What the hell are you playing at? 變啥魍? pìⁿ siáⁿ báng (搞什麼鬼)


Found this in yesterday’s Liberty Times (《自由時報》), a paper that leans towards the major opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and Taiwanese independence. It was a front page story on a housing developer that is accused of misrepresenting the square footage of  a development that they were working on in cooperation with the Taipei city government. In the course of the article it emerges that the city government had previously been informed of the expected difference in square footage, at which point incumbent mayor Ko Wen-je (an independent with DPP leanings who secured a win in the mayoral election with a non-partisan platform), states that he doesn’t understand what the hell the people in the lower ranks of the Taipei City government are playing at:


This is a useful phrase if you want to substitute the phrase 搞什麼鬼 in Mandarin for the Taiwanese phrase 變啥魍 pìⁿ siáⁿ báng (Unfortunately the normal dictionary I use is out of action so you’ll have to click through to get access to the button to play the sound. There is no audio file for 「魍」, however 「蠓」also  “báng” is pronounced identically so I’ve provided the link to that sound file instead.)

As I’ve stated in previous posts, you’ll commonly hear Taiwanese phrases inserted into Mandarin sentences – and this is the best way to start learning Taiwanese if you don’t yet know how to have a whole conversation in Taiwanese.

Feel free to contact me with any cool Taiwanese words or phrases you hear and want featured on the blog.

1 thought on “What the hell are you playing at? 變啥魍? pìⁿ siáⁿ báng (搞什麼鬼)

  1. Oh my goodness, how have I only just found your website? I’m an American educated Taiwanese that loves translating Taiwanese film, art and video games for wider audiences. I happened upon your blog when searching for a potential agency to attach myself to (as it’s lean pickings as an unestablished freelancer!) and just wanted to say you really have a way with words. i really enjoyed reading your translations and hope to see more. I think you’ve a better grasp of Taiwanese than me. 😀 I’ll definitely be a frequent visitor!


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