One of the things that I love about China is the slightly off English that you see in signs and hear from people. “Clinglish” or “Changlish” or whatever one calls it (similar to Spanglish, which was supposedly an actually good Adam Sandler movie, though I’ll never know),
China was one of the last stops on our crazy 30-day Ultimate Train Challenge. The folks at China Odyssey Tours we kind enough to help us on this part of the journey and they were really invaluable, considering on how tight a schedule we were on. They scheduled up some tours for us on the few off travel days we had (Bejing and Guilin), but one of the big things they did was provide drivers and guides at each arrival and departure we had.
China is not the easiest country to get around in. While I had been there before, during my round-the-world trip, it still is not the easiest county to get around in. Off the sixty or so countries I have been in during the last three years, China is right up at the top of “least use of English from the locals.” One of the places I wished I’d been able to see was Shanghai, if only to take pictures of the Bund.
While China is currently embarking in a massive effort, like most effects on any topic they embark on, to teach their citizens English, it has seemed to me that there are few people over 30 that speak any English at all.
Most cabbies are over 30. Ergo some of the difficulty of traveling there.
My Chinese visa is good for an unlimited number of entries for a 12 month period. I really enjoy China a lot, so expect to see me back there before that visa runs out in 2012. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy a few amusing signs that I saw while I was there.
The first sign has to be the oddest one…what is “stabling” and why would you do it in the washroom?! 😐
Gotta love the signs in Asia.
These are funny. I especially like the last one. Mike says the funniest Chinglish is in the tech manuals. We can discuss further funny Chinglish over beers when you get here!
lol. I always enjoy reading signs like these. Well, at least they try to post things so others can understand! In many places, there are no English translations.
I haven’t been to China, so I can’t comment on how much the general population speaks English, but I can comment on the Chinese people coming to the U.S.– their English is overall much better now than it was even 5 or 10 years ago.
Hahaha, stabling? Still stumped on that one. But I love posts like this! Things getting lost in translation will never cease to be funny, no matter how many times I see them.
Superb…did you actually take this photos? what kind of camera you got ?
Where is that McDonald’s? I want to go to there.
P.S. When are you coming to Wuxi to visit? We have the THIRD LARGEST LAKE IN CHINA! And there’s me. Surely, this is a must-see location. SURELY.
I worked in an apparel company and we had to be so careful of our French-Canadian translations on clothing hangtags. Once we were trying to say a material was impervious to moisture, and it came out sounding like impervious to urine! Language mishaps are always good for a laugh – thanks!
I secretly hope that the Chinglish and corresponding signs in China won’t go away anytime soon. They do add to the travel experience there 🙂
As an aside, I’m jealous about your 12-month multiple entry visa. How did you manage that??
Always interesting to see photos from places that you’ve been previously, especially when they change in a dramatic way! Here’s what Yangshuo looked like in 2007 before McDonalds moved in: https://www.veoelmundo.com/yangshuo-china-after I didn’t see that coming!
Hehe, I love the USA California Beef Noodles. Brilliant.
I read prior to the Olympics Beijing went around and fixed all the signs, it was kind of sad as that is one of the light-hearted moments in travel – and we all need them.
Love it!! 🙂 Great signs. English/success in life, there’s a new one …
That Mickey D’s photo in the backdrop of that gorgeous setting is WRONG, though!!
I love these. Coincidence–I just posted some Engrish signs from my trip (and two from Texas!):
Well said….’Success in Life in the next few decades…is in learning Mandarin’…..
I’m in China right now and I will echo the not-being-able-to-get-around-easy sentiment. Also, I feel like I’m in a minority here, but I don’t really like China one bit. I’m ready to get out of here and move onto Japan!
I think China can be tough on travelers for sure. I had some “hate it” moments there also, especially with the crowds and sometimes, shockingly, with some of the food.
LOL! My daughter and I used to have the MOST fun by writing out blocks of text (how to do something) or putting in descriptions of movies or sometimes song lyrics, translating them into Chinese with a translation program, then translating the results back into English. We literally laughed for hours …
:))) five star mcdonalds next to lake. This is really cool
Ha. Great pictures. Very similar to what we saw in China. You can see these fun things throughout Asia. In Malaysia we noticed a sign that said “Closed for 1 day”….yup :).
And another great one was a street sign in Chinese (on Penang Island) where they showed an official translation that said “Street of the lowest grade prostitutes”….well, so you know :).