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幽默 is the translation of "humor". Is there another Chinese word close to "humor" in meaning?

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  • I guess there's also 好笑、搞笑、无厘头, depending on context. (It'd help to have more context.)
    – Becky 李蓓
    Commented May 11 at 3:40
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    It was Lin Yutang who first coined the term in 1924 and introduced and promoted the idea of humor into Chinese culture. researchgate.net/publication/… Commented May 11 at 11:28

3 Answers 3

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幽默 humorous (loanword)

滑稽 humorous (a little bit clownish)

詼諧 humorous (kind of witty)

風趣 humorous (have an elegant feel)

To see the subtle difference between them, check out the dictionary

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For clarity 幽默 is not a translation of humor, it is a transliteration//borrow word, via cantonese (((now its a regular vocab like any borrow word))).

English humor has many different meanings and uses, but only two are common in modern day. Going to presume you mean humor as a funny synonym-- this is also the common use of borrow word 幽默 in chinese.

As Tang ho mantioned there are many ways to say funny in chinese, if I were personally to pick a non borrow word to be equivalent to english humor I would choose 風趣.

Please note that a big part of the reason borrow words become borrow words, is a lack of a term that is an exact fit for the concept in the first place. If you want to say humor in the most common english use scenarios 幽默 is definitely first choice if not only choice. Just like in english you could use an alternative to fengshui when describing room layouts and architecture for good luck... but that doesn't mean you always should :)

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  • Notice: A transliteration is typically only about the sound. When a transliteration of an English word takes on the definition of the original word, it becomes a 'loanword' and qualifies to be a translation of it.
    – Tang Ho
    Commented May 14 at 16:44
  • The Cantonese word '士多' was transliterated from the English word 'store'. But we don't call it a transliteration anymore, instead, it is listed as a 'loanword' that means 'store'. The name "George" is transliterated as "左治" in Cantonese, and it remains a transliteration because 左治 (last name 左, first name 治 ) can be a Chinese name that doesn't have anything to do with "George"
    – Tang Ho
    Commented May 14 at 16:49
  • @TangHo yes, loan ward and borrow word have the same meaning. I mentioned this just to clarify the origin, as noted it is a totally normal vocab term to use currently :)
    – zagrycha
    Commented May 14 at 17:02
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humour:
"fluid or juice of an animal or plant,"
“动物或植物的液体或汁液,”

In old medicine, "any of the four body fluids" (blood, phlegm, choler or yellow bile, and melancholy or black bile).

在古代医学中,“四种体液中的任何一种”(血、痰、胆汁和忧郁或黑胆汁)。

Their relative proportions were thought to determine physical condition and state of mind. This gave humor an extended sense of "mood, temporary state of mind"

Thus other words for humour are:

1. 血
2. 痰
3. 胆汁或黄胆汁
4. 忧郁或黑胆汁
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  • your answer isn't wrong, but this is an extinct use of humor. Unless someone specifies wanting a historical use its not a good definition to give. Just like if someone asks for the meaning of 太歲 telling them its the planet Jupiter is not a very good answer in general context.
    – zagrycha
    Commented May 11 at 22:10
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    @zagrycha It's OK, just humor him. Commented May 12 at 2:13

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