I’m quite new to Chinese, having only started learning it a month ago, I struggle to find words in Chinese for names like: Harrry Potter, Freeze Tag, etc. Can we actually use ‘冻结捉捉’ to say ‘freeze tag’? I’m trying to write a diary in Chinese to practice my Chinese, btw.

  • Good-practice habit and well asked question 👍 Would move the hint If you don't know .. away from title to the question.
    – hc_dev
    Apr 1, 2021 at 23:05
  • This is not an answer to this particular question, but a nice way to find otherwise hard-to-translate names of things in Chinese is to find the relevant article on English Wikipedia, and switch language to Chinese. It doesn't work for "freeze tag" (there is no article in Chinese for "Tag (game)"), but it works for a lot of things that aren't covered in most dictionaries, including titles of books, films and so on.
    – Olle Linge
    Apr 7, 2021 at 17:53

1 Answer 1

  1. Freeze tag may not be as well understood as other games, e.g. the normal version of tag (鬼抓人, lit. ghost catches man), or hide-and-seek (捉迷藏) in Chinese. If you do not wish to specify the person tagged must freeze in the name of the game, you may just say 鬼抓人.

  2. Literal translation is possible (凍結標籤, see here). 標籤 means tag or label. 捉捉 in your proposed translation (凍結捉捉) is nonexistent as a word; perhaps it confers a childlike nuance by means of character repetition, but either way, you need to clarify the details of the game should you adopt a literal translation, because otherwise no one would know what it actually is.

  3. Children say 「抓到了,(換)你當鬼!」 (lit. 'Caught you, now it's you're turn to be the ghost!', or equivalently, 'Tag, you're it!') while playing the game. You may consider not naming it at all and let the dialogues reflect the nature of the game. You may also consider adding this to reflect frozenness: 「抓到了,你當鬼,不許動!」 (lit. 'Caught you, you be the ghost, don't move!').

  4. 木頭人 (lit. log-like person, see here) and 紅綠燈 (lit. traffic light, see here) are classic games that are understood to require all players except 'the ghost' to freeze from time to time. Of course they are different games from freeze tag, but my point is, none used the 'frozen' analogy - this is a rather foreign concept, and would likely require a literal translation (and explanation) to a Chinese audience.

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