;   Medical Translation Insight: Cultural differences when using maternal insults - ForeignExchange Translations

Cultural differences when using maternal insultsA few years ago, it was widely reported how a mythical beast known as the "grass mud horse" has become an Internet phenomenon in China. Children's songs, mock TV news shows, and cartoons about the beast have drawn millions of viewers on YouTube and elsewhere.

In China, the grass-mud horse is an example of something that passes as subversive behavior. This is because "grass mud horse" in Chinese is a homonym for an unprintable but widely used phrase. Both the phrase – "F*** your mother" – and the name of the mythical animal are pronounced as caonima, although using different tones.

Interesting enough but Slate looked at the issue from a different angle and posed the question: Does every culture use the suggestion of maternal incest as an insult?

As the article details, the invocation of maternal incest is ancient and wide-ranging. In America, its usage is more recent. Check out the late, great Bernie Mac for a treat on the subject.


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