Learn Chinese in China

Signese

  • entries
    215
  • comments
    925
  • views
    172,222

Contributors to this blog

  • roddy 131
  • skylee 61
  • anonymoose 12
  • jbradfor 5
  • xiaocai 4
  • Flying Pigeon 2

About this blog

Entries in this blog

roddy

Signese Revival 3

One fairly random photo of Chinese characters in action, per week, until sometime in 2018. And perhaps longer if I'm encouraged. Those who want to contribute their own random photos of Chinese characters are welcome, just get in touch and I'll add you to the contributor list so you can post directly, from computer or phone.

 

Now, what shouldn't you do to the produce?

signese revival (3).jpg

roddy

Signese Revival 2

One fairly random photo of Chinese characters in action, per week, until sometime in 2018. And perhaps longer if I'm encouraged. Those who want to contribute their own random photos of Chinese characters are welcome, just get in touch and I'll add you to the contributor list so you can post directly, from computer or phone.

 

Road safety this week.

signese revival (2).jpg

roddy

Signese Revival 1

One fairly random photo of Chinese characters in action, per week, until sometime in 2018. And perhaps longer if I'm encouraged. Those who want to contribute their own random photos of Chinese characters are welcome, just get in touch and I'll add you to the contributor list so you can post directly, from computer or phone.

 

This one's a message to anyone who thinks people are interested in a weekly picture of Chinese characters.

signese revival (1).jpg

roddy

Signese Revival 0

One fairly random photo of Chinese characters in action, per week, until around this time in 2018. And perhaps longer if I'm encouraged. Those who want to contribute their own random photos of Chinese characters are welcome, just get in touch and I'll add you to the contributor list so you can post directly, from computer or phone. 

 

And what better to start with than breakfast?

 

breakfast-is-served_109523126_o.jpg

skylee

From Madrid

Once again I am at the Thyssen-Bornesmisza museum in Madrid. This is one of my favourite museums which I have visited repeatedly. It has just occurred to me that the Museum has chosen to use Simplified Chinese in some (not all) of its signs (as shown), which seems a bit unusual / unconventional. I mean, usually, such museums would only use their native languages and the better ones would have English (like Prado, which is another great museum that I visited again yesterday). If a musuem chooses to use an Asian language, I think it would usually go for Japanese. The museum's brochure is of course in several different languages, including Chinese and Japanese. And as usual there is not a Korean version. At Prado yesterday I actually saw a group of Korean tourists with their own translated guide to the masterpieces, which I assumed that the tour guide / company had done for them.

I appreciate that all three of the grand museums in Madrid are open for free for everyone (every evening for Prado and Reina Sofia, and Thyssen-B on Monday PM). I think it is very generous of them.

PS - And the British Museum is always free (but suggests donation of like 5 pounds, haha).

skylee

From Sevilla - 出力

Sevilla is gorgeous. It is cold and sunny so a good way to spend some time is to sit under the sun and type up a blog post.

I have just done the obligatory visit to the Cathedral (the third time), and I took these pictures there. The first one is about the lack of Chinese, and the second one is about 出力.

blogentry-32-0-05343800-1423165057_thumb.jpg blogentry-32-0-65231500-1423165130_thumb.jpg

skylee

From Paris - 巴黎聖母院

I am currently at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. I think it is kind and generous of the church to let tourists in and take pictures during mass. Many churches don't allow it. (But then at the same time the church is also selling souvenirs to and making money from tourists.)

Most signs are in multiple languages including Chinese. I have noted an interesting inconsistency. While most Chinese signs are in simplified Chinese, the sign asking for donations for the new bells is in traditional Chinese. Possible reasons: (1) general confusion over the two scripts in the "western" world; (2) the translations were done by different translators; (3) users of traditional Chinese are much more likely to donate money than users of simplified Chinese as the majority of the latter group are from mainland China where there are church problems (although the latter group is rich nowadays).

I think (3) is likely to be the reason.

Another interesting thing is the different names for the Treasury in Japanese, Korean and Chinese - 秘寶、 寶物、珍寶.

skylee

From Taipei

Again I am in Taipei. This is not a well planned trip as I booked my ticket/hotel and did all the arrangements just yesterday. Anyways.

I've just taken this picture at Eslite in Xinyi. 男化妝室 is just so odd.

Thr other picture is a bonus, haha.

Is there anything I should do so that the pictures can be of the correct orientation after uploading?

skylee

From Seoul

I am now in Seoul. The city is much more tourist-friendly than when I first visited it solo over 10 years ago. There is English on most signs in Seoul now. And there are Chinese characters too. But sometimes I can't help but wonder if the Chinese characters are supposed to be Chinese, or Japanese Kanji or their own Hanja. Sometimes the characters don't look quite right if they are meant to be Chinese.

Look at the first two picturs. There is something very wrong in the first one, at least it is not in line with the common understanding AFAIK. I am not sure if it is intentional. Is the term 正体字(not 正體字) used to refer to simplified characters at all?

The 昇 in the third picture is wrong AFAIK.

