3

I would ask this on ELL but I honestly have no idea how to express this in English. Online translation give "brain short circuit", which sounds more like terminology than self-mockery. I am looking for a translation that fits here:

A: 你刚刚要说什么? (= what were you gonna say?)

B: 没什么, 我脑袋短路了. (= nothing, I just ____.)

Another imaginary situation:

Some guy solves a math problem using a very complex method, and some other person shows him that it can be done very simply, and he says: "Oh! Right! I ___(脑袋短路了)."

  • I think you can just say "short circuit" and people can understand. – Zhang Aug 19 at 6:59
4

How about:

brain fart

Google defines it as:

a temporary mental lapse or failure to reason correctly.
"I'm having a brain fart and can't spell his name correctly"


英语学科网 has an article entitled “大脑短路”用英语怎么说?, which mentions:

There's a scientific term for this totally common phenomenon, which we like to call a "brain fart." "Brain fart" is used to refer to a temporary mental lapse or failure to reason correctly.
这种非常普遍的现象有个学名,我们称之为“大脑短路”。"大脑短路"是指暂时的大脑失灵,无法正确地进行推断。
Below is a list of brain farts that pretty much everyone has had one time or another.
下面就是我们每个人都很可能曾经做过的脑子短路事件清单:

  • Yo- brain fart is serious slang, no? – Dr. Shmuel Aug 19 at 2:09
  • @Dr.Shmuel I wouldn't call it serious slang, it's just informal. Practically everybody knows this term. – user3306356 Aug 19 at 2:19
  • The way to say this is definitely "brain fart" – Atav32 Aug 19 at 6:25
  • 1
    I think I am going to accept your answer because it is closest to what I wanted and this answer was the first to mention "brain fart". What is even better is that you provided a reference. I also want to note that other answer are also good but sadly I can only accept one. – trisct Aug 19 at 6:59
5

脑袋-短路, based on what I understand, just means literally that the brain short-circuited or malfunctioned as an electrical circuit would. The expression that comes to mind in English is:

I blanked out for a second.

Or

My mind went blank.

Or perhaps

I spaced out for a second.

  • Thanks for this. But this seems to imply the speaker's mind goes blank, while 脑袋短路 also refers to "being temporarily stupid/silly", or "cannot see the obvious" sort of things. For exmple, some guy solves a math problem using a very complex method, and some other person shows him it can be done very simply, and he says: "Oh! Right! I 脑袋短路了." Does blank out work for this too? I mean this guy was thinking indeed, right? – trisct Aug 19 at 3:43
  • @trisct That is significantly different than the OP. – Dr. Shmuel Aug 19 at 3:59
  • But in Chinese, 脑袋短路 certainly works for these situations too. Maybe only one example situation is not enough to describe the meaning of the phrase. I'll try to complete my question. – trisct Aug 19 at 4:02
  • Probably I should ask this on ELL anyway. – trisct Aug 19 at 4:04
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I found this with glitch:

也许,我脑袋里哪里短路了。 Maybe there was a glitch in my brain.

没什么, 我脑袋短路了。 Nothing, just a brain lapse.

  • I have personally never heard the first one. – Dr. Shmuel Aug 18 at 23:16
  • What? a glitch? We can misquote an old saying: A glitch in time saves nine! glitch from German glitschen, slip, glitschig, slippery. So, a brain glitch = a brain slip! – Pedroski Aug 18 at 23:32
3

I think "brain fart" is definitely the common way to say it.

But you could also use "zoned out", like

"Whoa, sorry, I zoned out for a second..." (哇,不好意思,脑袋短路...)

2

What about brain lag?

From Urban Dictionary it defines it as:

When it takes one's brain a few seconds to catch up with their actions.

But I think I had heard someone said this in your kind of scenario

Some guy solves a math problem using a very complex method, and some other person shows him that it can be done very simply, and he says: "Oh! Right! My brain lagged."

0

I don't know the answer, but the question reminded me of this ad the picture of which once I saw on a website: . enter image description here

  • 1
    This is just a super bizarre example. I take it that you don't read Chinese, but the Chinese text used is suppose to be read right-to-left but the rest of the English passage is left-to-right, so even the correction is "wrong". – Nelson Aug 20 at 5:18

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