015 Computer

When Chinese people say “electric brain,” they’re not talking neuroscience! It’s the literal translation of “computer” in Chinese. It sounds a bit like caveman speak. But let’s break it down.

电脑 / 電腦 (diàn nǎo) means computer.

电 / 電 (diàn): a square field 田 + a lightning bolt down the middle = electricity!

脑/腦 (nǎo): brain.


Other techy words use 电:

電視 / 电视 (diàn shì) = electric vision.

電話 / 电话 (diàn huà) = electric speech.


It’s simple, isn’t it?

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Director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, Professor at MIT Sloan School, and Research Associate at NBER

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電腦 / 电脑
diàn nǎo
電視 / 电视
diàn shì
電話 / 电话
diàn huà
電影 / 电影
diàn yǐng
Human brain
頭腦 / 头脑
tóu nǎo

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