Sports Cheers in Chinese

(Want to know what Chinese fans are cheering as Liu Xiang comes barrelling down the straightaway? How about when the home team is down by two baskets with thirty seconds to play? Here, a primer on Chinese sports cheers by Shantou University sports journalism students. ~ Nicole)


Chinese sports culture: cheer fashion in China

Chinese people always show great enthusiasm in sports activities. Chinese sports fans cheer in a way that’s part of Chinese culture. When Chinese fans unite together to cheer, they wear uniforms and do the same makeup. They even paint the Chinese national flag on their faces: a red flag with five yellow stars.

Most Chinese sports fans wear yellow or red clothes which stand for China in the world, and more and more clothes have markings with catchwords. Many Chinese fans also wear red headband that mark with the watchwords.

Chinese football fans always draw five stars red flag on their faces and wear headbands on which are written: “come on, China.” Chinese fans often beat gongs and drums while supporting their teams. Moreover, they will blow trumpets. Chinese fans cheer slogans to support their teams. Following are some of the slogans you will hear when Chinese fans come out to support their team. [Editor's note:"China" is 中国 - "zhongguo" in the pinyin transliteration system, and "jong-gwo" in a literal phonetic pronunciation.]

Zhong-guo Jia-you (中国加油) Jia-you (pronounced “gee-ah yo”) means “add gas” in Chinese. This is the most popular cheer in Chinese sports. A good English translation might be “Rev it up, China!”

Zhong-guo Bi-sheng (中国必胜): Phonetic pronunciation: “jong-gwo bee-shung.” Translation: “The Chinese must win!”

OK ZhongGuo (OK 中国)Self-explanatory. :)

ZhenXin ZhongHua(振兴中华)- Phonetically: “jen-shin jong-hwa.” This phrase was originally used in a political slogan which means to rebuild the Silver Age and reputation of China. When used as a cheer, it inspires Chinese patriotism.

Xiongqi(雄起) Phonetically: “shee-ong chee.” Another way to say “jia-you,” especially in Sichuan dialect. [Editor’s note: A gentle warning – my students inform me that this phrase has, um, “other meanings” connected to certain reproductive activities…but that “jia-you” is just too flat a phrase for masculine young Sichuan football fans, so this is the preferred cheer!]

Sheng bu jiao , Bai bu nei(胜不娇,败不馁): Phonetically: “shung boo jow, bye boo nay.” An old Chinese saying which means winning without parade and failing without discouragement.

Ai Wo Zhong Hua, Ai Wo Nu Pai(爱我中华,爱我女排): Phonetically: “aye woh jong-gwo, aye woh nyoo pie.” Translation: “I love China, I love our women’s volleyball team.” Not a bad cheer for the national heroes of China – the first team sports world champions in Chinese history.