In Taiwan, on January 1st, for every new year, at Taipei 101 or Kaohsiung Dream Mall they often have singers and other popular actor/actress say new year greetings.

Why are New year greetings are never translated (both creatively and literally). Here is an example of nba player Jeremy Lin in the New Years commercial using the phrase 猴年賀歲. Is it cultural? or are some things just better left untranslated since it is just a "greeting" and can be expressed with Happy New Years or Happy Year of the Monkey.


2 Answers 2


Why translate? It's a Chinese new year. Leaving it untranslated adds the Chinese "taste" of this event.
However, translating this is not inappropriate. It depends on the choice of the event host.


I agree with the previous answer that it adds the Chinese "taste" of the saying. You could compare it to hearing 'mazel tov' which has a much richer meaning than just 'good luck'.

Also, for Chinese people, various animals evoke different feelings for the upcoming year. For example...is it a good year to have a baby or a year to be cautious? Such cultural meaning doesn't come across in the English translation so it is easier to just translate as 'Happy New Year' if required.

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