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Shop Madness



Here‘s a fun old one from 2005, which I was about to say I took on Xinjiekou, although closer inspection shows that it was actually passed on to me by good old Brendan. I'm sure he won't mind me recycling it. I think this was from a batch taken in Chengdu, but I'm less sure about that.

1) What is the boss called, and what state of mind is he in?

2) What is the store's haggling policy?

3) What emotions are being aroused among staff by the prices offered?

4) Why might the store need to shift stock quickly?


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That's a great picture. I can just hear the bad M-pop blaring from the speakers to complete the effect.

What does the only non-handwritten sign say? Iget 旺铺转让, but I'm not sure about the second character, and in any case that makes no sense to me.

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Here's my attempt:

1. The boss's name is Mr. 宋 (Mr. Song). He is angry "火了" as in 发火了.

2. The haggling policy is no haggling. 打死不讲价 = Even if you kill me I won't talk about the price (bargain)

3. The staff is 心痛 and 痛哭 = Their heart's are hurting, suffering and crying that the prices are so low

4. I am guessing here but based on the 旺铺转让 sign, does the store need a buyer?

jbradfor - Does this link help?


Edit: I messed up the name of the boss. Made the fix.

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Oh wow, I did get the sign right then? Surprised me. I was so sure I got it wrong I didn't even bother to google it. See, I did make a mistake! :D

Thanks jkshu, I think you're right about #4. I assumed the answer was

sell all the jackets soon before spring comes

but in reading that link I like your answer more.

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Is it normal in the mainland for vertically written Chinese to be left to right? The 打死不讲价 confused me at first because I read it as 不讲价打死.

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I've always seen Chinese characters written left to right in mainland China. The only times I've seen it written right to left are in historical sites, usually on old signs carved on top of an entrance / gateway to a temple, etc.

@Roddy - Are you going to give us brownie points for attempting this challenge? Also, I suggest that you name these challenges 挑战 so that people will know immediately what the blog is about.

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There. You have a brownie point :mrgreen:

Actually, good job. I thought they were quite easy, but I got #4 wrong (as I said above), and like Takeshi I mis-read #2 as 不讲价打死 (e.g. "don't talk about price or I'll kill you").

As to your 挑战 question, well, I'm not sure what to say. Signese has been around for around 18 months, with roddy just posting random signs. The questions and posts by others came later. At this point, now that you mention it, they do seem rather similar. Although signese is only signs, while 挑战 can be any media.

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Thanks jbradfor, gave you one as well! I probably would not have thought about that sign with the phone number until you brought it to my attention. Ok, I didn't know about history of the signese blog, my bad. Was just hoping to see more participation from forum members.

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Is it normal in the mainland for vertically written Chinese to be left to right?

You'll see both - eg, and eg. Which is more normal, I don't know.

Signese has been around for around 18 months
Signese, in its original incarnation of Signese.com, has been around since 2005.
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I missed the "vertical" part in Takeshi's original question. Yes, you will sometimes see signs, as roddy pointed out, written vertically from right to left. However, there's less of that in mainland China though. Horizontally, I've only seen it in old scrolls and at historical sites (or words that were written prior to 1950) as I've mentioned.

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I missed the "vertical" part in Takeshi's original question.

Easily missed, what with it being written right there, in letters, in the middle of the sentence. Not entirely sure you've managed to read my post properly either.

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Yes, I should pay more attention and not do as much multitasking :lol:

@roddy - Do you not agree that most of the time vertical text is written left to right in mainland China? Or do you see equal proportions of vertical text written left to right and right to left?

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