Monday, April 16

Things That Make You Go Hmmmm

Been working most of the night on an article for Taiwan Panorama and came across what might be the single most unexpected cultural (or rather, cross-cultural) reference in any Chinese-language text I have ever read. A section heading in the article reads:

馬蓋先的養成 (ma3gai4xian1 de yang3cheng2)

I read that and figured Ma Gaixian must be some dude's name. I googled it to be sure, and found out what it is. It is a dude. Very much a dude. And a dude that was apparently huge in Taiwan back in the day. That dude? See if this rings any bells:

(For those of you either too senile to remember that theme or jonesing for the original: here you go. And the clip's even rocking the old-school 2.)


Holly said...

I discovered the same strange fact a few months back when a Taiwanese friend (he's 29) mentioned to me how popular that show was here, along with Knight Rider. Apparently it was cool back then to make the same jokes in Taiwan as I grew up making in the US when given an impossible task and inappropriate tools... "Who do you think I am? MacGyver?" Now that you've shared this, I can try and impress my Taiwanese friends by trying to say it in Chinese. :)

Geof said...

If you can read Chinese, there's a huge article on it in the Chinese version of Wikipedia. Apparently American shows were to the 80's here what Korean shows are now. The best thing I read is that not only was the show that kick-started the trend The A-Team, but it was dubbed into Mandarin! I have to hear "Quit yo' jibba jabba" in Mandarin.

Frostfox said...

Wow, someone besides me commenting on your blog. Now that I think of it, you never comment on mine.

Geof said...

That's because you never post on it.

Cherlin said...

Thanks for writing this.