Ukulele & Languages

Different countries,
Different cultures
one common language... the ukulele.

Chinese signs around Beijing: Language Fun

05 2011

Just like my previous trips to China, last week’s trip to Beijing brought quite a few opportunities to chuckle at some weird uses of English displayed on various signs.

Let me show you some examples, ahem… this way please… I mean, this way…

One thing you can’t complain about in China is the lack of directions… nothing is left to your imagination…

In case you don’t really know what to do with your money, why not try the local Cash Recycling System

Just for the story, I almost ran into trouble taking this picture. My eye for languages was so focused on the sign and what it could imply that I didn’t see the ‘no photo‘ sign which was clearly displayed on the wall.
Within seconds a guard came out of nowhere with a nasty-looking weapon, a kind of metal stick with several pointed tips, the sight of which sent a shiver down my spine. The guard looked crossly at me while pointing the ‘no photo‘ sign.

Needless to say I didn’t linger to ask what that ‘Cash Recycling System‘ was all about. Nor did I smile at the camera…

Apparently, one way to walk undisturbed around Beijing, especially if women, children and old people bother you, is to walk your dog. Notice the before last line of this sign…

A good illustration of the various interpretations of the verb ‘to strike‘.

It wouldn’t do Chinese culture justice to only point out mistranslated signs, the next two cool-looking signs were spotted in a district of Beijing close to the ukulele shop I visited.

There were quite a few of these signs in the street and it felt very much like walking within The Blue Lotus Tintin comic-strip.

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Language Fun

A place for language lovers where I’m trying to demonstrate how fun it is to learn other languages and how much of a culture you understand through its language.
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