I thought this “The Sign Says” was an interesting challenge because it also says so much about what we expect to see, and how we react to seeing something ‘other‘ than expected. The photo below was taken nearly ten years ago, at the beginning of what became many trips to China. Later I discovered there are whole websites devoted to ‘funny chinese translations’. [try here and here – there are lots more]
What it now tells me is that at least the chinese keep trying to help their non-chinese-speaking visitors, and they make a lot of effort to do so. Language translation is full of pitfalls as very few languages allow direct translations between words. Do the chinese have fun seeing our ‘funny english translations? Well no – though they may have fun listening to them when we travel in China. But they do not see many of them over here in the English speaking countries. Libraries and schools and some public offices excepted, we don’t even try!
What is most helpful?
A ‘funny’ sign, or no sign at all?