Catch Phrase | 小透明(xiǎotòumíng)

Writer: Debra Li  |  Editor: Stephanie Yang  |  From: Shenzhen Daily  |  Updated: 2020-07-28


“小” means “little,” and “透明” means “transparent.” This term originated from the Japanese manga and anime series “Hetalia: Axis Powers,” which presents an allegorical interpretation of political and historic events, particularly of the World War II era. In the series, the various countries are represented by anthropomorphic characters. The character Matthew Williams, representing Canada, has a mild temper and often gets neglected in socializing occasions, therefore is given the description “Little Transparent,” as if people were unable to see him in a crowd. Nowadays, this term is used to describe anyone who’s insignificant, either online or in real life.


A: 听说你姐在一家电影公司工作,能不能介绍个知名导演给我认识?

Tīngshuō nǐ jiě zài yījiā diànyǐng gōngsī gōngzuò,néngbùnéng jièshào ge zhīmíng dǎoyǎn gěi wǒ rènshí?

I’ve heard that your elder sister works in a film producing company. Can she introduce me to some famous director?

B: 她就是个职场小透明,在公司打杂,你还是找别人问问吧。

Tā jiùshì ge zhíchǎng xiǎotòumíng,zài gōngsī dǎzá,nǐ háishì zhǎo biérén wènwen ba。

She’s a small potato. She just runs errands and takes care of some chores in the company. You’d better ask someone else.