Monday, April 20, 2015

Rock, paper, scissors in Chinese

Lately we've been playing rock, paper, scissors a lot with our 5 year old and our 3 year old. We taught them how to play it in Chinese, which has been fun because they've been able to play it with their Chinese grandparents and other family in China.

In Chinese, Rock Paper Scissors has the exact same hand signs, with the same rules. There are a few differences, however. In Chinese, they actually say "Scissors, Wrapping cloth, Hammer" (剪子包袱锤 Jiǎnzi bāofú chuí).

Comparing the differences again:

  • In English, we say "rock", but in Chinese they say "hammer" 锤 
  • In English we say "paper", but in Chinese they say "wrapping cloth" 包袱
  • In English, we say "scissors" last, but in Chinese they say it first 

(EDIT -- Since publishing this, someone from a different part of China told me that they say 石头,剪子,布  Shítou, jiǎnzi, bù [rock, paper, cloth] -- I guess there are a few ways to play it in Chinese!)

Play this with your kids in Chinese, and the next time the see a native Chinese speaker they will be able to have lots of fun playing with them. Here's a picture summary:

Also, I thought I would show you all my 5 year old son's modification of rock paper scissors that he made up in Chinese.... :-)

Have fun playing!

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