play on two phrases that sound alike!

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