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Signese

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  • roddy 143
  • anonymoose 85
  • skylee 61
  • mungouk 11
  • abcdefg 10
  • StChris 8
  • Publius 8
  • Tomsima 6
  • jbradfor 5
  • ChTTay 4
  • xiaocai 4
  • somethingfunny 4
  • Flying Pigeon 2
  • stapler 2
  • DrWatson 2
  • murrayjames 1
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About this blog

Entries in this blog

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

The Return to Kiroran

With that spirit of sacrifice common to all members here at Chinese-forums.com, @DrWatson has provided us with pictures of the menu at Kiroran. Our correspondent writes:

 

Quote

 

I most definitely snapped a photo of the menu as well, that was the primary purpose of taking the photos, and it was only then I thought of Signese. Sorry...my stomach thinks before my brain sometimes!

 

Any thoughts on the menu, any of these dishes worth trying? The prices are a bit high, but I am guessing for some of those dishes they are meant to be shared in a group.  I thought the 麻辣鸡 and the Loulan Spicy pot looked good, also I'm always up for hot pot, unfortunately the hot pot menu was not posed on the shop window.

 

I am more hesitant about the noodle dishes though, I don't know why but it looks like Spaghetti in some of the photos, but hopefully it is actually pulled noodles...

 

 

葱爆羊肉 for me. What's everyone else having?

 

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roddy

Not So Simple

A couple of uncommon characters for you today, although you never know when you might need them - and if you happen to have the chance to casually show off your knowledge to amazed friends sometime, all the better.

This one could be a little tricky to track down, but can anyone figure out what they might find if they were to lift up this manhole cover from inside the Forbidden City?

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And while we're at it, which character in the second photo might your teacher instruct you to correct?

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You can use the spoiler tags

[spoiler] text here [/spoiler]

to hide your answers if you want.

text here

skylee

Footbridge

This was taken on a footbridge close to the place where you apply for a Chinese Visa in Wanchai, Hong Kong. :P

There is another one saying the same thing on the same footbridge. And they have been there for a while. It seems that, unlike some of the graffiti saying "Who's afraid of XXX", these graffiti have attracted no attention at all (except mine). ;)

skylee

Graffiti

I took this picture today. It was the back of the seat in front of mine in a van. If you like, you could try to figure out -

A. Who the writer was unhappy about, and

B. Who in particular, and

C. Why.

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?

skylee

From Lyon

I took this photo in Lyon a couple of days ago. If you are interested, you can try to find out the following -

1. What is written on the big character? How are the small characters arranged?

2. What characters (traditional / simplified) are used on the poster?

Side story about a scam - outside the Cathedral Notre Dame in Lyon, different young people asked me to sign on a form with a big UNICEF heading. They did not speak to me, but just held up that signature form to my face. It appeared that they were asking for support for the cause of UNICEF. But then I noticed that their fingers covered the last column of the form, which was for the signers to write down the amount of money they would give. If that was legitimate they would not need to play such a trick. I had been fooled by this trick once many years ago in Paris.

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

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.

skylee

Istanbul 伊斯坦堡

I took these pictures yesterday. The first one is of the door of the metro I took to get to Kanyon Mall at Levant, Istanbul. I took it because I thought a Chinese character was used in the design. However, having stared at the pattern long enough I found that it was not. You can try to identify the differences (from the Chinese character I had thought it was).

The second one is a sign at a Chinese/Japanese restaurant near the cinema of the mall. I found it strikingly ugly.

abcdefg

Toilet instructions

One sees this sign, usually only in Chinese, in the male toilets of lots of public places. The English translation here is particularly lame.

 

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xiaocai

Signs taken at hometown

Now enjoying my 1 month break back to where I grew up, there are some pictures that I would like to share. Many things have changed, but sadly, some of those which need changes desperately may have not. I was surprised to see signs like what I took in the first picture (file 001.jpg) through out my trip. Hopefully I will see much less of this kind in the future. Well, question time:

1: What kind of message the first sign is trying to convey?

