If you look online, translation for 投胎 is 'reincarnation'. It suits phrases like 投胎转世 but often does not feel quite right in other context.

For example:


Not sure if anyone would laugh if you translate it into

'What's the hurry, on the way to reincarnate?'

投胎 is one of the steps, an action, of the entire reincarnation process. But I'm short of proper English word or simple phrase here. Also hope it's a fun question.

  • Word for word it would be send to fetus, namely the spirit(ual energy) being delivered to new flesh in the mother's womb, in essence being reborn, or reincarnation with a noun. In your example, though, it would be more like a euphemism for dying, or ”meeting the maker” in a western context.
    – user4452
    Aug 1, 2015 at 18:01
  • Not really. 投胎 is an event that one should not miss, not by even a second. So it's about what can be such a rush as if one is to be on time for reborn.
    – user11429
    Aug 1, 2015 at 18:09
  • What's the rush, where's the fire?
    – Mou某
    Aug 1, 2015 at 21:59

3 Answers 3


How about:

"What's the hurry? Wanna get to your next life so soon?"

I think no matter what one does, some thing will be lost in translation because of the huge difference between Chinese and English in beliefs and world views. My aim is to retain some of the light-heartedness and, as much as possible, gloss over the unpleasantness of dying.

  • Agree that something will be lost in translation. Since both your answer and previous one mentioned about dying, it makes me think. Indeed without other context, dying can be in implication. Interestingly, it is often used between friends as a joke indicating no need to rush. But it could certainly come up when two people are fighting too. So good answers.
    – user11429
    Aug 1, 2015 at 19:32

You might say 你急什么,赶着去投胎? if you are annoyed with someone who is shoving you getting on the metro, or to a car driver who is hooting impatiently, more as a threat. In that context you might say in English:

'What's the deal, you looking for trouble, need your face rearranged?'

I doubt you would actually send them to their next life, bad karma!


In 你急什么,赶着去投胎?``投胎is a metaphor to mean "die". It's usually used when people are pushing you to a limit that you felt so annoyed and you started to curse-"(What's the hurry)Stop it. Go hell(to get the reincarnation)! ".

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