Hey Teh Tarik Kakis: it has been more than a month since I last posted here.

Recently I had the opportunity to visit China on leisure and came across some very funny English wordings used by the local Chinese in their signage and printed literature.

What is Chinglish?

From Wikipedia: Chinglish refers to spoken or written English language that is influenced by the Chinese language. The term “Chinglish” is commonly applied to ungrammatical or nonsensical English in Chinese contexts, and may have pejorative or deprecating connotations. Other terms used to described the phenomenon include “Chinese English”, “China English”, and “Sinicized English”. The degree to which a Chinese variety of English exists or can be considered legitimate is disputed.

Most of the English wordings used in the signage or written literature are either direct translations and most of the time it is full of grammatical errors. To make things worse it will make your laugh until “tears also come out” [is this Chinglish?].

Chinglish example #1

Chinglish: To be on your safety, please don’t climb over the rails.

Suggested proper English: For you own safety, please do not climb over the rails.


Chinglish example #2

Chinglish: Floor have water, be careful of slip.

Suggested proper English: Floor is wet. Be careful!


Chinglish example #3


Prevent AIDS I have a condom

To care for your healthy and safty please:

Persist to use condom while sex.

Suggested proper English:

Prevent AIDS – Use A Condom (this is supposed to be a slogan)

For your health and safety, insist on using a condom when making love.

[Or you have a better suggestions?]


Chinglish example #4

Chinglish: Couldn’t drink water!!! [This is photographed near the water tap in the wash room]

Suggested proper English: Water Is Not For Drinking!


Chinglish example #5


Room to room: touch 6 + the room number

Local call: Touch 9 + the phone number

Suggested proper English:

Room to room: Press (or dial) 6 + room number

Local call: Press 9 (or dial) + local phone number

[There is no touch screen, so touching the buttons has no effect!]


My two cents

The reasons for such errors are basically

1. English is not widely taught and spoken in schools and in their day to day dealings (and therefore is not taught properly as well)

2. Erroneous dictionary listings

3. Wrong word order

4. Problems of direct translation

Have you have enough laughs so far? In the next post, I shall put up more funny photos and I guarantee you would laugh until you drop!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2011!!

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1 Comment on Funny Chinglish that makes you laugh – part one

  1. […] // < ![CDATA[ google_ad_client = "pub-7097115841226738"; /* 300×250, created 12/30/10 */ google_ad_slot = "9234869289"; google_ad_width = 300; google_ad_height = 250; // ]]> This is the sec­ond part of the blog post “Funny Ching­lish that makes you laugh”. […]

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