Check out Baidu Zhidao/Baidu Knows Knowledge’s2006 top ten questions list. They’ve divided it into four different kinds of questions and provided access to the most commonly asked questions as well as their answers. If you care to browse in Chinese, all the answers are rated by readers and commented upon. Here is a very rough translation of the top 10 questions, and some of the text around them on Baidu. Kind of hard to translate, for some reason.
Each year’s Zeitgeist ranking contains questions about the unknown. The individual seems so tiny when compared with the huge, complicated world. All that is unsolvable and confusing can be turned into a series of questions that many people would rather bring to a search engine than communicate with a real person…
As for the 4 different kinds of questions asked here, “why” is looking for reasons, “how” is searching for a method to do something, “what” is looking for definitions, “should I” is looking for the answer to a choice.
What is search? One word: looking for “找”. Looking for the answer to questions, is search. Getting on a search engine to search the answer to questions is also looking for. But one can always try Baidu Knowledge Zhidao/Baidu Knows 百度知道. These common questions show up with great frequency and have all sorts of answers. The way to look for them is simple: type out your question, hit Enter.
Top 10 “Why” 为什么 questions:
1. Why did they go on the Long March?
2. Why are we alive?
3. Why do we need to drink water?
4. Why can’t I open this page/link?
5. Why does my hair fall out?
6. Why can’t I get online?
7. Why do we love? (misleading: it’s part of a song title, “Why can’t lovers be together?”)
8. Why study?
9. Why take part in exams?
10. Why get married?
Top Ten “How” 如何 questions:
1. How to lose weight?
2. How to reset a system?
3. How to make money?
4. How to get pregnant?
5. How to build a harmonious society?
6. How to innovate start a business 创业?
7. How to put on make-up?
8. How to kiss?
9. How to trade stocks?
10. How to get plastic surgery?
Top 10 “What Is” 什么是 Questions:
1. What is love?
2. What is the Long March spirit?
3. What is a blog?
4. What is dual-core?
5. What is 3G?
6. What is harmonious society?
7. What are futures? (stocks)
8. What is a trojan horse? (software)
9. What is happiness?
10. What is an ecosystem?
Top 10 “Should I” 要不要 Questions:
1. Should I read the classics?
2. Should I continue living? (title to a song)
3. Should a computer write? (?) Should people with computers keep writing characters by hand?
4. Should I take part in exams?
5. Should I join the Party?
6. Should I have a child?
7. Should we abolish the death penalty?
8. Should I see an Internet friend in person?
9. Should I get married?
10. Should I buy a house?