The weather, world events, the weekend TV program – these are three popular lifelines that we like to cling to when a conversation is about to turn awkward. In China, too, we are familiar with such small-talk dilemmas, in which participants try their hardest to wring the last remaining topics out of their brains to keep the conversation going. In Mandarin, such scenarios have recently been given their own linguistic label, namely 尬聊 gàliáo.
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