An Introduction to Chinglish

While my wife and I lived in China, we had some very enlightening experiences discovering new ways to combine Chinese culture with the English language.  Some of the wordings we later realized were unusual to us because they were British, so we weren’t familiar with them.  Most of the time we were puzzled at what the author of the sign, pamphlet, or other literary medium was trying to convey.  For instance, it took us at least five minutes to figure out what was meant by “After first under on.  Do riding with civility!”, a message that was emphasized at most subway stops in Shanghai.  Reading a sign saying “Take care of the gap” while leaving the subway car reminded me of the instructions I got from my linebacker coach in high school when I missed my gap  assignment.  However, I don’t think that’s what it meant on the subway in Shanghai.  At least the “Don’t close with” and “Not Clamber” signs in front of the rock and water feature outside of our apartment were clarified by pictures.

I took some pictures of quite a few of the Chinglish sayings I found during my year in China.  I hope you enjoy them.  Here’s one to get us started.  I found this sign in the apartment building of one of the students I tutored.  I don’t read Chinese, so I can’t render a better interpretation of what’s written above the English version.  As far as I can interpret this saying, it means, “Please close the door like an animal that eats everything.”
 Please close the door omnivorously

About richard

Richard and Lisa are certified entrepreneurs and thrill seekers.
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