Tianjin Forward Carpets Engages Chinglish Gear

Engage, captain! Unhappy about just engaging Forward Gear, Tianjin’s carpet makers engage… Chinglish Gear…

Tianjin is famous for having some crazy company names. I’ve run into KTVs declaring themselves the BIG DIVINE SERVICE KTV, and if you think that’s excessive, try the kinder KIND HOTEL just by Tianjin Railway Station. Also there’s the BIG PHARMACY HONG TING in Tanggu, just by the seaside, which supposedly must be biiig

This sign itself brings up another funny question: Is there investment potential for the Tianjin Backward Carpets? VCs out there, beware…

Taken 30 January 2011 in Tianjin

Great Food from “New Orlean” — As Found In Beijing

I have to say — when you bang into someone (especially girls) here in China that have good command of the English language, they blast off like a rocket and there’s little you can do to stop engaging them in conversation. They’re that good.

Sadly, when I was at a restaurant with a friend who was that brilliant in English as of late, I was disappointed (but also amused) with the Chinglish on the menu. Especially for getting New Orleans wrong…

I was also a fair bit upset that there were no potatoes on offer — what would I make of the nearest equivalent, the patato?…

What It Should Read: New Orleans Wings; Potato Waffles
Taken 27 January 2011 in Beijing

PS — the “Shirmp Dots” also look suspect…

(Pinyin + English + Chinglish) x Randomness =

This is the worst language-related formula ever!

Consider me lost. First, on the top: “Daxing No. 5 Middle School” and the “Huangcun Railway Station”.

Immediately below that: weird Pinyinese: DAXINGQU DIBA XIAOXUE and the ultra-long in name BEIJINGYIDONG DAXING FENGONGSI. Riiight…

My issues:

1. Why is the Middle School properly translated into English whereas the Elementary School beneath it is left in totally make-all-expats-in-town-lost Pinyinese?

2. Doesn’t BEIJINGYIDONG (Beijing Mobile) have a “proper” English name?

3. Why on earth all of this weird random mix between Pinyin and English? Is this Chinglish on steroids?…

Toilet Chinglish: The LORD is watching over you…

For us gents, we can choose between doing “Number 1” in the Men’s Room or (for absolute emergencies) letting a massive explosion rip in the “Number 2” rooms. More often than not, it’s a simple case of a “Number 1”.

Heaven help, then, the LORD that’s watching over us — do our thing (be that a mere two-seconder or what happens after you go after litres upon litres of ice tea). That’s right. While at some odd toilet urinal, your Chinglish watcher spotted over a urinal (auto sensor) that simply called itself — the —

Yes. Pray that you will be fine… the LORD is here to solve your problems that — probably isn’t quite fit for this blog (yet).

I admit: this company calls TOTO owns much of Beijing’s urinals. Probably the LORD is a little bit upset at this monopoly and wants in on the bit of — stinky money as well…

The Corniest Audiovisual Chinglish

No idea where I found this… but it has to be pretty weird…

How about the ticker you see in many a radio / audio set in your car… you know, the one that goes FM 87.6, FM 90.5, FM 97.4 and (at times) SCAN ERROR (and stuff)… all the time? How about showing WELCOME TO MY AUDIO WORLD on these things?

This whole “welcome” thing also leads itself into another aspect of Chinglish: There have been countless times when I’ve boarded a taxi, only to be greeted by the generic Chinglish refrain (especially heard zillions of times in Guangzhou): “Welcome to take my taxi!”.

Unless I’ve my grammar in a mess, I think we’re not supposed to use such “sick phrases” (that’s another bit of quasi-Chinglish) like “Welcome to take my taxi”!…

Private Airport Lounges: You Must SING to CALL the Waiter!

The best things about private airport lounges are (a) I get access to these things; (b) you get a room to yourself (if nobody else is there at that time).

So if you feel like playing Robbie Williams at 400 dB, you’re more than free to do that provided nobody goes deaf or something.

Unfortunately, the waiters (or waitresses) there won’t come in and serve you, even if you make yourself go deaf, unless you..

…Uh yeap… Sing Call.

That’s the button you push (with all your might no less) to expect any kind of service. And nope, contrary to what the button says, there’s no wireless microphone for you (unlike at KTVs) — to sing (to call the waiters), as in…

I’m wondering what to sing if I have to do that to catch the attention of the passing waiter — either for a free refill of tea or to tell the guy (or lady) to keep an eye out on my Macs as I empty myself out at the nearby loo…

Those damned private airport lounges! You have to sing to get served…

Taken 6 December 2009 in Guangzhou, Guangdong

New New York English: The WHAT?

This is just outright… scary and Shanzhai. New Yawkers, take a look at this fair bit of lookalike copycat Chinglish I found today on my trip to Tangshan

New New York English!? New York 2.0 English? New Big Apple English? New Bronx English? New Staten Island English? New Times Square English? New Rudy Giuliani Michael Bloomberg City English?

No corrections to make here (well, strictly speaking, yeah… that’s the only verdict that can be handed down right now), although — I don’t know if anyone can take a course there and be mistaken on the road for an American version of a Shanghainese

Taken 12 January 2011 in Tangshan, Hebei

U-Turn OK!… says Tianjin Metro

If there is any one place, or any one Metro system in the world, where a U-turn is OK… that’d be the Tianjin Metro!

No ox. (That’s a nicer way of saying “no b•ll”.) Take a look at this…

Well, OK… the Chinglish is nearly as real as the English. But hey, there’s a minor gap between the two lingos. A U-turn is 掉头 (diao tou) in Chinese, but what about the 标志 (biao zhi)? That’s Chinese, simply, for “signpost”.

Ideally, it’d read “U-Turn Signpost”, but apparently, “U-Turn OK” is OK. So yeah, next time you’re in the Tianjin Metro and you’ve totally lost it, feel free to… execute a few U-turns…

…Because the signage said so!

Taken 23 December 2010 in Tianjin

KTV Weirdness, Chinglish Included…

It is amazing what these KTV stores are thinking of… or what they might offer you…!

Same Song KTV: Cool, except for that you’re only able to sing one song — and you’re condemned to doing that with the mic, on and on again…

PARTY WORLD KTV: One of China’s (and Taiwan’s) more famous KTV outlets. No Chinglish here… plus, I’d say that’s a neat name!

• Candy KTV: Do they hand you free candies (or sweets, if you must be British) there? Or are the mics there made out of candy?…

Melody KTV: We all know singing has to have something to do with melodies, that’s for sure…

Kim KTV: Uh-oh. Kim Jong-il is getting into the KTV biz… or is that his son, Kim Jong-un?

The fact that these KTV outlets have weird names makes it a tad more difficult to suggest what they might want to rename themselves…

Taken 6 June 2010 in Beijing