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The word 胃口 means appetite but the verb 钓 makes it tricky to translate the term literally as it wouldn't really make sense.

Just wondering if anyone has found a nice way to translate this common term in a way that also makes sense in English without deviating from the meaning of the characters too much (if that's possible).

Here are some potential candidates I thought of:

  • arouse one's appetite (matches most in meaning of characters)
  • pique one's interest
  • leave one in suspense (matches most in meaning I think)

I would have added 'dangle a carrot in front of someone' but I think it implies something else rather than simply trying to tease someone by with holding something from them.

3 Answers 3

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The essence of 钓胃口 is to hang something in front of someone who desires it but not let him have it immediately.

Both 'tempt with a teaser' and 'tease with a cliffhanger' can be called 钓胃口

"leave one in suspense" is a good one,

Example: "leave the readers in suspense" = 钓读者的胃口

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'To tantalize' also works

tantalize

to tease or torment by or as if by presenting something desirable to the view but continually keeping it out of reach

Example:

Teaser and cliffhanger are for tantalizing the audience - 預告和悬念都钓读者胃口的工具

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Whet your appetite (to make you want more).

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  • Thanks for editing my post!
    – Xixixi
    Dec 29, 2021 at 12:58
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WE say 吊胃口, but I assume they are the same - tantalizing one's appetite (for something).

tantalize - Excite or tease by presenting or offering something desirable, esp. when it is unobtainable.

吊胃口 - tease a person by suspending something desired by him/her.

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