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Learn Chinese in China


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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.



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No questions? I can come up with some questions! Such as "What is wrong with me that I already know every character (except for 撤, which I had to look up), but yet I have NO FRIGGING IDEA what it means?" And "don't you think the 撤 could benefit from losing a few pounds, it's looking a bit wide to me.". Not to mention "what's up with that '30元 50元 80元 100元' off to the side?"

So, here's my reading of the yellow sign

最后5天 -- "last five days" -- OK, that much I can get.

真撤真电 -- "really remove really electric" -- HUH?

给钱就买 -- "give money then buy" -- HUH? Isn't that usually how things go? That sounds a bit like the "Buy Here Pay Here" used car dealers I see.

赔钱电 -- "lose money electricity" -- I can't even begin to guess.

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Oh. Did I embarrass myself more than usual? [see, I told you there were more questions to be had from this <_< !]

Humm, the vertical-hook stroke in what I think is "电" doesn't go above the top horizontal stroke. Could it be -- YES -- a character I don't know? Such as 甩?

MDBG gives the definition of 甩 as "to throw / to fling / to swing / to leave behind / to throw off". So I'm guessing here it is used in a slightly different context to mean "reduce price". So let me try again.

最后5天 -- "last five days" -- OK, that much I can get.

真撤真甩 -- "really reduced really reduced" -- OK, that makes more sense.

给钱就卖 -- "give money then buy" -- HUH? Still doesn't make much sense to me.

赔钱甩 -- "lose money reduced" -- It's soooo cheap they are losing money on it?

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撤 here means the place is going to be closed down. 真撤 - really closed down. So the shop is selling everything like throwing them away, thus 甩. Just give them money and they will sell things to you - 給錢就賣.

OK now here is a question - what does the shop sell?

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Since I did such a good job with the yellow sign (*cough* *cough*), let me try the white one. Let no one accuse me of having the common sense to know when I should quit! [And thanks to 889, I would have never figured out the last two character in the middle column on my own.]


门有皮鞋 [??? Not sure about the first character there]

赔钱甩哥 [??? I'm pretty sure the last character is not 哥. First, it makes no sense, second, there are extra little squiggles on the right. But I don't know what else it can be. 歌 is possible, I guess; while "to sell it for a song" is an expression in English, something tells me 歌 is wrong too.]

最后?天 [Absolutely no clue on the third character. It's almost trying to be a 三 written by someone that never learned to pick up their pen from the paper.]

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Ah. How did you ever get 卖 out of that? Looks nothing like that to me. I'm sure it's easy for you, as a native reader, but I'm still impressed.

Oddly enough, my linux and windows systems have very different looking fonts for 甩. On my linux system it looks like 用, with the middle vertical line having a little tail, while on my windows system it looks more like 田 with a big tail. I've tried to attach screen captures of both, but this blog thing doesn't seem to allow attachments (only linking to external pictures) so I can't. Sigh.

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"How did you ever get 卖 out of that?"

Don't look at the characters individually, look at them in context. There aren't that many characters that can reasonably follow 甩 on this poster.

It's akin to working out a crossword puzzle.

And here, note especially that handwritten form of 所, which is very common but doesn't look much like the printed form.

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