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Some interesting examples of poor translation.

August 23, 2021 2:55 pm


There is a modern phenomenon called Chinglish. The Mandarin and Canton language are rich and deep, indicative of the lengthy culture, history and heritage that the Chinese nations have. However it is also one of the hardest to learn and so to help out the Chinese have helpfully labeled and signposted things in English. Sadly some of those things are lost in translation and the messages they give are somewhat confused. Here are some examples.

  1. Deformed man Toilet – Unless the Chinese have decided to provide very specific facilities this might be a mistake.
  2. Walk do not look at king. China hasn’t had an Emperor for many years since the People’s Revolution. To be fair you weren’t allowed to gaze on  them when they did anyway, so it sort of fits.
  3. Lookoutknockhead – Wise words, if a little bit condensed. Unless of course Knockhead is an offensive term.
  4. Jump off the Cliff – It’s unclear as to if the Chinese are looking to cut down on the amount of English speaking visitors here…
  5. No killer littering – Some have cast doubt on China’s commitment to environmental issues. It’s pretty clear what this local authority thinks its effects will be.

The Chinese Government, not renowned for their sense of humour, have ordered a crackdown on this sort of thing before the 2022 Winter Olympics. They don’t want any more memes.

Lest you think this is just a Chinese issue, the company Superdry Menswear often uses Japanese phrasing on their hoodies and T-Shirts. There is no attempt at translation, just whats attractive. As a result, it’s mainly gibberish. Still look good, go to EJ Menswear to get some.

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