Why Chinese call AIs "dog"?

They do do that, right? And even on foxy bot accounts indicated by a dog symbol.
Why is that?


Perhaps they’re homophones in Standard Chinese?


So aren’t cats dominating everything? :crazy_face:

More importantly, why do US Americans call humans “dog”?


It’s pronounced dawg.


dog is “gou” in chinese
Alpha Go, the word Go sounds like “gou”
hence AI’s eventually are well known as dogs


English is funny and has no self identity. It borrows from any source possible, often with no logical reason behind the usage. The amount of slang that eventually makes it’s way into bonafied English dictionaries is staggering. James Nicoll once stated:

          “We don’t just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down
           alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle through their pockets for new vocabulary.

I find that statement to be hilariously accurate :laughing:.


Wasn’t it Ke Jie tweeted something like “I’m gonna fight this dog”. Did he made it famous?

no, it became common just because of the name of the bot “Alpha Go”
english names/words are often translated thru pronunciations…and the word Go just sounds so much like dog, it became popular when the word Alpha Go spread around,Alpha Go just simply translates to Alpha Dog, and once this got popular all other bots that came up afterwards are just called dogs

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It’s funny that the Chinese pronunciation is based on the English pronunciation of the word Go, which is borrowed from the Japanese, who probably based their pronunciation on a variant of the Chinese term.

It’s like the Google translate game where you feed a sentence through a few languages to get utter gibberish in return, except this one took a few ages


Sensei’s library seems to confirm this last part: https://senseis.xmp.net/?EtymologyOfGo

@dangomango, Sensei’s library lists 扭羊头 (literally, “twisting sheep’s head”) as one of the Chinese phrases for ladder. Would you happen to know how that came about?

Yes, it’s based on the 棋 character, which is used for general strategic board games (in particular chess-like games) in Japanese. The 音読み (lit. reading by sound), which is the Chinese pronunciation of 棋, is き (ki), which is a lot closer to the Chinese pronunciation of the character (qí), whereas the 訓読 (lit. reading by explanation), which is the Japanese pronunciation, is ご (go). The character 碁 is derived from 棋, yet only has a “Chinese” 音読み pronunciation, which coincides with the 訓読み for 棋. It’s quite weird.


never heard of 扭羊头
i usually only watch 9d games on fox, which is where all the actions are happening
they rarely discuss the games with go terms, instead they just show diagrams/examples of what players might do next in chat

it’s like tesuji = 手筋, which literally means tendon part of the hand/arm, some/most go terms in chinese does not make much sense
some are borrowed from japanese directly
moyo = 模样 = appearance

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Wow, so even the Chinese are using Japanese loanwords to discuss go

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As a Chinese speaker I concur. Some words are ported directly from Japanese. But it seems the terminologies are less frequently used than in Japan or in the west.

Responding to the original post though, I find it very strange to use an animal species name (aside from other negative connotations the word dog brings in Chinese) to refer to the game. It’s likely a lazy pronunciation hack above anything else.

These days the trendy words tend to be some colloquial abbreviation of formal phrases. As an example, the occupation programmer 程序员 is more commonly known as 码农. Which roughly translates to coding peasants. While it’s mainly just a gig, I find the term much more derogatory than their proper counterparts.


no,in fact Chinese go item is more effective and interesting than Japanese, it is translated like air——liberty jump fly kick(okay as a Chinese i also don’t know their English or Japanese item ¬_¬`)

if these items you point are about go, I think you have some mistake about Chinese go item.In fact Chinese have the whole item system almost absolutely independ on others.

Sorry I didn’t get you. Would you mind clarifying what you mean by “whole system absolutely depend on others”?

sorry,it is independ and i just want to edit it¬_¬`

Well, of course, I don’t mean to suggest that Chinese people are not using Chinese terminology at all to discuss go. I would imagine that go discussion in China predominantly uses Chinese words that have been in use for many centuries, perhaps often even predating the introduction of the game to Japan.

Hence, I found it quite interesting that @dangomango and @dittlieo say that some terms are actually borrowed from the Japanese language.