Archive | 7:19 am

Travel theme: Signs

16 Aug

Last week my post on leading lines got lots of comments and when I saw this week’s theme at Where’s my Backpack? I knew that I would have to join up again.  The theme is signs.

Living in China I have the opportunity to see all kinds of signs that I typically wouldn’t see at home.  The ones I find the most amusing are the signs where the English translation either makes me shake my head or is entirely misleading.  I went through my pictures from the last couple of years to pull together these four signs that continue to make me laugh each time I look.

There’s a lot to be said for a good peer reviewer!  Sometimes I think that if the corporate world becomes too much, I should just charge for proof reading services.  Given these examples – I think there’s a market.

In chronological order:

Export what?

This photo was taken in October of 2010 in Hangzhou, a day trip from Shanghai. It is a major tourist destination for foreigners and Chinese alike with the most famous attraction being the peaceful and serene West Lake.  The Chinese on the sign very clearly says Exit (出口) but somehow the English turned into Export.  Actually 出口 has two meanings in Chinese, one of which is Export, but that doesn’t make any sense here.

So I can litter as long as it doesn’t kill anyone?

This photo was taken during my team outing in June 2011 to Zhangjiajie, Hunan province and was posted on the window/balcony of my hotel room which was on a higher floor.  I know the intent was more of don’t throw things off of the balcony, but this translation doesn’t really capture that.  In Zhangjiajie’s defense – it is an up and coming tourist site made much more popular after the movie Avatar and when we went there were more Korean tourists than other western faces.  On that note though – the sign above has no Korean translation.

I am way too tall!

Taken on a weekend trip to Shenzhen in November 2011, we were touring a large Russian air craft carrier which is permanently docked in the bay.  From the photo you can see that it is not likely that I will be seeking employment on a submarine any time soon, but the sign really made me crack up.

The Chinese stated there is very, very common (当心碰头)and can be found in every single subway station and above most escalators where there is an overhang.  I’d translate it as “Careful of hitting your head” or “Watch your head” so the “Beware…” added an extra smile to my face.  When is the last time you saw the world “Beware” in an English speaking country?

I still don’t understand this one – the English really doesn’t make sense

My final contribution was taken this past June and is in Sheshan, on the outskirts of Shanghai, where there is an observatory and Shanghai’s oldest Catholic church.  From the picture it looks like this is a place to throw rubbish, but the Chinese is – please don’t litter here.  It’s another variation on my “killer littering” above, except even less clear.  I don’t know how a foreigner is supposed to interpret this, but it definitely made my day!

Which sign is your favorite?

If you’d like to see other people’s interpretations of the travel theme, please click on the Where’s My Backpack link at the beginning of the post.

Enjoying now

Today is a present

The Mad Woman in the Attic

stories of a serial expat and solo traveller

Marta lives in China

Real life in China

Crazy Chinese Family

My crazy Chinese Family I married into...

Writing Between the Lines

Life From a Writer's POV

A Kick In The Butt

Advice on all things FITNESS by Personal Trainer Ariana Dane

Girl in Florence

A Tuscan Texan immersed in Florentine life: passionate about food & wine | random moments | and travel