In the Chinese room thought experiment, a person who understands no Chinese sits in a room into which written Chinese characters are passed. In the room there is also a book containing a complex set of rules (established ahead of time) to manipulate these characters, and pass other characters out of the room. This would be done on a rote basis, eg. "When you see character X, write character Y". The idea is that a Chinese-speaking interviewer would pass questions written in Chinese into the room, and the corresponding answers would come out of the room appearing from the outside as if there were a native Chinese speaker in the room. It is Searle's belief that such a system could indeed pass a Turing Test, yet the person who manipulated the symbols would obviously not understand Chinese any better than he did before entering the room.
To chinese room (verb) is to solve problems without understanding. Most commonly used while doing math or physics homework, chinese rooming involves combining equations from various pages to solve a problem without understanding the problem or the equations.