I am having a hard time explaining the concept of 吐槽 to a foreigner. How can I explain the nature of 吐槽? I tried something like this but it doesn't seem to convey the art of 吐槽 in full:

吐槽 is the act of making a random, half-serious comment on something, usually not relevant to the point of that "something".

I feel like this explanation is not good enough. Is there a better way to explain it?


5 Answers 5



(slang) to roast

to ridicule

I'd also opt for to make fun of sth/sb.


It appears to be the English colloquial equivalent of "negging". Making fun of something or someone lightheartedly to make a statement about something.


You did a really good job in your description of the meaning. Your offered translation captured the essence of what's meant. Props to you for that! Looking for an equivalent, you'll have to avoid formal English, because this isn't formal speech in English nor Chinese.

A good translation would be a "smart-ass comment." That's what we call it in English when someone makes an off-the-cuff remark about something mentioned, usually to poke fun at it, without meaning it to be relevant to what's being said.

Sometimes when we do this in English someone "coughs" the comment to make it more comedic as if slipped into the conversation by accident.

A "roast" is a comedic event where friends of a person stand up and speak badly about him, as a celebration of him. Sounds pretty strange, right? Westerners have tremendously impenetrable egos, so sometimes when we poke fun out of love. Like when we toast our best friend at his wedding, we might ridicule him a little in admiration. That's a roast and I don't think it lines up well with what 吐槽 implies.


吐槽 , in a general sense, means "to point out the flaws of something", but in a more extended and "less serious" way.

It's mainly used for:

  • complaining about something, and then (sometimes)
  • ridiculing about something

An example of 吐槽:


Why is the video taking such a long time to load?


My grandpa's house's internet is so much faster than yours!

(I'm not sure if that's appropriate or not, but you get the idea.)


To explain it in chinese.

  • I don't think the OP is looking for an explanation in Chinese...
    – Qwerp-Derp
    May 10, 2017 at 11:31
  • Seems not accurate.
    – user4072
    May 10, 2017 at 11:53

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