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As seen on engrish.com

I'll gloss these words one by one

  • 毛主席 (Chairman Mao)
  • 是 (is)
  • 我们 (our)
  • 心中 (in our heart)
  • 的 (no need to translate this one)
  • 红 (red)
  • 太阳 (the Sun)

I am not sure how 太阳 got rendered as "Fucker", so here's a translation I came up with:

Chairman Mao is, in our minds, a red sun

Still, I cannot make much more sense of the sentence; I'd appreciate some input.

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    I've removed this from the Hot Network Questions: this question is too easily (mis)interpreted in controversial ways, and I think it's best that it's not all over Stack Exchange. – Becky 李蓓 Jul 20 at 5:04
  • The question is 'what does the Chinese sentence mean? (How should it be interpreted?)', not 'how 太阳 got rendered as "Fucker"', which is irrelevant to the question. – Tang Ho Jul 20 at 10:10
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Interpreting "毛主席是我们心中的红太阳。" (Chairman Mao is the red sun in our heart)

This sentence compares Chairman Mao to the sun. We all know how great and important the sun is. It gives us light, it gives us warm and it gives us hope; Without it, there will only be darkness, cold, and hopelessness. The sun is the object to be worshipped.

This sentence (slogan) is expressing how much the Chinese people are worshipping Chairman Mao. It is a part of the movement to deify Chairman Mao at the time.

And why a red sun? Because the color of the Communist Party is red, (implies Chairman Mao is the sun for Communism)

Side note:

As for how 太阳 was translated as 'fucker' on the sign, please read Mo.'s answer to this question.

Mo. wrote:

There's a theory that goes something like: 紅太陽 = 紅日 = red fuck. But, that seems a bit preposterous to me.

This is on purpose, the translator is a troll

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There's a theory that goes something like: 紅太陽 = 紅日 = red fuck. But, that seems a bit preposterous to me.


reddit

This is on purpose, the translator is a troll

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  • @SiweiShen申思维 The reason this sentence is difficult to interpret is because of the English translation. There are a few hypotheses as to how the English turned into what it did & I have put one of them in my answer above here. This is only a question and answer about language, it doesn't have anything to do with ideology, whatever ones stance may be. – Mo. Jul 21 at 8:34
  • There's a recent Reddit post which makes a similar labored connection to 日本人. – Becky 李蓓 Jul 27 at 0:23
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    @Becky李蓓 We’ve covered this here’s before too chinese.stackexchange.com/q/28800/4136 – Mo. Jul 27 at 8:15
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Back then, many people were very poor, no better than slaves. 毛泽东 was a beacon of hope, the light that warmed their impoverished souls and gave them hope for a brighter future. He is compared to the red rising sun in the morning.

毛主席是我们心中的红太阳。
Chairman Mao is the sun that warms our souls.

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    The question is why it was translated differently from the actural meaning? I think you should address that too. – Tang Ho Jul 20 at 0:46
  • @TangHo No, the question is what does the Chinese sentence mean. This is a perfectly good answer. – OmarL Jul 20 at 1:15
  • @OmarL Stating "I am not sure how 太阳 got rendered as "Fucker"," confuses readers. It sounds like you knew it wasn't true and want to know why it was translated that way – Tang Ho Jul 20 at 1:20
  • Quote:- "I am not sure how 太阳 got rendered as "Fucker"? Well, it is a pun / play on the word 阳. In "Yin Yang", "阴阳" where 阴 is the female element and 阳 is the male element. 阳 could, colloquially, also refer to the male genitals. So, it is not much of an imaginative leap to interpret 红太阳 as "red fucker" given the above connotations. It is not a mis-translation, but a cheap, crude dig at the late Chairman who had his fair share of non-admirers. It's like the word "prick" – Wayne Cheah Jul 20 at 3:44
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    @WayneCheah I don't think your understanding is correct. 太阳 is 日. And 日 is a slang word for 'f**k'. So, Mo's answer makes more sense. And Pedroski's answer explained the normal meaning of the sentence. – dan Jul 20 at 4:08

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