One of the many distressing aspects of our current administration is having a world leader who refuses to communicate with his constituents outside of his Twitter account. As a result, we all spend considerably more time than is healthy trying to divine what insane things like this mean:
I wish people would read or listen to my words on the Border Wall. This was in no way a concession. It was taking care of millions of people who were getting badly hurt by the Shutdown with the understanding that in 21 days, if no deal is done, it’s off to the races!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 26, 2019
Is he tweeting from an OTB next to the MTA’s bus terminal in New York City’s Washington Heights? Hard. To. Say. Plus, I have the benefit of technically understanding English as my first language! Zhang Jiaqian works at a medical device company southeast of Beijing. According to the Washington Post, he spends a little bit of every day translating our Twitler-in-chief’s cryptic message, into Chinese and posting to a WeChat page, which is a Chinese social media app. However, Zhang found out early on that simply translating the raving mush coming out of Donald Trump’ thumbs was completely incoherent in Chinese. So Zhang began adding extensive commentary to explain to his readership what all of these Trump tweets mean. Here are some of Zhang’s glossary of Trumpisms:
“Democrat spin machines” becomes “Democrat lie generators” in Chinese.
“Pocahontas”: “The colluding Indian woman Bo Ka Hong Ta Si.”
“America First”: “America takes precedence.”
“Elizabeth Warren beer catastrophe”: “Elizabeth Warren’s acting was terrible in the beer video.”
According to the Post, Zhang says he steers clear of Trump’s foreign policy attacks on China, as Chinese officials are not particularly keen on those. Despite those precautions, Zhang has had his account closed by the government during a censorship sweep.
Zhang set up a new account with a more subtle name. It’s called “Kaopu English,” or “Trustworthy English,” as though it were a language learning page. But “kaopu” can also be interpreted as “Things about Trump.”
He also uses a typo-laden spelling of Trump’s general Chinese name of “Te Lang Pu,” in the hopes of keeping a lower profile. This means he has stayed away from enigmas like this:
….I am a Tariff Man. When people or countries come in to raid the great wealth of our Nation, I want them to pay for the privilege of doing so. It will always be the best way to max out our economic power. We are right now taking in $billions in Tariffs. MAKE AMERICA RICH AGAIN
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 4, 2018
I am the Walrus. Goo goo g’joob.