Yes, the Chinese can be… colorful with their translations of foreign languages in signage, menus, whatever. And we love it! So much more fun when the translations are so direct they’re absurd, or so wrong they’re hilarious! But don’t get me wrong – I’m not laughing at the Chinese here, I’m slapping them on the shoulder with a huge grin, grateful that they can make my day brighter occasionally. Heck, there’s no way a Russian could possibly laugh, since Russians are wont to come up with similarly amusing translations. Example: a certain canteen I know insists one of their sandwiches comes with ‘beef language’, not ‘beef tongue’. A sign in central Moscow showing ‘Red Square’, gives a translation into Chinese, but it reads ‘Red Intestine’ in Chinese . Oops! But I digress. Back to China and their wonderful translations…
Btw – if you have any more examples of such mad-hatter translations – do let us all know in the comments!…
One masterstroke translation I’ll never forget, for example, is in the following pic:
At first you may not get it, so here’s my brief explanation. Clearly it’s a hairdresser’s or beauty salon (see: ‘Modelling the club’ and the pair of scissors). But when they put it into Google Translate or Baidu or something… yep!!).
Ok, that was a warm-up from the net. Now for some of our own snapped translation tour-de-forces on our China-2018 expedition:
Could they mean ‘exit’, perhaps? )
Not sure about the next one: should one walk quickly, or not? Will walking quickly cause more vibrations and there’ll be rock falls? Or may there be rock falls at any time so you’d better get past this stretch asap?!
Could they mean ‘queue conscientiously’ – i.e., no pushing in? Gentle words and deeds – always welcome anyway; quite right.
Woah, whoah, whoa!
Out of what?!
Civilized ride, happy travel – indeed it was on China-2018 ).
This one reminds me of ‘Togol elow’ from last year in Hua:
Here’s it is:
Come on who can reverse engineer this machine translation effort?
There’s a good chance you’ll drown if you mess around in these waters?
These… these are just priceless gems; no descriptions needed:
All righty. That’s enough mirth for one day.
Now – about the distances given on signs at tourist attractions in China.
I’ve mentioned in passing how these can be more than just a little inaccurate; and the same goes for maps too. So inaccurate in fact they’re rendered mostly useless as indications of how far this or that route is. I once saw a sign stating ‘2.5km to the lake’. Right opposite, for folks walking the other way, the distance from the lake was given as ‘1100m’!! So you have to ask the locals – but, of course, they may not be locals themselves. Indeed, I saw natives getting all mixed up distance/route-wise.
Here’s another example: on the sign it gives ‘100m’ as the distance to the boats.
What? In fact the boats are out of sight here – round the bend in the river, which itself is several hundred meters away!
And it’s like this everywhere. So if ever taking walks in Chinese parks – you’ve been warned ).
And for dessert – a few assorted pics of various grades of fun:
This here pond brings good luck if you throw some coins in – or notes, by the looks of it – and make a wish. Sure, brings good fortune to the old man who sits nearby too who uses a magnet to fish all the coins back out again!
I just liked the positioning ). Up to the wall; head down and time for a snooze!
This ancient wisdom etched into the cliff face is a bit perplexing even to natives. But it’s a happy message, apparently – despite the arguably alarming red color.
Johnnie Walker – the real, genuine item!
Where there’s a will and a need – there’s always a way!
Tourists digitizing their surroundings – no matter what!
I know I’ve said this before, but this time – yes, that really is it from China-2018!
A quick recap of the mini-series!
Over and out folks! Back tomorrow, er, from China – again! But not the China-2018 expedition; instead – the Chinese portion of my Top-100, fully updated and revamped…