Saturday, April 01, 2006

They need your conserve

If you know someone who has been to China, you have heard the stories about the signs written in English. Chinese is, of course, a language whose grammar is very different from that of Indo-European languages. Even thinking in terms of "verbs," "adjectives," "nouns," and so on is not very apt. There are words that have very broad meanings, and when you string them together it becomes clear which one describes the action and which ones describe the actor. If you translate word for word into English, the effect is surreal.

Here are some of my favorites.

On the Sacred Road:

On the Great Wall (there are lots of them):

In the gardens of the Forbidden City there are several rocks that are naturally carved by erosion and that are extremely beautiful. (They are not indigenous to the place, they were brought there at great expense.) This is the biggest, it's about 30 feet tall:

And this is the sign next to the rock:

And this is the name of one of the buildings in the Summer Palace:

Finally, this sign is next to the restrooms in the clock tower near a Hu Tong neighborhood:

My suggestion is to hold it until you can find at least a four star one.

More pictures will be added as updates to old posts.


  1. Anonymous Anonymous
    4/01/2006 11:33:00 PM


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