Word of the day – 差不多 (chàbuduō)
The phrase 差不多 (chàbuduō) is one of my favourite phrases in Chinese. It literally means “lacking not much” and can be translated as “more or less”, “near enough”, “almost” or “about”. It’s used frequently in Taiwan, and also in China I think, and seems to embody quite a common philosophy, i.e. there’s no need to do everything perfectly, as long as things get finished, so don’t worry too much. That’s my impression anyway.
A longer version of this phrase is 差不多就可以 (chàbuduō jiù kěyǐ), which means “near enough, that’ll do”. Quite good English equivalents are “close enough for government work” and “near enough for jazz”.
You can see a good example of chabuduoism from Taiwan on Pinyin News.
I found an equivalent expression in my big book of Welsh idioms: yn rhywle o’i chwmpas hi (lit: “somewhere around it”).
Do similar phrases exist in other languages?