You know to watch out for RMB that’s not real.
But did you know you should also watch out for RMB that’s only half real?
It’s a kind of “mutant counterfeit currency” (变种假币 – biàn zhǒng jiǎ bì) that has appeared in recent years. Sometimes they cut the bill in half up the middle and stick them together. And sometimes, they actually cut the bill so that it’s half as thick!
You know what? This reminds me of a Chinese idiom: 半真半假 (bàn zhēn bàn jiǎ).
半真半假 (bàn zhēn bàn jiǎ) literally means “half real half fake” and it’s use for anything that’s not really real. It can be used for both abstract concepts and tangible things. It’s also worth noting that it doesn’t necessarily half a negative meaning (see example 3A) – it can sound like the phrase “half-jokingly” or “half-seriously”
A breakdown of the characters in 半真半假 (bàn zhēn bàn jiǎ):
半(bàn): half (eg. 一半 – yí bàn – one half)
真(zhēn): real (eg. 真实 – zhēn shí – true)
假(jiǎ): false (eg. 假币 – jiǎ bì – counterfeit currency)
半真半假 (bàn zhēn bàn jiǎ) can be used in many different ways.
Usage 1) Noun + (是) + 半真半假
Example 1 A)
“yǒu 1644 rén rèn wéi wēi bó xìn xī bàn zhēn bàn jiǎ, xū yào jìn yí bù zhèng shí…”
“1644 people thought that Weibo was half real and half fake, and needed to be further verified…”
Example 1 B)
“zhè fēng xìn kǒu wěn suī shì bàn zhēn bàn jiǎ…”
“This letter’s tone is only half real…”
Usage 2) 半真半假 + 的 + Noun.
Example 2 A)
“…bàn zhēn bàn jiǎ de dōng xi jiù chéng le shì shí”
“…something that was only half real became fact”
Example 2 B)
“…hùn zá zhe hěn duō bàn zhēn bàn jiǎ de yáng pǐn pái”
“…there are mixed in many foreign brands that are half real, half fake“
Usage 3) 半真半假 + 地 + Verb.
Example 3 A)
“wǒ men shǒu qiān shǒu guàng dà jiē xiǎo xiàng, bàn zhēn bàn jiǎ de chuān qíng lǚ T xù”
“We held hands and strolled the streets and alleyways, and half-seriously wore couple T-shirts”
Example 3 C)
“wǒ gēn tā bàn zhēn bàn jiǎ de shuō, yǐ hòu wǒ gěi nǐ xiě yī běn shū “
“I told her half-jokingly, later I’ll write you a book”
Hope you enjoyed this Chinese idiom, and remember to watch out for the mutant counterfeit RMB!
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