Sunday, April 14, 2013

A clever movie title: the importance of number and phonetics in China

As you know Chinese people a lot in numbers. Here is an interesting example.

This movie is very clever they chose as a title the number: 201314
In Chinese you read "er ling yi san yi si" or "two zero one three one four"

And this title has two meanings:

  • The written meaning is the date: the 4th of January 2013. "2013 1= january then 4= the date". In China the date begins with the year then the month then the day
  • The phonetic meaning, since the chinese sounds have here another meaning. It reads "ai ni yi shen yi si". This means I love you forever! We understand that the 4th of january 2013 many Chinese people married. It brings luck!
It is very common in China to play with phonetics. Some sentence or some word can have two different meaning.

With this kind of title, the movie is sure it will get some customers:
  • It shows the importance of numbers for Chinese people
  • It also shows the importance of phonetics, and play on words for Chinese people, for marketing, advertising, business

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