Technology words (throwback)
3 min read

Technology words (throwback)

Technology words (throwback)

Note: We’ll be running several throwback issues from late December through to early January. Thank you dear reader for supporting Giant Mandarin over 2021! We’re looking forward to bringing you new content over 2022.


“Nǐhǎo, Shìjiè!”

“Hello, World!”

Welcome to the first issue of the Giant Mandarin newsletter. This week’s topic is technology.

In Advanced Words, we reference two Chinese-language news articles on recent developments in technology. The first article (which was originally published in English) puts efforts to regulate large tech companies in China and the United States into a global context—reminding us that the “techlash” should be seen as a global development. The second article is about Xiaomi (小米 Xiǎomǐ) overtaking Apple (苹果 Píngguǒ) to become the second-largest player in the global smartphone market, with Samsung (三星 Sānxīng) in first place. It suggests that despite political headwinds, Chinese tech companies have continued their global expansion.

This week’s Elementary–Intermediate Words is motivated by what programmer’s do when they’re learning a new programming language: write a “Hello, World!” program!

Finally, in Supplementary Reading we suggest three enduring English-language pieces that relate to technology in China. Have fun!

Advanced Words

  1. 科技 kējì - science and technology 🔬
  2. 技术 jìshù - technology 🤖
  3. 软件 ruǎnjiàn - software
  4. 硬件 yìngjiàn - hardware 🛠
  5. 监管 jiānguǎn - to regulate
  6. 创新 ​​chuàngxīn - innovation; to innovate 💡

科技巨头影响力不受限的时代即将告终?/ A Global Tipping Point for Reining In Tech Has Arrived, The New York Times, April 20, 2021

  1. 至高无上 zhìgāowúshàng - preeminent
  2. 转折点 zhuǎnzhédiǎn - turning point

雷军重申小米高端战略 提出站稳全球第二, Caixin, 11 August, 2021

  1. 雷军 Léi Jūn - founder of Xiaomi (小米 Xiǎomǐ), one of the largest smartphone and consumer electronic’s companies in China and the world
  2. 米粉 mǐfěn - rice vermicelli; Xiaomi fan (slang)

Elementary–Intermediate Words

Scenario: When programmer’s learn a new programming language the first thing many do is take out their laptop and write a “Hello, World!” program.

  1. 程序员 chéngxùyuán - programmer 👩‍💻
  2. 程序 chéngxù - computer program (abbreviation); procedure
  3. 员 yuán - person associated with some activity or group (usually part of a compound word)
  4. 笔记本电脑 bǐjìběndiànnǎo - notebook computer; laptop 💻
  5. 笔记本 bǐjìběn - notebook; notebook computer (abbreviation)
  6. 电脑 diànnǎo - computer 🖥
  7. 你好 nǐhǎo - hello; hi; hey 👋
  8. 世界 shìjiè - world 🌎
  9. 计算机程序 jìsuànjīchéngxù - computer program (formal)
  10. 计算机 jìsuànjī - computer (formal)

Supplementary Reading

Curated content to supplement coverage in newspapers and magazines

  1. When One App Rules Them All: The Case of WeChat and Mobile in China, Connie Chan, Andreessen Horowitz
  2. TikTok and the Sorting Hat, Eugene Wei, Personal Blog. (This is part one of three-part series on TikTok, with part two being Seeing Like an Algorithm and part three being American Idle)
  3. 2020 Letter, Dan Wang, Personal Blog

That’s it for this week. Thanks for reading!

Please do get in touch to tell us how this newsletter can best help you; what you liked and didn’t like; to say hi; or anything else. We’ll read every message.

Until next Thursday!

Giant Mandarin (@GiantMandarin) is written by David Wu (@davidwuio).