Please don’t take offense at the title of my post. It’s a nod to one of the funniest blogs ever, ever, ever called Engrish.com. That particular blog is dedicated to common misuses of the English language. Since I’ve been traveling to China for the past 3 weeks as part of my Armchair Traveler series, I thought I’d conclude today with the funniest of the lot. I bring you the Engrish of China.
Let me explain something about China. Most of their signs are written in Chinese and in something called Pinyin. Pinyin is the spelled out pronunciation of Chinese words using the modern English alphabet. You can at least read the signs but still have no clue what they mean.
Then we have the full English translation.
Here is my dream. I want to create a company that does nothing but take the “English” translation from all things Chinese (t-shirts, signs, menus, directions) and translate it into real English. Don’t you think that’s a great idea? If so, please send me an email at [email protected] and help me get started. I think there’s a lot of money to be made.
Take a look at some of the Engrish, or funny Chinese signs, I observed on my trip to China.
Okay, so this one isn’t Engrish but I just thought it was adorable. I’m pretty sure it says something like “Keep your stinkin’ feet off the grass” but with such a happy and pleasant officer saluting me, I wouldn’t dream of setting foot on there.
Not Engrish either but definitely worthy of a “Wait. WHAT??” This came from an elevator. Now the Chinese can be very superstitious about numbers but I think I’d rather take my chances with fate than try to figure out exactly what floor I want to get off on.
I’m not sure if this is telling me to slip or to try not to slip. Either way, I hope there’s a large black wedge for me to land on if I do.
This lovely sign was perched right outside the restroom at a restaurant. I did mention that we drank beer at every meal so drunken walking might be a common problem. I know it was my problem a few times. As for the triping? I think that’s what I ate at that restaurant (“come from inside pig”).
Now, I have visited a lot of Artificial Rooms in my day and I must admit this one was actually quite Excellent.
I just don’t know. I think this might be a place to put old batteries for recycling. Two things wrong with that: I can’t imagine China has any interest in recycling and I don’t know why this would be right by the river where we took our ride on a bamboo raft.
And last but not least, I saved my favorite for last. This was at the bottom of an escalator that took us up the side of a mountain to visit a pagoda. First of all, why does Grandpa have a child? Second of all, why is he letting him go up a hand ladder? And why is it only temporary for the family to accompany him? I’ll never figure out these Chinese.
I never get tired of funny Chinese signs but I seriously think there’s a future for me to clean up all the English out there.
That concludes my grand tour of China. It was 4 weeks in the making but so much fun reliving it. If you missed any of my installments, catch up below.
China from a Tourist’s Point of View
Not Your Mother’s Chinese Food
And now for my next travel adventures. Perhaps Europe?
I’d buy some of those shirts!
My next business venture…
*snort* ha! those are funny!! with those elevator buttons, I think I’d be looking for the stairs!! 😉
OH that’s freaking hilarious!
If you liked that, you should seriously check out Engrish.com. It’s addictive!
Oh my. I’m so glad that you took pictures of those signs… I don’t know if I would have believed it otherwise! So funny… especially about the “artificial room”. I think I might need one of those now.
I actually didn’t go to the artificial room. I can’t even imagine what it is, can you? I need to ask my brother.
@FadraN:disqus Actually, it means, “Superior Goods Room” or some such, best translation would be “Boutique” – like where you could shop for (probably fake) Louis Vuitton goods.
*raises eyebrow at that last sign*
You should have seen the bathrooms in China. You would have REALLY raised your eyebrow.
😛 This was just a little too much for me. Drunken Walking … uhm, we may need some of those signs at every college bar in the world. Or just the US. Whatever works.
I think my favorite is the drunken sign. Loves it. Gotta love that Engrish
Those are great. As an interpreter, I love the idea of working to provide actual translations.
The drunken walking one made me laugh!
I just bought a lunch box with the words “Love your Well-Being life” sewn on.