Script of the Week: Martian

火星文 (huǒxīng wén): Martian script

Mars script (sometimes called brain damaged script [脑残体]) is a form of coded Chinese writing that uses abbreviations, homophones, Roman letters, and other nonstandard characters. For instance, “don’t mention it,” (不要说 bú yào shuō) is shortened to biǎo shuō (表说) and the word “thank you” becomes 3q (sān q). A free Chinese-to-Martian converter app is available on Baidu from I Love Martian Script (我爱火星文). See Wikipedia for origins and usage.

ex. The Song of the Grass-Mud Horse in Martian script:

Original

在那苍茫美丽马勒戈壁有一群草泥马

他们活泼又聪明

他们调皮又灵敏

他们由自在生活在那草泥马戈壁

他们顽强勇敢克服艰苦环境

噢卧槽的草泥马

噢狂槽的草泥马

他们为了卧草不被吃掉打败了河蟹

河蟹从此消失草泥马戈壁

Martian Script

茬哪仺茫鎂欐鰢勒戈壁絠辷羣愺泥鰢

彵閅萿潑叕聰朙

彵扪調陂叕欞敏

彵們凷zi茬玍獲茬哪愺泥馬戈壁

彵閅頑螚踴澉尅菔艱楛環境

噢臥槽ㄖㄅ萫泥鰢

噢誑槽啇騲泥鰢

怹菛蒍孓臥萫丆陂喫鋽咑贁孒菏蠏

魺蠏縱呲綃夨騲泥馬戈壁

English

There is a herd of grass-mud horses

In the wild and beautiful Mahler Desert

They are lively and intelligent

they are fun-loving and nimble

They live freely in the Mahler Desert

They are courageous, tenacious, and overcome the difficult environment

Oh, crouching grass-mud horse

Oh, crazy grass-mud horse

To protect their grassland, they battled the river crabs

River crabs are forever banished from Mahler Desert

grass-mud horseThe Grass-Mud Horse eBook is your guide to the Chinese Internet. Available from KindleiTunes, and Google Play.

The  comes from China Digital Space’s Grass-Mud Horse Lexicon, a glossary of terms created by Chinese netizens and frequently encountered in online political discussions. These are the words of China’s online “resistance discourse,” used to mock and subvert the official language around  and political correctness.