English Translations Gone Awry

Officials in Shanghai and the capitol city of Beijing have been working on cleaning up English translated signs since the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.  Thousands of public signs, and hundreds of volunteers led an effort to clean up China’s English translated signs.  Some were fixed and rewritten, but oh so many were left unchanged.

grammatically correct, just a funny!

My favorite!

The English translation of these signs is known as Chinglish.  Often times reading these signs will leave expats scratching their heads wondering what the heck the sign is supposed to mean.  Many will walk away with a photo and a good laugh, much to the dismay of Chinese officials who want the signs to be useful, not comical.

A shelf to "put" your things on?

I have posted a few of my favorites.  It is quite fun just to walk around and spot the misinterpretations, whether it be at a park, the gym, or the grocery store.  I try to never leave home without a camera.  Though, the one time I was out without my camera, I saw a sign that I have not been able to find again.  It read, “Mind your Children.”  Oh my….how so many people mind their children!!!!  The interpretation, I believe, was supposed to be “Do not leave your child unattended.”  I guess good old fashioned parenting went out the door with this sign.

When two very different  languages collide, such as English and Chinese, you end up with some very interesting Chinglish!


About cessley

I am a bereaved parent. I write to give hope to other bereaved parents who are fresh in their grief. I want them to know life begins again. It (life) is forever changed, as are you, but one day, you will smile again. You may travel, you will make new friends, your heart will mend, though never heal and it will be a painful ride. It is one step at a time....sometimes, even one breath to the next is all we can seem to live through each day. But each day will be a new beginning, a different beginning, a different you. I have two surviving children: Amy, who is married to Brandon, and they have one daughter, Avery, and one son, Dylan. and Eric who is a doctor and is Clifton's twin brother. Clifton passed away when he was nearly two years old. As any bereaved parent knows, it is tough, REALLY tough trying to live after the death of a child. I lived in Shanghai, China for three years after the death of my son, and then lived in Beijing for two years. I am discovering life again, one step at a time. I returned to Oklahoma in February , 2020 due to the uncertainty of the virus. Little did I know the uncertainty would follow me across the ocean. This is nothing compared to the death of a child. I will survive! View all posts by cessley

One response to “English Translations Gone Awry

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: