Liuzhou Laowai

Random thoughts on life in Liuzhou, Guangxi, China

Snail writing fire

Only days after telling you of the record number of fires breaking out around Liuzhou, I spot yet another. This one is more interesting from a gastronomic and a linguistic viewpoint, however.

The fire in question took place in a small noodle shop which specialises in Liuzhou’s most famous dish, Luosifen (pronounced approximately as Low Si Fun). I’ve eaten here. Luosifen is rice noodles in a snail stock with chilli, greens and various other flavourings. A cheap and simple dish. But hot!

It seems no great damage was done. But I do spot something of interest. The sign on the shop front (to the right) advertises the luosifen using the characters below.

The headline to the article uses these

As you can see the second character is different. Which is correct?

This is something I’ve come across before. Despite it being Liuzhou’s signature dish, few locals can write it correctly. A few years ago, I asked a class of local university students to write it down. Around 50% got it wrong. Later that day, I asked their lecturers and professors to write it down. They all got it wrong!

I’ve seen both variations on luosifen shops. Here, the shop is correct; the news report is wrong. It should be:

It is heartening to know that it is not just we laowai who get Chinese wrong, although we do infinitely more often!

. This entry was posted on Monday, August 13th, 2007 at 10:13 am and is filed under Fire Starting, Food and Drink, Languages, Liuzhou News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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