The other day I heard this guy referring to his 平板电脑 as an iPad (爱怕德), when it was just some generic tablet computer.

Chinese contains a lot of genericizations, 可乐 for soda, etc.

Is this one too, now?

  • 1
    The guy was just confused. It's incorrect.
    – Ziyuan
    Commented Aug 24, 2014 at 23:34

2 Answers 2


I think in this case, it's true

"iPad" is more famous, most people (at least in mainland) aren't familiar with digital devices. People maybe don't know what tablet computer is, but they know "Oh it's Apple's iPad".


In my Chinese language environment, 可乐 is not for soda, it's for cola. Soda is 苏达/苏打 in Chinese.

For the iPad case, maybe it's because iPad holds the market against other competitors.

Also, this is not limited to Chinese. When saying cola, we may assume it to be coca cola, although there is pepsi cola and lots of other colas(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Cola_brands).

  • 2
    Soda = soft drink = pop = 汽水
    – Mou某
    Commented Aug 24, 2014 at 3:05
  • @user3306356 I know you mean soft drink, but in mainland China, if you say 可乐, people will think of cola. If you say 汽水, it refers to soft drink in glass bottle only. 饮料 is for all soft drinks although it translated into beverages.
    – wuyefeibao
    Commented Aug 24, 2014 at 3:28
  • Well this wasn't the point of my question at all but seeing as your brining it up now, I will address it. I have been to many restaurants where the conversation has gone: “有什么饮料?” - “有啤酒、可乐、矿泉水” - “有什么可乐” - “有七喜、有雪碧、有芬达、有百事可乐,有可口可乐”
    – Mou某
    Commented Aug 24, 2014 at 3:42
  • To that point, today 苏达/苏打 is generally referring to 'soda ash' - the chemical substance of sodium bicarbonate; 苏打水 refers to 'sparkling water (with no or very light flavor)'; 碳酸饮料 refers to 'soda pop'. 汽水 used to be a popular word for 'soda pop' before 2000's, but today it's primary use is to differentiate 桔子汽水 (orange flavored soda) from 桔子汁 (orange juice). XX饮(料) (e.g. 碳酸饮料, 乳酸饮料, 体饮, 冻饮) has been the in-fashion expression since the new millennium.
    – NS.X.
    Commented Aug 24, 2014 at 9:01
  • Usually I heard something like this "要饮料还是喝酒?""今天开车还是喝饮料吧。".
    – wuyefeibao
    Commented Aug 24, 2014 at 23:02

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