Mooncake Gambling or Lucky Dice Game or BoBing?

Rather than call it Mooncake Gambling or Gambling Cake, I would prefer to calling  it Lucky Dice game or a direct “BOBING” where an English express is necessary. —-This is my first time to give a consideration on the translation of the game played during Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival (or Moon Festival).

The game named “BoBing” in Chinese pronuncitation  denotes a pleasant game taken part in before/on the Mid-Auntumn Festival usually by a family or a group of related people where they cast dices trying to get the toppest award called “ZhuangYuan”, but more oftenly achieving in minor ones.It is nervous but very happy for all the players, no matter children or adults. It is so common for Southeast Fujian people, and will be definitely  popular as well for all Chinese people since now this cultural ceremony have been expanding smoothly all through China. But problem comes when we communicate with people outside China who dont’s speak Chinese. We have to translate the game, first the name, into English at least. Shall we call it Gambling Cake,  or similar Gambling Cake, as it denotes in a certain sense? If so, will the allien people say “Wow, you Chinese! you alaways like gambling! You’ve spent much time on Ma-jiong, ZhaJinHua (Poker gambling), Mark-Six, and now, you are still gambling on mooncakes! Stupid!”:)? As a matter of  fact, we Chinese people don’t favor gambling more than other people in other countries. But the translation with “Gambling” has spoiled the least romance in this game and trigger a misunderstanding of Chinese tradition and culture.If ,however,we transliterate the game into “BOBING” keeping the most original mystery, how many foreign people can get an instant conception of it and recognize it next time?

This is not the fist dilema we might be encountered with where a translation is necessary for Chinese original culture factors. On the contrary, it have and will emerge more and more frequently as Chinese culture goes all over into every corner of the world. As an interesting example, when Chinese food JIAOZI got into the vision of foreigners for the first time (maybe through Japan), it was not able to be translated exactly in a familar linguistic form to western people without losing its real meaning. People thought of  ”Dumpling” or other epxressions, but finally, most of them surrendered to the orginal transliterated word “JIAOZI”, although at first times they feel a little odd. There exist more such instances as “MANTOU” ,”LAMIAN”(through Japanese),DOUFU, etc. As a counterpart, we translate “Beer” into “PIJIU” instead of a competely native Chinese word, of which examples can be found in large quanity in Budism bibles.

So it seems that “BOBING” is not a bad translation for the game played by us in Mid-Autumn Festival, at least not worse than “Mooncake Gambling”. Or ” Lucky Dice Game” can be  even a better alternative than the latter.Maybe non-Chinese-Speaking people may feel crazy at first sight, but anyway they will get used to it and come to like it, just as they would get accustomed to say aloud when they step into a Chinese restaurant:”LaoBan! A serve of GongBaoJiDing!” :) ——The END—