Wednesday, 5 June 2013

My Hovercraft is Full of Eels

Luckily for us, as we can't read Chinese pictograms, the Chinese mostly very kindly provide translations on most of their signs.

Some of them don't work as well as the sign writer might have liked, and some.......well Mandarin is quite a poetic language and the way ideas are expressed differ from how it might be done in the West.

Quite right too. Wands are for wimps.
Never really thought I'd want to stride, until I'm not allowed to

Well, if you're not allowed to stride, why would you expect to toss?

Can't argue with that
Very Zen

For the nation that invented fireworks it's good they have a place to fire off
I have no idea what this means, at all.
Of course it is.
I think I understand this. Or maybe not.
Item 5 is of interest
Better than being apathetic about it.
We select random words from the dictionary
I couldn't see a handle, so lifting wasn't on my mind.
You see why the Romans invented plumbing & not the Chinese
It was shut at the time. Really want some Holy Soup
Hmm. Yes.


  1. Loved the Monty Python reference....Speaking as one who was married for 26 years to a Korean lady(I got better) I found that English does not translate exactly into an Asian language! If you want an exorcise in frustration try explaining the concept of an adverb to someone from a civilization that doesn't posses them!

    1. No adverbs? That is something I did not know.

      This turned into a game for our tour group after a few days.

      BTW The "not washing" one was taken from a note on some bed linen.

  2. I love these examples 'unusual' translations of Chinese into English.

    Mind you, we manage to write to odd things in English as well. For example: 'This door is alarmed' (I always want to know what alarmed it.)

    The best I have seen recently were some instructions for operating a toilet on a P&O liner: 'To flush, push knob behind seat.' I must admit that if I did as instructed, I certainly would look a bit flushed afterwards!

    All the best,


    1. That one about the Alarmed Door has always bothered me as well.

  3. We only do it in the states because of the blood sucking lawyers looking for a payday!

  4. But why does my car insist on telling me its door is a jar?

  5. I wonder what the Chinese tourists here make of the road signs 'heavy plant crossing', 'no hard shoulder' or 'cats eyes removed'

  6. You weren't tempted to "bite the wax tadpole" then? (Coca Cola)

    Regards, Chris

    1. Pretty sure we had some of those at one of our meals.