China has officially chosen the Chinese Character of the Year for 2017! Based on a survey by the Chinese National Language Monitoring and Research Center, the Commercial Press, People.cn, and QQ.com, the Character of the Year is “享” (xiǎng), which means “to share.” This character refers to the “sharing economy” that has become increasingly prevalent in China over the past few years. During this time, many innovative start-ups in China have utilized this model, which may be compared to the services of Uber, but in different contexts and other markets.
“享” was chosen as the Character of the Year 2017 out of thousands of recommendations and subsequently millions upon millions of votes by Chinese Internet users. In addition to this popular vote, expert linguists, professors, and editors provided input into choosing the important character based upon modern thought in China. The process of nominating characters began on November 20th, and a list of top characters was published on December 9th. On December 21st, 2017, “享” was chosen as the winner out of many other characters, including 云 (yún; referring to cloud computing and intelligence), 赞 (zàn; meaning “to praise” and referring to optimism), and 强 (qiáng; meaning “strong”).
This twelve-year old tradition is a very popular way for Chinese Internet users to get involved in celebrating their language with the world as the year comes to an end. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! Until next time!