Global Chatter – August: Duang! & Going Digital

Welcome to Comtec Translation’s latest Global Chatter roundup, a new monthly post, crammed with all sorts of interesting information from the translation industry’s front lines. From funny stories to informative blogs and cool facts, we’ve rounded up our favourite digital resources and tales to share a little multilingual magic with you.

This month: Discover the brand new Chinese character which has threatened to “break the internet” and pokes fun at Jackie Chan simultaneously.

DUANG! New Chinese Character “Breaks the Internet”







A brand new Chinese character has been spreading like wildfire across China’s internet. This character is so new it doesn’t even appear in the Chinese dictionary yet. The ‘duang’ character has proved so popular with web users in China, the word has rivalled Kim Kardashian’s infamous photoshoot as a weapon for “breaking the internet”.

But what does this shiny new character mean? Well, it doesn’t really mean anything. Instead, this is an onomatopoeic representation of a sound made by Jackie Chan in a shampoo advert satirised here:

Initially, people online used “duang!” as a noise to express something fake and created through artificial means or special effects. Now the term has been picked up more widely, acting as an adjective for emphasising, well, pretty much everything. Some examples; ”You are so duang cute” or “I like it so duang much!”.

The expression has become so widespread so quickly, that a new character has been created to represent it. Pretty duang cool, right? Many thanks to Charles Liu of the Nan Fang for his great reporting on the topic.

Google Video Translate Makes the World Tiny

Google has recently released 27 new languages as part of its work with newly acquired company World Lens, who have allowed Google to add real-time video translation to their already world-leading translation service.

This astonishing app allows you to point your phone camera at text in one language and see it translated on your screen instantly into your mother tongue. Pretty impressive! Read up on the development on the always interesting Android Authority blog.

Avoid Free Online Translation Tools

You might be impressed by Google’s latest translation tool developments, but as you’ll see from this video hosted on Curiosity, made by modern Renaissance Man and lifelong learner Tom Scott, free digital translation is really not “all that” even today. To find out why, well, you’ll just have to watch Tom’s compelling and chuckle-inducing video.

Have you have bad experiences with free online translation tools? Have you tried Google’s new video translation option? Share your thoughts and your stories with other readers below.

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