Chinese parliament

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Chinese parliament

Post by dalehileman » Thu Feb 24, 2005 5:06 pm

I get a hit in PF that indicates this is a slang expression, but a quick Googling and a perusal of my slang library afford little support.
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Chinese parliament

Post by Bobinwales » Fri Feb 25, 2005 9:13 am

My understanding is that it is a group of people all talking at once thereby making a loud noise but no sense. The original coining obviously made by someone who did not speak a Chinese language.
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Signature: All those years gone to waist!
Bob in Wales

Chinese parliament

Post by Mel » Fri Feb 25, 2005 3:23 pm

A "chinese wall" is an impenetrable barrier to conversation. I would imagine "a chinese parliament would be somewhat confused in its debates.

Sounds a bit like an archaic derogatory adjective to me. We use "Dutch" and "French" similarly.

I too got knowhere so far looking this up.
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Chinese parliament

Post by Mel » Fri Feb 25, 2005 3:29 pm

Just found this in the archive.

Chinese Fire Drill is of the 20th century and implies an operation having extreme confusion, chaos, disorganization, bedlam. Is a slur on the Chinese people and is usually considered offensive. .


Just change firedrill to parliament.
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Chinese parliament

Post by russcable » Fri Feb 25, 2005 4:41 pm

Actually Bobinwales's use of "speak _a_ Chinese language" points out a more reasonable explanation of this than pure stereotyping (it's all Greek to me). The spoken Chinese language consists of many mutually-unintelligable dialects that share a common written language. While most modern educated Chinese have Standard Mandarin as at least a "second dialect", it is not hard to imagine a group of representatives from different provinces having a hard time getting anywhere in an oral forum.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_spoken_language
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Chinese parliament

Post by Erik_Kowal » Fri Feb 25, 2005 6:19 pm

Good point, Russ.

In the USA 'Chinese fire drill' also has a more specific meaning. It can refer to a prank or stunt in which all the occupants of a car leap out at a red light and get back in, but reoccupy different seats. The aim is to complete the manoeuvre and be ready to roll before the light turns green again.
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Chinese parliament

Post by dalehileman » Fri Feb 25, 2005 7:30 pm

Thank you Bob, Erik Mel, Russ; keep 'em comin'
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Chinese parliament

Post by Edwin Ashworth » Mon Feb 28, 2005 11:20 pm

If Bob is right, isn't the word "Chinese" redundant? And I wonder if the Mandarins were allowed to have little Orange books under Mao.
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End of topic.
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