Lobby, I think

I love this image:


I love it because it’s so simple, and yet to appreciate it you need an understanding of Chinese vocabulary which goes beyond simple memorization (you need to understand a bit about the morpheme 吧), and you also need to be familiar with multiple translation possibilities of the particle 吧. So all kinds of translations for 吧 like “let’s” or “right?” or “I guess” or even “I think” really do make sense.

And now the breakdown just in case this one is still a bit beyond your level:

  • 大堂 (dàtáng) lobby (of a hotel)
  • 吧 (bā) is sometimes an abbreviation of 酒吧 (jiǔbā), meaning “bar”
  • 吧 (ba) is also a grammatical particle

So 大堂吧 (dàtáng bā) refers to a Lobby Bar/Lounge, in no uncertain way.

This image will also be in an upcoming issue of the free ARC (Advanced Readings in Chinese) Newsletter, and we’re starting to do more with jokes and memes these days, so please sign up if you like this kind of thing.

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