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Signese

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Contributors to this blog

  • roddy 143
  • anonymoose 85
  • skylee 61
  • abcdefg 10
  • Publius 8
  • StChris 8
  • mungouk 6
  • jbradfor 5
  • Tomsima 5
  • xiaocai 4
  • somethingfunny 4
  • ChTTay 3
  • Flying Pigeon 2
  • stapler 2
  • DrWatson 2
  • js6426 1
  • murrayjames 1

About this blog

Entries in this blog

roddy

Got lemons?

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.

skylee

Trees

I am recycling my older photos posted on the original signese dot com.

What do the notices say?

roddy

Lazy Admin

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.

roddy

Sick note

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?

roddy

Photolocation

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.

roddy

China Dolls

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.

roddy

Rental Choices

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.

roddy

Police Station Idioms

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:

1)人物说办

2)要要话事

3)精整和公

4)神洁气道

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.

roddy

More traffic nonsense

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?

roddy

Student Protest

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?

Flying Pigeon

Note to the Neighbors

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?

roddy

Rules

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.

roddy

Sale! Sale! Sale!

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.

roddy

Housing ad . . .

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?

roddy

World Cup Beer

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?

roddy

Hidden Yoghurt

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!

roddy

Supermarket Measures

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.

roddy

Complete Vancler

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?

skylee

Safety slogan

Having no access to the signese company car :P 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).

Flying Pigeon

Parking Propaganda

Hi.

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?

roddy

Vancl Ad

We have here today a bus-stop ad for cheapo online clothing store Vankl, which I've never used as I read the reviews and it sounded a bit rubbish.

I can't think of many questions. Find the two TV show references, and then memorize this little speech and practice it in the mirror. And if you can't understand anything, ask in the comments.

I've also got another version of the ad with (if I remember correctly) novelist-racing-driver 韩寒. To follow, no doubt.

roddy

More Hutong Etiquette

A chalked request snapped on 育群胡同, home of one of my favourite restaurants. Fortunately it didn't spoil my appetite.

1) To whom is the message written

2) What activity is discouraged

Oh, and there are a lot more people opening the picture than posting - come on, leave a comment even if it's just to say it's too hard. Validate my efforts . . .

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