#12: 宅

2009/07/27 1 Comment
宅男和宅女

科技的进步让人们的生活方式发生了翻天覆地的变化。人们居然可以很长时间不出门活动,还能继续生存下去。这种生活方式,就是我今天要说的“宅”。

“最近去哪儿了?”,“没有呢,一直在家宅着”。如果一个人总是不出门,可能沉迷于网络和电视,我们就说他“宅”。“宅”的这个用法,是从日本引进的:在日本,有一些非常热爱动漫或游戏的人,他们整天在家,把自己泡在动漫或游戏中。这些人被称为“宅男”、“宅女”。后来这个概念进入中国。“宅”作为形容词,也被中国年轻人接受并且使用。对于宅的意思,我的理解就是:太无聊而不得不用上网来打发时间。

确实,有不少中国年轻人经常宅。大学宿舍里,有些学生坐在电脑前一坐就是一天。现在,社交网站非常受人们喜爱,国外的有Facebook、Myspace、Twitter等等,而在中国,由于语言和习惯的影响,更多的人选择使用中国的社交网站,比如:人人网、开心网等等。使用QQ、MSN聊天的人更多。我还有不少朋友,特别是女生,喜欢访问Youtube、优酷或土豆网,因为在上面可以观看很多内容:不管是电视上热播的综艺节目,还是经典的动画片,或是网友录制的搞笑视频,都让人一坐下来就难以起身。还有一些人对信息非常饥渴,他们阅读很多新闻,非常关心社会问题。这些宅男、宅女,在家虽然一言不发,但是他们通过网络交流的火热程度绝对不容小觑。

为什么宅?学生也好、上班族也好,一旦开始工作学习,他们的压力是比较大的,何况中国人口这么多,人们要面对很多竞争。所以,当人们一离开工作,就会想到要好好消遣消遣。中国人特别喜欢新鲜的事物,网络在很大程度上满足了人们的好奇心。另一个原因是中国人的性格。和西方人比较,中国人的性格相对比较内敛。所以,中国人参加聚会不多,人们更喜欢独自安静地在网络上获取信息,或者单独和朋友分享自己的心情。

Slow Chinese 12
Zhai 宅
The development of science and technology has caused seismic changes to people’s way of life. Suddenly people are able to stay home and not engage in activity for sustained periods of time, to continuously go on just existing at home. This “zhai” lifestyle is what we are going to talk about today.

“Where have you been lately?” “Nowhere, I’ve just been zhai at home.” If an individual always stays home, engrossed in the internet or TV, we say they are “zhai”. This usage of “zhai” has been imported from Japan: In Japan those who love animations or game-playing spend the whole day “zhai-ing” at home, lost in their own dawdling in said cartoon or game. These people came to be called zhai men or zhai women. Later the concept arrived in China. As an adjective, zhai is in thoroughly accepted usage by China’s young. My understanding of zhai‘s meaning is that one is so bored that you can’t but not waste time online.

Indeed, many Chinese youngsters frequently zhai. Some students will sit in front of their computer and, before they know it, zhai the whole day away. Today, online social networks are very popular. Foreign websites include Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter. Due to the influence of language and habits in China, more people choose to use Chinese online social networks such as Renren wang, Kaixin wang etc. still more people use QQ and MSN chat. I have many friends, in particular female friends, who like to visit YouTube, Youku, and Tudou wang, because there is so much to check out. It doesn’t matter whether they are streamed TV variety shows, classic animations or the amusing uploaded videos of online friends, they all make it difficult for a person to get up once they have sat down in front of the computer screen. There are also people passionate about current affairs. They read a lot of news stories, fascinated by social issues. Even though these zhai men and zhai women won’t say a word out loud at home, the extent of their passion for communicating via the internet can in no way be held in contempt.

Why zhai? Students and office workers alike, once they start to work or study, have a lot of pressure, not to mention the competition people face due to China’s large population. So as soon as people finish work, they turn to amusements. Chinese people especially like novel things, and to a high degree the internet satisfies people’s curiosity. Another reason is the Chinese character. Compared to westerners, Chinese are relatively introverted. So they don’t participate in many social gatherings. People like to quietly get news online by themselves or share their feelings privately with friends.

Neil Armstrong (aex_nba@yahoo.co.uk)

1 Comment

  • Lewis

    Hi. Love the variety of articles and great narration in the podcasts. This is a great resource and just wanted to say "keep it up!"