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Entries in this blog

roddy

Quick quiz

Thanks to @mungouk for the picture.

 

On your way to work one morning, something goes wrong and you are directed to this sign. 

 

1) What method of transportation are you trying to use? 

2) What are your two options now?

3) And an easily-guessable one - what phone number might you need to phone for help?

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StChris

The third in the series of Chonqing subway ads encouraging moderate smartphone usage is a play on the meeting of 刘备, 关羽 and 张飞 in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms story (三国演义).

 

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Quote

这样还能结义吗?

 

不求同年同月同日生,却想同月同日玩手机

 

桃园侠士变手机挚友,肝胆相照却成为过去?

为了自己的朋友和友情,请合理正确使用手机。

 

In the legendary meeting, the three strangers take an oath to become brothers, and make a pact to die on the same day ("不求同年同月同日生,只愿同年同月同日死"). In the ad, instead of swearing to die on the same day, the three men express a desire to play on their phones on the same day ("却想同月同日玩手机"). In the third sentence the ad asks, if in future people become mere internet friends rather than true brothers ("桃园侠士变手机挚友"), will the kind of loyalty as showed in the story ever have a chance of existing? ("肝胆相照却成为过去?")

 

It ends by encouraging intelligent use of smartphones ("请合理正确使用手机") for the sake of your friendships ("为了自己的朋友和友情").

roddy

The Chestnut Shop

Holder of the Guinness World Record for highest number of times the word chestnut has ever been written on a shop. In case you were in any doubt about what the place actually sells, they also hang out a megaphone (not pictures) to keep you up to date.

Gulou Dongdajie, at the Gulou end.

roddy

Two On The Wall

A mere six characters here, and you shouldn't even need to look them all up.

First, which service does the sign refer to, and what has the business recently done.

Second, what gets delivered into the blue box?

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

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

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

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

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.

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