you thought that last post was outdated . . .

The Treaty of Tianjin was produced and signed by the British and Chinese governments in 1858. The treaty was signed during the second Opium War, fought between Britain and China, and allowed for the establishment of British representation in China’s capitol. To that end, the parties apparently agreed on the banning of two Chinese words—“I” and “yi,” approximately meaning “barbarian” and “alien,” respectively. These words were banned not because of the Chinese meaning of the word, but because of the British interpretation of the Chinese meaning of the word.  The treaty was hand-written in Chinese and English on high quality paper, with high quality ink, and was bound in leather covered in velvet, symbolizing the greatness of the two nations binding together. I think the Chinese should have bound the treaty in bologna, because banning a word based on the interpretation of its translation into a different language is preposterous, not to mention incredibly egocentric on the part of the semantically-offended nation.


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