Am I the idiot?

I know this packaging is in Chinese, but the kanji are probably not that different in this case right?

It’s translated as “want want ice”, but that doesn’t make any sense. The packaging clearly says “suck suck ice”(吸吸冰) right? I mean that makes sense for the product as well.

Please help me confirm my sanity thanks

19 Likes

You’re technically correct, but try selling “Suck Suck Ice” at the red light district and you’ll know the reason why they didn’t translate it like that

30 Likes

It’s been confirmed already but

4 Likes

I’d love to drink some suck suck ice man, sounds great

12 Likes

I was thinking about the Amsterdam red light district when I posted that, and only later did I realise that you are actually Dutch :rofl:

12 Likes

I just give off those subliminal Dutch vibes man

18 Likes

Not all of us are that bad. I’d definitely try something called suck suck ice though, sounds amazing.

6 Likes

“Suck suck ice” does appear to be the Chinese meaning, but when translating a literal translation might not always work. In this case, “suck suck ice” does not sound appealing, but “want want ice” at least has a similar way of getting the product’s name across.

“Suck” in English does have the additional meaning of being a terrible product (this sucks!), so I can see that being a reason for the “translation” being changed

7 Likes

Maybe worth noting that “suck suck” isn’t what the two “suck” characters translate to; the repetition is just inflecting the verb “suck.”

4 Likes

It’s like hyper suck

11 Likes

I have to say, personally, I would insta-buy a product saying “hyper suck ice” or “suck suck ice”. “Want want ice”, on the other hand, would confuse me.

9 Likes

Lol. Opposite (I think) - “suck-a-little ice”

3 Likes

SUCC ICE

17 Likes

Why is this the solutions omg this thread XD

4 Likes

So, the reason it’s ‘Want Want Ice’ is that the brand is 旺旺, which is literally the character for ‘flourishing’ twice. It’s a food company from Taiwan, apparently. (I knew the brand because I used to have biscuits made by them quite often as a kid, but I never knew where they were made. You don’t really bother about these things as a child.) In Mandarin, those characters are pronounced wàng wàng (wah-ng wah-ng, both pronounced with a sharp, downward tone, if anyone’s wondering), but I guess those sounds don’t mean anything in English (and frankly, looking at the reactions to ‘suck suck’ on this thread, I can already imagine what people would be thinking seeing ‘wang wang’). Hence, well… ‘Want Want’. Customers should desire a company’s products, so… there we go. It also sounds a bit like a child whining about wanting something, which fits the company’s target audience.

As for the whole 吸吸 (xī xī – pronounced ‘see see’ in a flat tone at a pitch slightly higher than one’s usual speaking voice) business, it’s like how onomatopoeia get repeated in Japanese. It’s meant to sound a little childish and cute, and helps the brand to get the idea across while avoiding technical terms, which makes the product child-friendly and fun. (Can you imagine ‘Crushed Fruity Water Ice with Straw Attached’ as the name for this? Because that’s probably what we’d have if Chinese didn’t have these cutesy alternatives.) It’s quite common to see such repetition on children’s products, and it’s not rare to hear Chinese-speaking parents doubling words when speaking to their kids: ”把手手给我。” (literally ‘[object] hand-hand give me’ i.e. ‘give me your hand/hands’). Chinese for adults/older children would just use one 手. Of course, we can go into infantilising things in order to create a certain sort of innuendo, which is possible in any language, but that’s not relevant here because Want Want is a brand known for products popular with children like sweets and biscuits. It’s like saying「ほれほれ」to a cat when giving it food in order to mean ‘here you go’ instead of abruptly stopping at「ほれ」or「ほら」. Repeating characters is common in Chinese in order to create a certain effect, most often emphasis. Other possible meanings include plurality (人々 isn’t exclusive to Japanese: in Chinese, 人人 means ‘everyone’ or ‘most people’ within a certain set of people as well) or actual repetition of an action.

How I know all this: I’m a Chinese speaker and I grew up in Southeast Asia with brands like this one around me.

PS: Didn’t mean to be a party pooper since everyone seemed pretty amused by ‘suck suck ice’, but it’s just that it’s super innocent-sounding in Mandarin. The only context in which it would be ahem ahem would be a context in which ‘suck suck’ is obviously meant to mean… something else. But yeah, I guess that’s why the product name just couldn’t be translated normally.

39 Likes

Oh my god you actually solved it

14 Likes

Want want suck suck wang wang

26 Likes

Mhm. Essentially exactly what all customers would have thought if everything had been translated literally or transcribed. :rofl:

10 Likes

Yes, and after thinking that I would immediately buy twelve.

9 Likes
3 Likes