210 Smells Bad

Harvard University student and Chinese speaker Stephen Turban talks with ShaoLan about some of the weird and wonderful smells that you come across when in Asia. Taiwan’s world-renowned “stinky tofu” is certainly a classic, as Stephen found out on his first night living in Taiwan, but should you describe this as smelly or fragrant? And how was this food originally invented? ShaoLan shares the story!

The Chinese word for smells bad is 臭 which generally has a negative meaning unless it’s describing the food 臭豆腐 “stinky tofu” in which case the “stinky” word has a much more positive ring to it (unless of course, you don’t like stinky tofu)!

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Smells bad
So smelly, so stinky
hǎo chòu
Smells good
hǎo xiāng
Smells really good
tài xiāng le
Odor, scent
氣味 / 气味
qì wèi
dòu fǔ
Stinky tofu
chòu dòu fǔ

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