In China they are all around us, and besides providing us useful information they can teach us about Chinese modern culture and language.

qǐng jiéyuē yòng shuǐ, 'please use water economically', does this mean we must wash our hands?!
Cigarettes and their oral substitution
xiǎoxīn fēng shān; 'be careful of the electric fan'; the entrance is allowed to people of height 1.5 meters and under...
ǒutù xiāng xièxie - 'a container for vomit, thank you'; complicated directions for intoxicated partygoers, isn't it?
rùkǒu, not a very welcoming 'entrance'
qǐng zài yī mǐ xiàn wài děnghòu - how 'wait one meter behind the line' became 'rice-flour noodle'. '米线' is a tough cookie for 'google translate'
yánjìn fān yuè hù lán, 'it is prohibited to cross the guardrail', and it is also not allowed to climb over it with the hands in the air
The art of fall-prevention, Shanghai metro
jiǎngjiu wèishēng ,měihuà huánjìng - 'pay attention to hygiene, embellish the environment'; what about the dirty environment?
guǒpíxiāng, 'garbage container for fruit peelings', vegetable leftovers are under the snake's rock ahead
qǐng suíshǒu chōng cè, 'please flush immediately'; can't we have time to ponder about it?
dānxíng xiànlù yóukè zhǐ bù; one-way road, visitors must stop. Isn't the lake a bigger problem?
爱我别惹我 ài wǒ bié rě wǒ - Frigid love at the Chengdu Panda Center (thanks to user Ewa)
hú biān wēixiǎn, qǐng wù kàojìn - Don't close the field!
Finally a jazz-free district!
shānshí wēixiǎn qǐng wù pāndēng - 'The mountain rocks are dangerous, please don't climb'; scary rocks again...
qǐng wù cǎità gāngsīshéng - Don't step on the wire rope; for all the enthusiastic gymnasts walking in the park
qǐng zhǐ pāizhào - Oops...
'qǐngwù pāndēng,qǐng wù chùmō' - No touching already rules out climbing, doesn't it?
'qǐngwù cǎità cǎopíng' - 'Please don't step on the lawn'. The legs in the frame do not belong to a member of the photographing team
chīfàn qǐng jìn - Eat food, please enter; what more do we need actually?
guǎngchǎng qīng qīngcǎo , zuì pà nǐ shuāng jiǎo - The square's green green (or fresh) grass, fears your two feet most; doesn't seem so tender and weak this thorny dry surface
Isn't one 'l' missing?
yánjiū shèhuì gōng dé,àihù gōnggòng huánjìng - 'Consider social ethics, protect the public environment'. Well, if social ethics are at stake...
chí nèi wēixiǎn,qièwù rù nèi - It is dangerous in the pool, be sure not to enter! For a small city center (Jinan) fountain we would love to know the nature of this 'danger'
hú miàn wēixiǎn,qǐng wù huábīng - For all the mud skaters out there
'jìnzhǐ xiéquǎn jìnrù' - 'Carrying dogs inside is prohibited', even when they remain seated
jìnzhǐ xiédài chǒngwù jìnrù xiàoyuán - 'Carrying pets into the campus is prohibited', but how many of China's pet dogs are as big and scary as this one after all?!
'yìngjí tōngdào yóukè zhǐbù' - 'Emergency passage, no trespassing for tourists'. The question is whether the heavy chains and locks are emergency-friendly.
xiǎoxīn bōli,zhùyì ānquán - Though we believe this hotel shower could be handled without any warning, the nice English 'translation' deserves special attention.
shènshuǐ wēixiǎn,jìnzhǐ diào yú,jìnzhǐ yóuyǒng'; a deep water danger, no fishing nor swimming. Not the funnest lake around.
xiàngqián yī xiǎo bù,wénmíng yī dà bù - 'A small step forward, a big stop to civilization'. Is it only the step that matters or also the urinating techniques?! A very common sign in men's public toilets nowadays.
One of China's olympic water diving sights.
One of the many 'no spitting' signs (qing wu sui di tutan) in Shanghai's metro stations.
A more accurate translation is 'you will feel natural and fresh after a civilized urinating'. A warm blessing for visitors in the Huangshan (Yellow Mountain) National Park's toilet facilities.


Print