If you can read this, you're Number One!

"You Are No. 1"

Superstar Andy Lau, recently named China's most desirable man by professor Jiang Jiehai, signed with East Asia Music yesterday in a deal rumored to be worth HK$200 million.

The photo at left is of Andy's frequent co-star Sammi Cheng, also an East Asia artist, presenting him with a congratulatory wall hanging that her father wrote with his left hand (he lost the use of his right hand to a stroke). The characters read "You Are No. 1!"

That's not a translation: the Cantonese pronunciation of the characters 腰呀冧吧温! ("yiu a nam ba wan!") approximates the English sentence.

The problem for the mainland media is that most people aren't familiar with Cantonese pronunciation, so they have no way to judge whether their interpretation is correct. The Beijing News, for example, misidentified the character 腰 as , and the character , which doesn't exist in Mandarin, doesn't show up on many newspaper websites.

There are currently 5 Comments for If you can read this, you're Number One!.

Comments on If you can read this, you're Number One!

it seems to me that Andy Lau is not that famous nowadays.he is 40 something and as an actor,he's quite old.

that artist's dad is awesome.he can create this new way to write U R NO.1.this is my first time to think like this.maybe later i can figure out some words that can be written by using this way:)

It's interesting. I can understand Cantonese, but I didn't know what it was about of the characters. When I began to study English, I used the characters which are pronounced similar to an English word to remember the pronounciation of the word. :-)

For artistic (or autistic) Mandarin speakers:

愚贰囡爸萬! (pinyin = Yu er nan ba wan!)

(The only problem is the second character, which actually means "two")

I am a Mandarin speak, either artistic or autistic. This reminds me of games we used to play in English classes.

my version:

(you4 er2 nan2 ba4 wan3)

which translates to

"little baby challenges daddy for fun"

三克油喂你妈吃 (thank you very much).

Hong Kong people have come up with all kinds of puns like this. For example, the the Hong Kong-based supermarket chain Parknshop, which is all over Guangdong province. Parknshop is its English name; its name in Chinese is 百佳. This means hundred goods, the standard name for department stores. In Mandarian this is baijia, but in Cantonese this is baak3 gaai1. That is, it (sort of) sounds like Park'n.

OK, this is a stretch, but a Cantonese person did actually tell me this.

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