Friends, one of the most famous comedies worldwide in recent history. Despite the show completing it’s 10th and final series way back in 2004, this classic U.S. sitcom is still watched internationally to date. Overall it clocked up 236 episodes during its ten years live. Friends is therefore undoubtedly one of the most important comedy series of modern time
十年 Ten Years (shí nián)
2004年 2004 the year (2004 nián)
Even in China Friends is incredibly popular, watched by many for either the comedy, the love of the characters or even to learn English. Way back when Friends helped usher in a love of U.S Sitcoms in China. Thanks to this many more American shows are being watched by Chinese for the same reasons as above. The adventures of Monica, Ross, Rachel, Phoebe, Chandler, and Joey continue to delight new generations of comedy fans with its strong characterization and hilarious plots.
Since the entire run of Friends became available on Netflix in 2015, it’s popularity seems to be on the rise even between teenagers. So, let’s learn how to talk about the show in Chinese.
F•R•I•E•N•D•S translation to Chinese
F•R•I•E•N•D•S – the name of the show in Mandarin is 老友記 / 老友记 (lǎo yǒu jì) which literally translates to “Old Friends Chronicle”. While in Taiwan, it’s translated to 六人行 (liù rén xíng).
The F•R•I•E•N•D•S characters in Chinese
Monica: 莫妮卡 Mònīkǎ: Smart 聰明 / 聪明 (cōng míng) and cynical, Monica is a competitive and compulsive perfectionist chef. Attractive and smart, she tends to have trouble finding love.
Ross: 羅斯 / 罗斯 Luósī: Monica’s brother, is a goofy but romantic 浪漫 (làng màn) paleontologist who faces singlehood with reluctance. He often lies to avoid arguments or situations with conflict.
Rachael: 瑞秋 Ruìqiū: Rachael is a spoiled fashionista, on her own for the first time. She has been Monica’s best friend (最好的朋友 – zuì hǎo de péng yǒu) since high school.
Phoebe: 菲比 Fēibǐ: Phoebe is a quirky lovable hippie who sells barrettes on the street. Despite her rough past, she is always perky and sweet. Phoebe is also a (horrible) self-taught musician which usually performs at Central Perk 中央咖啡館 / 中央咖啡馆 (zhōng yāng kā fēi guǎn).
Chandler: 錢德勒 / 钱德勒 Qiándélēi: Chandler is the most financially secure character of the show. He has a sarcastic sense of humor and bad luck in relationships. He loves to joke 開玩笑 /开玩笑 (kāi wán xiào) around and poke fun at his friends.
Joey: 喬伊 / 乔伊 Qiáoyī: Joey is an extroverted, handsome 帥 / 帅 (shuài) actor who loves the human interaction on and off stage. He loves women, sports, and food and, despite his characterization as a stupid, deep down he is very caring and sensitive.
Famous F•R•I•E•N•D•S phrases
And now let’s learn how to say some of the most memorable quotes from the show:
“Hey, how you doin’?” 嘿！你好嗎？/ 嘿！你好吗？(Hēi! nǐ hǎo ma?)
“We were on a break” 我們當時已經分手了！/ 我们当时已经分手了！(Wǒ men dāng shí yǐ jīng fēn shǒu le!)
“Smelly cat, smelly cat, what are they feeding you? Smelly cat, smelly cat, it’s not your faa-aa-ult.”
(Chòu chòu māo, chòu chòu māo, tāmen dōu wèi nǐ chī shénme? Chòu chòu māo, chòu chòu māo, zhè bùshì nǐ de cuò.)
More to come from LTL
Now that you know the name of the main characters, and the most popular quotes from Friends in Chinese, go and start a conversation about the show with your Chinese friends! We love to chat TV at LTL and we’ll be covering more TV shows in Chinese in the future.
We also covered the hugely popular Game of Thrones in Chinese earlier this year. We hope you enjoy reading our blog.
Introduction to LTL Mandarin School
At its core, LTL Mandarin School and its staff can be summed up as “China nerds”. We love China and we genuinely live and breathe the language, the culture and everything else this great country has to offer. This attitude reflects on the many students who come and study Chinese at LTL.
Up and running for over a decade now LTL has spread its wings further afield from Beijing into Shanghai and the popular Chengde 3 hours north of Beijing. LTL are avid blogs writers also and below they have provided us with some translations from one of the most popular U.S. TV shows of all time.
This article credited to Mariantonietta Fornabaio and Max Hobbs.