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Prohibit Parabolic and Other Helpful Chinglish Signs

I spent a very productive wet, cold day yesterday sorting out all my photos, the type of job reserved for moves to foreign countries where you will have so much more spare time now that you’re not working! Hah! Amongst the 15,000 photos were some real Chinglish crackers, several from Shanghai, many from other parts of China where the Chinglish police are less vigilant. I understand them even less now than I did when the photos were taken. For your viewing enjoyment, ladies and gents.
 On the bank of a creek, depth 20cm. I had thought of parabolic-ing, but when I saw the sign I thought -no way.
Be on the lookout for pirates, people.

Pesky tourists – bugger off.
The environment starts with YOU dammit, and yet you went and put sundry goods in the rill, didn’t you?
Vandals. A rill full of old crocs, cigarette packets and sundry goods.
Slouching prohibited.
At Expo. Where Chinglish, apparently, didn’t exist. Except maybe for this sign…
And also this one, above every single toilet on the expo site.
Into the closest ool?
Into the close stool?
Into the closes tool?
Herbivores! Just throw your garbage on the ground!
Enough said.
Subway tunnels may look like fun places to jump, but you know, in China, it’s illegal. Unlike driving without a seatbelt, whilst smoking and talking on your molbile phone, which is legal and perfectly safe.
Drawing in public. Who would have thought that would be against the rules?
And yet here it is again. Don’t sketch or paint. For your own safety, you understand.
Above a doorway in Beijing. Blunt, to the point. I like it. Even bee superheros hit their heads sometimes.
Nanchang Lu meanswear store favourite, still makes me smile every time I cycle past. Spelled completely correctly, technically not Chinglish, and yet so, so wrong. 
Looks well-run, doesn’t it? 
Don’t even think about taking a speel, you dirty speeler.
Also technically not Chinglish but I had to put it in anyway, for the sheer pyromaniac joy of lighting something so potentially dangerous. I can really see this getting past the Australian Safety Standards. 
But what are they? Of course. Children’s birthday candles. 
  • croquecamille

    Hilarious! I think my favorites are the "closestool" and "Lookout, knockhead." It almost sounds like an insult. 🙂

  • Mitch aka The Chile Doctor

    Ah, yes; brings back lots of memories. One I remember involves a golf items shop at the old open-air market in Shanghai, where the banner proudly proclaimed "The Golf Article is Monoplied." I never did figure that one out.

    On the highway south out of Beijing, I read a sign that gave me a coughing fit. We were approaching a toll plaza, and the sign stated, "Keep Distance. Avoid Rear-End Collusion."

    I couldn't agree more…

  • Fiona

    mitch – would love a photo of that one – a classic!

  • Louise

    Ah fabulous. I love a bit of cross-language confusion.

  • Jodie

    Could have been worse. It could have been "Look out blockhead!"

    Seriously though, I love Chinglish. And it was with no small amount of dismay that I read that they were trying to do away with it. Don't get me wrong, sometimes you should be legally required to bring in a professional translation company. If I'm about to go diving into shark-infested water, I want the sign to say "No swimming! Shark-infested water" not "Water has many teeth".

    But at the same time, I don't want "Tender, fragrant grass. How hard-hearted to trample" replaced with "Keep off the grass".

    A measured approach to Chinglish would be the best thing, in my opinion.

  • Kay Bratt

    So funny! Reminds me of the time I lived in China and the compound housing authority passed out fliers to tell the residents to clean up after the dog. It was going along great until they added, "Your dog's shit is your own responsibilty."

    The kids LOVED it and we still have it somewhere as a souvineer.

  • Fiona

    Kay, Just read out your comment to the rest of the family who practically choked on their breakfast, either beause it was so funny or because I said 'shit' at the breakfast table.

  • Anonymous

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