I was quite speechless when I saw the sign in the fourth picture. 乳母車?貸與? They can't be right, right?

blogentry-32-0-50186700-1398601409_thumb.jpg

blogentry-32-0-28858400-1398601478_thumb.jpg

blogentry-32-0-98437100-1398601506_thumb.jpg

blogentry-32-0-45007600-1398601568_thumb.jpg

PS - additional picture added on 29.4.2014. This is relevant to the fifth reply below.

blogentry-32-0-60775200-1398777208_thumb.jpg

skylee

Xu Bing, Taipei

I went to the Xu Bing Retrospective in Taipei today, and am very glad that I did. I am sure there is a lot of information on the internet about his works, but I was fascinated all the same.

Many of his works are related to languages. Like his ABC series which is about representing English letters using Chinese characters. (Photos 1 to 2)

Then there is the square word calligraphy series, which is about writing each English word in a square. I think the idea is similar to the Korean script, but the Xu Bing version is not as tidy, mainly because English is not Korean, IMHO. And some square words look quite messy, as there are just too many components (long words). I don't think it is a very inventive series and the idea is not very different from the Chinese letters that tattooists use to con the uninformed. But it is fun, and is not difficult to learn and decipher. And, hey, it is Xu Bing. (Photos 3 to 6) You can see in Photo 3 "square word" and "Xu Bing". And in Photo 6 the first words (from left) are "four poems of W B Yeats, calligraphy by Xu Bing".

And then there is of course the 天書 series (Photo 7), which needs no introduction. I am not a big fan of his more recent 地書 series, though.

The exhibition will end on 20 April 2014.

blogentry-32-0-33457700-1397920674_thumb.jpg

blogentry-32-0-55027700-1397920714_thumb.jpg

blogentry-32-0-10936600-1397920741_thumb.jpg

blogentry-32-0-01976200-1397920806_thumb.jpg

blogentry-32-0-79701000-1397920974_thumb.jpg

blogentry-32-0-29428500-1397921135_thumb.jpg

blogentry-32-0-44827300-1397921186_thumb.jpg

skylee

From Singapore

I went to Singapore for a weekend break and spent most of my time in museums (instead of Little India, the waterfront and malls, etc), which was probably why I liked the country a bit better. I have some observations on the Chinese shown on some exhibits in the museums.

First, 肅清. Actually what struck me was the title "The Sook Ching". It is based on the Cantonese pronunciation I suppose. When I showed my friend this photo she was quite surprised that the title was not the "massacre".

Second, an old notice for Chinese hawkers. Note the different directions in which the words are printed on the same notice - vertically from right to left, horizintally from left to right, and horizontally from right to left. :P Traditional Chinese characters are used on this notice, and the name of the country on this notice is 新嘉坡. But this is a decades-old notice.

Third, the name of the dish Char Kway Teow. 炒粿條 is used in the photo. If I am not mistaken it is the same thing as what we call 炒貴刁 over here in HK. The Chinese terms are very different

Fourth, Chinese by a Vietnamese artist. It is all right. Although some characters used are odd / wrong (like the 垂 and 淂) but it is not difficult to get the general idea of the meaning.

I hope you find them interesting. Please share your views.

skylee

Line character - Cony

I asked the shop assistant to let me take a photo, explaining to her that people who don't speak Cantonese might not understand what the words mean at all.

So, do you know what the words mean?

skylee

Names

I had not noticed these plaques until today. I think some of the translated names are great, especially 沈弼 (Sandberg), 唐信 (Thompson), 浦偉士 (Purves) and 費樂怡 (Farrell). Sandberg and Purves were Taipans.

PS - 尤德 (Youde) is also pretty good.

skylee

How far can you go, etc

I took the first picture last saturday in Tsimshatsui. It was a locked-up newspaper stall, I guess. Obviously those were promotion material for a film, but they looked interesting. If you like you can try to identify the two mistakes among the handwritten words.

The second picture was taken at Hysan Place in Causeway Bay. I am not sure what it was. I guess it was a stage for some performance.

skylee

橡皮鴨 Rubber duck

The giant rubber duck parked next to the Harbour City in Kowloon has been a sensation during the past few weeks. And its flattening and removal for maintenance was "heartbreaking". Some friends have sent me different jpegs on the duck, and I am posting two here. I find the ID card very amusing.

skylee

Counter

I took this photo at the HK Central Library this afternoon. If you like, you can try to identify what is wrong with the words used.

skylee

From Valencia

I just want to show a butchered Chinese word on a window in Valencia. To be fair, the same word on the next window had its both limbs intact.

同場加映 (though it is not related to Chinese) :I went to see a free photo exhibtion celebrating the 10th anniversary of the renowned City of Arts and Sciences when I was there. And when I read the English caption (photo attached) of a photo with a dophin in it, I laughed out. Who do you think is/are to be X-rayed? :D

skylee

豬仔包

I said to the cashier, "兩個豬仔包". And this is what such small olive/round shaped bread rolls with hard. . skin are called here.

I wonder what it is called in Putonghua, English or in other languages. Anyone wants to share?

The bread is going to be my dinner tonight.

EDIT: New photo of a 豬仔包 sandwich with cava added on 19.1.2013. Some cava has already gone to my head. :D