Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to come up with a better translation than the one given on the box.
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If you're surprised by the fact that 20% of the signs featured here are about matters of the toilet, please don't be. I merely present a representative sample of those signs available to be snapped on Beijing's streets.
This one's a bit manic, I suspect it may have been written by someone who'd just stepped, yet again, in a Pekingese's little leavings. See what you can make of it.
The very top line I'm fairly sure has a 错别字, although I'm not 100% as I could be misreading the characters somehow.
If you have a ____________ you can go to ____________ and when you buy any one of _____________, ________________, or ______________ (good luck translating those) you get a _______________ for the price of a _____________ .
There's a couple of company names in there - plug one into Google and you should find the English name easy enough, the other you can translate easy enough. Skip the drinks names if you like.
I am recycling my older photos posted on the original signese dot com.
What do the notices say?
Every time I walk past this I think 'must look up that first character, which looks like it will be pronounced something like ge but may well not be' but I never actually bother. So your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to look the darned thing up.
Here's one from the entrance to my building.
1) What has happened to the writer of the note?
2) What are readers asked to do?
3) What job do you think the writer does?
4) What's happening at the end of the second line, I can't figure it out?
5) What information did I crop from the bottom?
Quickish one today, and shouldn't be too hard - although I'll admit one of them is a bit sneaky. Have a look at the four photos attached and tell me at what kind of shop (establishment, restaurant, etc) each one was taken.
This is quite a fun one to read, have left it at full size as there's an awful lot of detail. No questions, just see how much of it you can read and if you can figure out what the point of the poster is - if you want to make things considerably easier, start from the bottom. Direct link to the image.
Here's a list of rentals and sublets advertised on a bus stop near Dongzhimen. For the purpose of reporting your answers, assume they're numbered from top to bottom. You may need to get Googling.
1) You can't afford a place all to yourself, but you absolutely have to have your own bathroom.
2) You work at Oriental Kenzo - which of these is nearest?
3) Which of these would be most likely to get good light?
4) The sublets mention two types of 间 - what are they, and what's the difference.
It's often hard to entertain yourself while hanging around in a police station. So why not see what plausible explanations you can come up with (using your no doubt extensive knowledge of Classical Chinese) for the four idioms,four character phrases, or whatever you want to interpret them as, we can invent here:
Allow me to start:
1) Used to describe an efficient organization, where both people (人) and machinery and equipment (物） does (办) exactly as they say (说)
Or perhaps you can think of something better.
Very quick one today - what's the Chinese name of the magazine?
First offering from new contributor Chris today. Chris has been trying very hard over the last few weeks to come up with something suitable, but unfortunately kept on messing it up. He's finally managed it, so a big round of applause for him!
1) Which two traffic management . . er . . things . . . are mentioned on the banner?
2) Briefly explain what the 知荣辱 (thanks Skylee!) refers to.
3) What can you do and buy on the road behind?
Don't worry, not that student protest.
Apologies for the lack of Signese over the last week - your humble correspondent was off in Hong Kong, where they have the habit of putting English next to all the Chinese, making the collection of Signese resources somewhat tricky.
However I did manage to find this one for you, so . . .
1) Where was the photo taken? I'm looking for a specific institution name.
2) There's maybe a bit of guesswork necessary here, but what do you think the cause of discontent is?
3) How long did it take you to figure out what direction to read in this time?
Technically it's not a sign, but it was taped on the wall in the hallway near my neighbor's door.
The story goes something like this: Neighbor A wrote Neighbor B a note and taped it on their door . . .
1. What is Neighbor A asking Neighbor B to do?
2. What is Neighbor A and his/her family doing at the time the note was written?
If only traffic rules in English speaking countries were presented in iambic pentameter.
Reduce each line to a simple English statement, and find the mathematical error.
I quite like this poster for the sheer enthusiasm of it, but couldn't really come up with any questions. Except perhaps for 'Is there absolutely definitely a sale on?', to which the correct answer would be 'Oh yes, there's no doubt that there's a sale on and it shall be ending shortly so buy now!'
So your task here is to navigate the cursive, deal with the changes of direction, and don't get too frustrated with the crossings-out in order to provide us with a complete transcription of the bright yellow poster and its smaller friend.
Quick snap from some random alley somewhere. Who is the product in question suitable for?
It's all been a bit too easy for you lately, I think. Lets throw some handwriting at you . . .
1) What kind of housing is offered - apartment, villa, etc . . ?
2) Which famous Beijing building is it near?
3) What form of heating is available?
4) If you decide to take the place, how much money will you need to hand to the landlord in the first instance?
This is the ticket of the film I saw on Boxing Day last year.
1) What movie did I see?
2) Who sold me the ticket?
3) Where was the cinema?
Snap of a blackboard advertising a promotion at a Beijing diner.
1) When does the promotion take place?
2) How much do you have to spend to qualify?
3) How much beer will you then be entitled to?
4) What other goodies will be provided?
Yet another snap from that never-ended fountain of Signese resources, 鼓楼东大街. Give it another month and it'll no longer be necessary for tourists to visit the street, they'll be able to simply flick rapidly through these photos for the full experience.
What has the shop done?
PS And yes, I did dodgily photoshop out the English. Ha!
Now I know you've all been looking forward to this supermarket advert, recently featured on seat backs on the 113 bus during the month of June. Unfortunately the promotions advertised have now ended, so don't go rushing down to Carrefour demanding your goodies - but no need to be disappointed, we're going to have just as much fun as cheap toilet paper right here:
1) How many measure words can you find
2) Match each measure word up to a noun. Or object. Or something. You know what I mean.
3) You need to buy ballast for your hot air balloon. Which is cheaper, yogurt or toilet paper.
Anyone who can think of better questions can add them in the comments.
As promised earlier in the week, here's the 韩寒 advert for Vancl. Your quiz:
1) What is 大排挡?
2) Which of the two adverts is the more nauseating?
3) Are you looking forward to the excellent supermarket ad I've got lined up for early next week?
Having no access to the signese company car I wandered on foot today and saw this banner on a reclamation site. I like the slogan, but really it is the Chinese name of the company that I found most interesting (just that I had not heard of it before).
Roddy lent me the keys to the Signese company car (a black VW Santana) and is letting me take it for a spin. While eyeing the sidewalk for a place to park, I noticed this sign.
Can I park on the sidewalk between the guy selling socks and the woman frying hotdogs? If the Signese company car was instead a cart pulled by an emaciated mule, could I still park there? Please briefly explain.
What is line 2 encouraging me to do?
Who created the sign? And where are they located?