Trip Start Feb 27, 2013
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Australia  , Victoria,
Sunday, February 2, 2014

One of the things I loved most about Beijing was wandering around and catching a glimpse of a sign that had questionable English.  It made me smile endlessly, seeing the intention of the writer, but how the message being lost in the language.

My favourites were often found in menus from restaurants, particularly up market ones. The descriptions would try and be so fancy, flowery, and entice us to try these dishes.  Instead, the descriptions were often confusing and weird, completely turning me off the dishes. "Mushrooms of burning flesh" anyone? No? How about some "Saute beauty skin"?  Still not tempted?

Then there were the things that were just inexplicable.  Fancy some pimple soup? The Chinese translation of that dish was honestly "pimple soup", so I'm still at a loss of what it means.

I also think that the word "bacteria" came up way too much in menus.  It was not even a delicacy; you could get in in a crock pot, casserole, any way suited you.

I loved the product warnings, like the very serious warning on an iPhone case shaped like a banana to "not feed to monkeys", just like "do not near to high temperature".  Or there was the hotel, where the only warning in the whole place was not to avoid drinking tap water,  but "to avoid being cheated, do not play mah-jong with strangers."

My friend Margaux and I loved finding notebooks and pens with funny sayings and sending them to each other.  It made shopping for stationary a bit like a scavenger hunt, who could find the most ridiculous English.

I hope you enjoy this little compliation of some of my favourite Chinglish.
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gilmer on

cool. :)

Joan Jay on

Loved all your Chinglish and so pleased you took photos to remind you down the years. You obviously have a job for life going around and getting people to pay you to correct their English - good luck....Nanna

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