December 15, 2008

Google's Top Ten List - 谷歌全球搜索关键字排行榜

The end of the year is fast upon us (thank God!) and Google has captured the spirit of the times with it's summary of the most used search terms over the past twelve months. Visit and play with Google Zeitgeist 2008.

You can drill down to our very own little home town of Hong Kong which lists the top ten most popular search terms as:

  1. youtube
  2. facebook
  3. 香港討論區 (Hong Kong fora)
  4. gmail
  5. 天文台 (weather channel)
  6. wikipedia
  7. uwants
  8. hong kong weather
  9. apple daily
  10. hsbc
Sina provides the full list here in Simplified Chinese.

Even more fascinating is the China Journal report from the Wall Street Journal that:

Not only shares it's analysis of the Top Ten for Chinese Googlers, who "tend to be more educated, wealthier and urban than those who use Google’s more popular homegrown rival, Baidu" - an extract below:

1. Edison Chen: Hong Kong actor whose x-rated photos with various local starlets were leaked to the world and aroused huge interest in mainland China.

2. Olympics opening ceremony: our highlights here.

3. Sichuan earthquake: China’s worst natural disaster in three decades.

4. List of substandard milk powders: People searched for this after learning that many brands of milk powder had been laced with melamine, a toxic industrial chemical.

But also takes this a step further and provides a comprehensive list of the latest vocabulary to evolve on the Chinese internet. Another extract:

1. Shanzhai: Originally referred to the mountain strongholds of bandits. Now, the term refers to all manner of knock-off, substandard or improvised goods, such as these makeshift vehicles.

2. 囧 : This is an ancient Chinese character, pronounced jiong, used to mean “light shining through a window” several thousand years ago (kind of what the character itself looks like), among other things. Recently it has found a new life among Chinese youth as an emoticon to express a bad mood, since it also looks like a face crying out in a pictographic version of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream.”

3. Very yellow, very violent: The year’s first Internet catchphrase came from a CCTV interview with a 13-year-old girl, part of a program on the government’s new regulations on Internet censorship. Netizens who believed the girl had been coached by CCTV into making the statement lashed out against her, launching a human flesh search engine and numerous parodies.

And here is the list of new vocabulary in Chinese, again from Sina:


  1 山寨

  2 囧

  3 很黄很暴力

  4 叉腰肌

  5 三个俯卧撑

  6 槑

  7 打酱油

  8 泡良族

  9 凤凰男

  10 做人不能太CNN

If you really want to be up with the times, check out the list of internet terms, expressions, acronyms and slang (some very raunchy!) collected by ChinaSmack. I guess my Shanghainese friends would call me "WDR", "西数人" or "Western Digital person"?

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