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Chinglish

Commit No Nuisance
Commit No Nuisance
Forbid To Beam On
Forbid To Beam On

I spotted the first sign on the Great Wall. The sign in Chinese says: 保护文物 – 请勿便溺。 This can be translated as “Protect the heritage – don’t soil“. Was the original meaning of the sign too harsh for foreigners? We are here just encouraged to “commit no nuisance“!

I found the other one on the subway door. In Chinese, it says: 禁止倚靠。 This means “don’t rest/ lean on (the door)“. Which is understand much better than “beam on“!

Luxuriant Grassland, Please Don't Trample
Luxuriant Grassland, Please Don't Trample
Please, Don't Bomb Into The Ash Here
Please, Don't Bomb Into The Ash Here!

I found that one when visiting the Ming Tombs, nearby the Great Wall. In Chinese, this is:芳草萋萋,踏之何忍。 A better translation would be “don’t step on the luxuriant grass“. Now, let’s look at the picture again: does it look like a patch of luxuriant grass to you? I thought so.

This one was my last Chinglish sign in Beijing: it was at the airport, in the smoking room. To be honest, when I first read it in English, I didn’t have a clue of what it meant. Now, the Chinese is: 请不要把烟灰弹入此外。 Literally, “don’t throw your ashes in there” (“there” was the air conditioning’s grille). Why “bomb“? I think this is just common airport paranoia…

Please Don't Climb The Rockeries
Please Don't Climb The Rockeries
Protecting The Wild Animals Is Protecting Mankind Ourselves
Protecting The Wild Animals Is Protecting Mankind Ourselves

I found that sign at the Summer Palace. I’m being picky here, because “rockery” is a real word(just British). Still, it made me laugh.

This one was found on the Great Wall as well, nearby the Bear Park. In Chinese, it says: 保护野生动物,就是保护人类自已。 Basically, “Wildlife protection is also the protection of mankind“.

Take Care Of Head
Take Care Of Head
Be Care Of The Distance
Be Care Of The Distance

This one was taken nearby the Silk Market. In Chinese, this is: 小心碰头. This can be literally translated as “don’t bump your head“, or better, “watch your head“.

The last one is perhaps the most mysterious of all. I found it in the middle of a street and it says: 注意距离。The translation is almost accurate: it would say it’s more like “watch the distance“. But what did they mean? Could that be “maintain an appropriate distance” and thus refer to people rather than, as I had assume, to traffic? Was this sign encouraging the “个人区域” (“personal space“)? This is a mystery to me!

In all fairness, I must admit there are less “Chinglish” signs than let’s say ten years ago! Yet, they still make me laugh…

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