People’s Daily endorses a new meme


People’s Daily, November 10, 2010

There is nothing like being being mentioned in People’s Daily for confirming that a meme has been successful. 给力 has been used all over the Chinese internet, as a saying that could be literally translated as “giving power” but has more meaning along the lines of 带劲, which means “interesting” or “has force.” In today’s People’s Daily efforts to become a “province strong in culture” is backed by Jiangsu province, which is “giving power” to the project.

The Baidu Baike entry for the meme says that the phrase originates in the northern China, but may also be traced to the South Min dialect (闽南话), predominantly used in Fujian and Southeast Asia. The use of it can be seen in this commercial for Intel, done in one-take, which shows an IT man showing visually the history of predicting the weather. He arrives at the point that computers will in the future be able to predict precisely when it’s going to rain, and at the end of the commercial he says, “For changing the world using IT, give power!” (为改变世界,给力啊,IT)

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