I can't understand the reference here. Is there such a thing as 'waste money, 废钱' in China? Or is it 'abandoned, discarded money'? Who threw the money there '我们‘ or 其他人?? Is he alluding to some story or 成语?

那还能不同意? 这就好比我们家后院扔着一堆废钱,你要拿它给我换一辆汽车。 我不光同意,甚至还有点儿不敢相信呢!

这就好比我们家后院扔着一堆废钱,你要拿它给我换一辆汽车。

I translate: That's like someone threw a pile of money in our backyard and then you come along and offer to give me a car in exchange for it.

(Seems a weird idea, because first you need to know how much money it is. Could be more than the value of a car.)

PS: if you have any waste money, you can throw it my way!

up vote 3 down vote accepted

废 in 废钱 stands for 作废 (canceled)

废钱 means "canceled coin"

Under some extreme circumstances, a government might issue a new currency and cancel an existing one. For various reasons, such action is rarely done, but generally the result would be dreadful to the people.

For example: When Japanese occupied Hong Kong, all money in Hong Kong ( any internationally accepted currency) had to be exchanged for the Japanese issued "military notes" which was useless outside of the occupied territory.

In your example sentences, it is most likely referred to the previous government of China issued coins.

  • I should have thought of that! Thanks! – Gangosa Oct 23 '16 at 2:39
  • No. 废is a common adj,it can modify any noun in oral,turn it to a useless one。废钱 are just money you can not buy things。Does not refer to canceled coin。 – wolfrevo Oct 25 '16 at 16:05
  • in the context of this question, the only reason 废钱 cannot buy things is it was canceled. Toy money cannot buy anything neither, but it is because it was faked. 废钱 implies the coins was once a legal tender before. – Tang Ho Oct 25 '16 at 19:25

Your reference is very likely comes from this Japanese Chinese teaching book 1, and the character "钱" actually is a typo of "铁", this is a very common mistake when people type Chinese in Wubi Input Method (or 五笔字型输入法".

废铁 is scrap metal (for recycling), it perfectly fits the surroundings (后院 backyard), put it in the context this sentence's meaning: If you can trade this this not valuable thing (废铁) to a way much more valuable thing (汽车) for me, I'll be not only happy to agree but also surprised.

You can see in the linked book, the conversation is the girl (maybe a producer) asks Mr. Wang, will he agree to let them adapt his Internet novel to a TV show, so Mr. Wang made a humble and humorous metaphor. (The context is Mr. Wang wrote more than 30 novels, only two of them got published)

  • I up voted your post, however, if not for the typo, this question wouldn't had been asked. My post answered the question as is was asked. – Tang Ho Oct 23 '16 at 5:58
  • Thanks a lot! Makes sense. Good thing I don't know how to use the WUBI IM! – Gangosa Oct 23 '16 at 6:04

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