2: Can you think of one 成语 or 四字俗语 which is related to this sign?

To relax a bit after the somewhat heavy topic, please take a look at the second sign (file 002.jpg), and try to answer these simple questions:

1: I can think of at least two ways to interpret the sign, how about you?

2: There is a joke related to this sign, can you find it?

Tomsima

At the dog beauty parlour

Spotted in the dog beauty parlour today (yes, they exist, yes there was a walk in wardrobe of dog clothes, no I was not a customer). Made me smile.

 

What's going on with 愛犬島 and the UK picture? Am I meant to understand the UK is "isle of dog lovers"?

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jbradfor

YACTS

Yet Another Chinese Toilet Sign.

Easy question:

1) What is the Chinese name for the invention that would eliminate the need for this sign?

skylee

Osama Bin Laden

This is rare, in this age of telecommunications where people receive news on their cell phones, computers or on TV/radio almost instantly. I got this at about 4PM today whereas the announcement was made at 11AM (Beijing time). So it had taken about five hours for this news to reach me. Not too bad for paper medium.

The last time I saw such a thing I was in Tokyo. That day a man stabbed many people dead in Akihabara, thus the paper.

So what is this piece of paper called?

In it there is a term which is seldom used nowadays - 伏法. What does it mean?

I used an envelope to cover a gruesome picture.

jbradfor

One Child Policy

Since we haven't had a (proper *cough* *cough*) posing in a while, I think I would add this one from a while back.

Just one question: does one still see such signs?

roddy

Signese Revival 8

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.

 

I like to think of some poor foreign student recognising the first character and assuming from context he can get his puncture sorted out off to the left.

signese revival (8).jpg

roddy

Recharger

My first reaction to this sign (which is on a machine that lets you put money on your Seoul subway card, no transfer of electricity is involved) is that it was a mistranslation. But then I thought maybe it's a normal usage that I don't know about, perhaps in Japanese?

Investigate!

mungouk

Propaganda Banners

One of the first things I noticed when I moved to Beijing is the very big red and white banners which appear to have propaganda/slogans on them.

 

I can translate them literally, but I wonder if there's a proper way of expressing them in English which has the right tone and vocabulary to make them sound like the voice of the Party?

 

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abcdefg

Top 12 dim sum


chinese food

Here's another dim sum menu, sort of. This one is especially useful because it features only 12 items from a busy upstairs restaurant that offers probably a hundred items. (I ate upstairs.) These take away selections are available for purchase on the street level; no need to go inside. My guess is they are some of the house's best sellers. This place was across the street from my Hong Kong (Wan Chai) hotel 華美粵海酒店。

 

 

IMG_20170916_110345.thumb.jpg.91c90312aa27f5eec84ccab9e5364573.jpg

 

 

If you figure out and learn these 12 items, you might not be a dim sum virtuoso, but you won't go hungry and will be able to gain a toehold in the dim sum world.

 

 

StChris

Learning Chinese isn't easy and if you want to really improve your reading skills, you need to take every opportunity to practice you get, even when using the toilet. 

 

Apart from the ubiquitous 向前一小步,文明一大步 (the title of this blog entry), there is also a handwritten note. I still find messy, handwritten Chinese quite tricky and can't quite make out some of the words here. This is as much as I could read at first:

 

师哥

       泡。。。要吐在小便池里

多谢合作

 

After a little thought, I'm pretty sure it's saying 泡糖不要吐在小便池里 (don't spit out bubble gum into the urinal), but the 不 looks more like a 又 to me, and there also seems to be a small additional character between 泡 and 糖. Can anybody confirm?

IMG_20190306_175721613.jpg

xiaocai

Sign taken at...

Alright, these questions can be quite hard I think, but everyone is welcome to attempt.

1. Where (PLACE NAME, better make it clear first this time) do you think this picture was taken at?

2. What is written on the sign? (I do NOT have answer to this question, because I have no idea what it means, either. Maybe it is just not Chinese altogether. It will be much appreciated if anyone can identify the message and share it with me and other forum member.)

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