become popular

meijin

Senior Member
Japanese
Hi, let's say you are a student and your summer vacation/holiday is over. All the students were asked to create whatever they liked as their summer homework, so you created an app called X and submitted it to the school on the first day after the vacation/holiday, which was several days ago. All the things the students created have been shared among them, meaning they have been allowed to see and use the things others created.

Now, you enter your classroom as usual, and hear many people talking about your app, like...

"X is really great. Who created that?"
"What I like about X is that it's well-designed and so easy to use."
"Well, it's good, but I wouldn't say it's amazing."
"I want to be able to create an app like that."
"Do you know how to use the voice recognition feature of that app?"


As you can see, the opinions are mostly positive.
You then visit the next classroom and hear a similar conversation. You keep visiting the next classroom and keep hearing a similar conversation. You are surprised and say to yourself, "I never expected a lot of people would talk about my app like this."

The underlined part is a direct translation from Japanese. Since the app is enjoyed or liked by a lot of people, I think
"I never expected my app to be so popular" is the most appropriate and idiomatic expression in that context. Do you agree?
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    I do. The direct translation from Japanese doesn't convey the idea that the app is popular. It obviously had some big effect on these people, but I have no clue as to whether that effect was positive or negative.
     

    meijin

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Thank you very much, owlman. I forgot to mention this in the post above. I'd say that "I never expected my app to be such a hot topic/subject of conversation" (which is actually the real direct translation from Japanese) is strange. Do you agree?
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    I think it would be more idiomatic to change "to be" to "would be": "I never expected my app would be so popular."
    But I'm not sure the context justifies "popular". If I understand right, the others have only seen this app since their return from summer vac. A day or two at most. An app is popular when many people habitually use it in preference to others that do the same job. Here, it has simply become the talk of the school, and frankly I think your direct translation is better because it more closely reflects the facts.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Thank you very much, owlman. I forgot to mention this in the post above. I'd say that "I never expected my app to be such a hot topic/subject of conversation" (which is actually the real direct translation from Japanese) is strange. Do you agree?
    You're welcome. I agree. Once again, the positivity of this remark escapes me. Your version is much better if you want to make it clear that your app is popular. After all, a grisly murder can be a hot topic of conversation among the neighbors, but that doesn't mean that they view the crime with enthusiasm and have positive feelings about it.
     

    meijin

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Thank you both very much for your opinions, which differ from each other. I actually agree with you both (including the "to be" vs. "would be"). Maybe "popular" is a little exaggerating or too early to use at that timing. At the same time, "a hot topic/subject of conversation" can still be used even when the app received many negative reactions. Is there an English expression that can solve these problems?
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    You're welcome.

    The underlined part is a direct translation from Japanese. Since the app is enjoyed or liked by a lot of people, I think "I never expected my app to be so popular" is the most appropriate and idiomatic expression in that context. Do you agree?
    I crafted my answer to respond directly to the information in this paragraph.
     

    meijin

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    So would you say the word popular is appropriate even when the app has been enjoyed or liked by a lot of people only for a few days? The dictionaries don't say how long something needs to be liked or regarded with favor to be called popular, so, as you can imagine, it's not easy for English learners to determine if popular is appropriate in a context like the one I provided.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Yes. I don't share Edinburgher's reservations about the word "popular" in the context you have given. I accept the idea of short-lived popularity. I accept the idea of recent popularity. For me, it is enough to know that the app is enjoyed or liked by a lot of people.
     

    meijin

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Thanks owlman. So I can consider it appropriate at least in AmE. Very good.
    Would the following expressions also be appropriate?

    1. I never expected my app would be so hot.
    2. I never expected my app would be such a hot item.


    (Maybe BE speakers wouldn't use these expressions?)
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Those look okay to me. Of course, they use a trendy little adjective that is popular among younger English-speakers in the U.S.

    "Hot" doesn't do much for me, but I get tired of trendy adjectives pretty quickly. "Hot" for "popular" has existed for a long time, but people started relying on it very heavily sometime back in the late 80s or early 90s. I'm somewhat relieved now that the much-abused awesome has begun to fade.
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    Thanks owlman. So I can consider it appropriate at least in AmE. Very good.
    Would the following expressions also be appropriate?

    1. I never expected my app would be so hot.
    2. I never expected my app would be such a hot item.


    (Maybe BE speakers wouldn't use these expressions?)
    Version (2) works for me in BE, but I'm a bit dubious about (1). It makes the app sound like a person. :eek:
     
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