How Do You Pronounce Feng Shui?

It really annoys me when somebody corrects my pronunciation of Feng Shooey.

– Oh, it’s pronounced Fung Shway, you know.

– By who? I ask.

– By the Chinese.

Oh really?  And do they spell it Feng Shui?

– Eh, no.

– That’s right, you condescending git. The Chinese don’t write Feng ShuiThey write this:

360px-Chinese_character_extreme.svg(or something very similar)

Now.  go on.  Do you see Fung Shway written there?

No.  Of course you don’t.

You’re the one who writes it as Feng Shui, not the fucking Chinese, and Feng Shui spells Feng Shooey! Can’t you fucking read?  If you mean to say Fung Shway, then write Fung Shway, not Feng Shui.

It’s very simple.

And what’s more, Feng Shooey is a load of fucking bullshit.  It’s just the Chinese for tidying up.

14 thoughts on “How Do You Pronounce Feng Shui?

  1. and who said the Chinese weren’t Capitalists…..

    I’ll have a little feng shwuee…t with my interior design….that’ll be an additional 15% please.

    …’tidying up’…haha

  2. Spot on, Bock. One just can’t overestimate the impact of proper pronunciation.
    I am reminded of a Human Rights Summit. Topic: The Roots of Democracy and Enduring Freedom.
    Two delegates meet in the cafeteria.
    – Where are you from?
    – China.
    – Interesting. Do you have elections in China, too?
    – Elections? Oh, yes – evely molning, evely molning.

  3. thats awesome, kinda reminds me of the vietnamese last names nguyen….supposedly pronounced “when”….how did that happen?

  4. Ity isn’t awesome. it might be thought-provoking or interesting but it’s not awesome.

    Awesome is when you’re overcome with astonishment and terror. Awesome is for earthquakes and hurricanes and tidal waves. This is just a blog post.

    What word will you use if you ever see something truly awesome? Wow! That planet exploding is, like, real big? And scary?

  5. Take it easy man, just complimenting your post. Since you don’t appreciate hyperbole, I enjoyed reading blog entry. I’ll probably mention your views the next time Feng Shui comes up in conversation.

  6. Well…about the fung shay (feng shui)´s kind of like when people who don´t know our language will pronounce: “roge” instead of “ruff” (ROUGH)…they don´t know squat about it and we are definately not tidying it up as you just that our language such as many others are aglommerative. Chill out man

  7. Will every Chinese person pronounce the characters for “Feng Shui” the same way? After all, Chinese is a FAMILY OF LANGUAGES, NOT ONE LANGUAGE, and that translates to about 500 languages, and then, BTW, each language has a number of dialects. Then which pronunciation will be correct? Which dialect of Mandarin, or Cantonese, or whatever, should be selected as the “correct pronunciation”? Hmmm……..! Carolyn Charter

  8. I agree with comment Bock, the way people pronounce Feng Shui it sounds like make-believe French. I asked a Chinese woman, and she at least said it like I do Feng Shooi. We lived in Asia for a while and I was told from my older siblings that Shway is not a Chinese word they ever heard of. anyway, SHO says how we pronounce it, and go to the BritishOxford dictionary, and they at least don’t say feng shway, but feng shui, like Bock and I.

  9. Feng Shui is the pinyin writing for the Chinese characters you posted. Isn’t Chinese calligraphy grand? It can match the Book of Kells for style. The pinyin system was introduced by the communist government in 1958 in an attempt to encourage the teaching of literacy to the “revolutionary broad masses” as Mao and his buddies liked to call them. The linguist advisors reckoned that it was easier to teach 26 (or 27) letters of the Latin alphabet to the toiling peasants and workers than to teach the complicated character system. To read a daily newspaper in China you need to recognize 3,000 characters at least and to read a Chinese science textbook you would need to know 6,000+ characters. A contemporary Chinese dictionary lists more than 58 thousand characters. The pinyin system tries to portray the tonal system in Chinese; that’s why eng is pronounced ung and ui is pronounced way. Now I’m off to my nearest takeaway to order chicken chop suey for me and Molly.

  10. I just peed my pants laughing. That’s hilarious, but I don’t know how to incorporate that fantastic ‘Chinese text’ into my footnote. Ha-ha!

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