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Photo of the Day: Grand Talker

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As the Met Gala sets tongues wagging about US celebs and their outfits — and following Nick Kapur’s fantastic thread on Chinese names for NBA players — we’re using our weekly photo theme to dig into some of the more unusual Mandarin Monikers for Foreign Stars.

Some Chinese names for European and American celebs need some tortuous explanation. Some really don’t.

Kanye’s most common Chinese nickname is 侃爷 (conveniently pronounced kan ye), which can be translated in a number of different ways but is usually taken to mean big or grand talker. Can’t think why this applies to Mr West.

Oh right.

To give him his due, you could if you wanted also translate 侃爷 as “straight-talking grandpa” though. Side note: Kim Kardashian is known in Chinese as 金大妈 (jin dama, or “auntie gold”.

Not sure if this has always been the case or if Baidu is just throwing shade in light of some of his recent interviews and comments, but when we went to double check the translation for kan ye on the Chinese internet giant’s language service, here’s what they served:

Ye-ouch.

Cover photo: Kanye West on stage in Shanghai, 2008 (photo: Jake Newby).

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