917753 – the numbers of Chinese digital slang

Chinese is a tonal language, made up of monosyllabic words. Thus, there are numerous homphones, and words which sound almost like other words.

Chinese users of digital technologies have developed a creative and quick method to convey common sentiments – using a series of numbers, which sound like other words/phrases.

917753 is pronounced  jiu yi qi qi wu san

which sounds like 叫你去吃午餐 -jiao ni qu chi wu fan –  or I’m calling you to have lunch together.

The texter might add

246 – e si liu  is code for 饿死了 - e si le or I’m starving to death

729 – qi er jiu –  sounds like  去喝酒 qu he jiu  or let’s go and have a drink

to which you might reply 5791 – wu qi jiu yi -我去找你 – wo qu zhao ni – I’ll come and pick you up.

Pleased about the respondent’s reply, the first texter might then type

21475 er yi si qu wu –  meaning 爱你是幸福 ai ni shi xing fu -to love you is happiness.

Gratified, Texter 1 answers

14517 –yi si wu yi qi –  which means 你是我洋气 ni shi wo yang qi –You are my oxygen!

So here’s the conversation:

Texter 1: 917753

Texter 2: 246

Texter 1: 729

Texter 2:  5791

Texter 1: 21475

Texter 2 : 14517

Got it? Even if you don’t speak Mandarin, you are now able to text your way, numerically, to love and romance in China.