Jiu Fen Yu Yuan

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?? (Jiu Fèn) is the name of a small town in northern Taiwan. Jiu Fèn is famous for its Yu Yuan, a type of sweet dessert.

In Mandarin Chinese, ?? also means “nine portions”, so this double meaning is the basis of this Mandarin Chinese joke about Xiao Ming, a visitor who wants to try the delicious food of ??.

This Mandarin Chinese joke is presented in Chinese characters, Pinyin Romanization, and an English translation.

Traditional Characters


Simplified Characters



You yitian, Xiao Míng dào Jiu Fèn wán shí, xiangdào ta péngyou shuo nà de yù yuán henhao chi, jiù dàole yi jia yù yuán de diàn, ta juédìng mai le, ta shuo: laoban, wo shí liàng hen xiao ye, ke bùkeyi mài wo yi fèn jiù hao?
Laoban: ???!!!

English Translation

One day, Xiao Ming went to Jiu Fen village. His friend had told him that Jiu Fen Yu Yuan were very delicious. Once he had arrived, he went to a Yu Yuan shop and decided to buy some. He said to the boss: I don’t have a big appetite. Is it possible to sell me just one portion?
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