The “Huanopu”: Shanghai’s Very New Chinglish River

According to this map, that wide river in Shanghai that splits Puxi from Pudong isn’t called the Huangpu, but — the Huanopu.

That’s not even supposed to be a Chinglish bug, by the way. This is wholesale, outright Hanyu Pinyin. It’s not supposed to be like this — they’ve even got the transliteration wrong!

What It Should Read: Huangpu
Taken 28 May 2011 in Shanghai

Stairs + Chinglish = Airstairs?

Airstairs! The brand new innovation in Chinese supermarkets! Just like ’em Kung Fu movies… just hop ‘on a passing cloud, say some weird spell, and — go up a floor to the clothes you want!

Unfortunately, there’s nothing too airy about it. Just look at the icon next to it. It’s a plain-vanilla elevator, all right. And those things don’t work on air, but on lift shafts and pulleys. No weirdo mall Kung Fu, either…

What It Should Read: Elevators / Lifts
Taken 13 August 2011 in Beijing

Is That Plant Too Sensitive for Some Chinglish?

As if the mainland Chinese Web wasn’t sensitive territory yet…

Now we have sensitive plants as well!

Wife Tracy and I picked this up at the Carrefour in Beijing. I wonder what would happen if the plant hit something, or if there was a worm crawling on it, or what would happen if you took it onto a plane or something…

What It Should Read: Shy Plant
(Actually, that’d appear a bit corny too, but still…)
Taken 29 July 2011 in Beijing

Shopping for Chinglish in Beijing…

Shin Kong Place is the best mall in Beijing — if you are after the Chinglish, that is.

In mid-November 2008, I capture some of the oddest Chinglish there. Including this funny little snip: Parking Shin Kong Place. Welcome Shin Kong Place.

Add the Shin Kong Place bit at the top, and that’s three times we’ve seen Shin Kong Place on this parking ticket. It’s time to give a little break already!

On a more personal note: winter 2008-2009 has seen some amazing Chinglish. I’m sharing those with you soon. We are nearly at 2,200 cases of perfect Chinglish (in the offline database): this site isn’t going away any time soon… heh…

What It Should Read: Welcome to Shin Kong Place Parking Lot
Taken 17 November 2008 in Beijing

Gelivable Chinglish in Harbin!

Talk about the most gelivable, or “cool” (in Chinglish), hotel!

I’m now in Harbin with wife Tracy on a Chinglish teaching assignment (no joke: the Chinglish book landed me a month-long teaching assignment in northeastern China’s wilderness). Our school is but a stone’s throw from the — gelivable hotel.

That is some seriously ungelivable (“un-cool”) Chinglish, I must say…

On the second day of lessons, we had about ten enthusiastic Chinglish students already. So yep, there is Chinglish interest up here!

Taken 21 October 2011 in Harbin

Caution of the Stair… You’d Better Be Careful…

Aaarghh!! Those treacherous stairs… They’ll attack you whenever they feel like it!

Either that, or probably you might want to be careful of those stairs. You know — probably you might want to think twice before you do the Macarena on them… especially if they’re not that wide and are steep…

The funny thing is in the Chinese characters. They’re using traditional script on the mainland, which I greatly adore (and so does my dad-in-law). It’s too bad we see too many things in Shanzhai simplified script…

(PS: based on more fact finding, it appears this sign is from Hong Kong. Hmmm…)

What It Should Read: MIND YOUR STEP
Taken 15 July 2005 in Beijing Hong Kong

Take Care Of Your Chinglish Treasures

Seriously… I wonder what happens if I push that red button. I’m… a little intrigued.

Maybe if I push that it’ll show scarier Chinglish…

Riiight… Either that, or it’s a treasure itself. As in the Chinglish: Take Care Of Your Treasures

If you do Chinese, you’d know that “贵重物品” would basically mean “valuables”, but these guys on the train overdid it by regarding your “valuables” as your “treasures”.

I have only two big treasures in my life: my family and my friends. As for the “treasures” that this fair bit of Chinglish might be thinking of — your iPhone, for example — it’s a “treasure”, but the most you might do if you lose it is to replace it. Not true with friends or family, though!

Best thing to do to this Chinglish is to replace it. Now do I push a button to do that?

What It Should Read: Take Care of Your Valuables
Taken 17 October 2011 on Train Z1 (Beijing – Harbin)

Chinglish… from the People’s Republic of “Chian”…

Ai ya. Again.

I thought this was flashback to Chinglish I saw at Zürich Airport in the late 1990s, when folks stepping off Air China flights to the Swiss version of Shanghai picked up bags proudly declaring themselves to be made in BEIJING CHIAN.

It has to be said that when you even get the name of your nation wrong… ooh man, this has got to be pretty scary Chinglish indeed…

What It Should Read: MADE IN CHINA
Taken 02 July 2011 in northern urban Beijing

Chinglish That Considers Trains To Be… Planes

Ai ya. This is when you start realizing that the guy that did the translation had no idea between the difference between trains and planes. But hey, with the CRH380BL blazing past 487.3 km/h on a test run in early 2011, we’re coming close to planes anyhow…

…Which is why this bit of Chinglish isn’t exactly “out-of-its-place”, but is weird nonetheless. How would an airsickness bag work out on a non-airplane means of transport — a high speed train?

Mind you, I found this on a “slowpoke” CRH1 train running at a “mere” 200 km/h. That isn’t half as fast as that 487.3 km/h rocket…

What It Should Read: THIS MAY BE USED FOR WASTE OR MOTION SICKNESS
Taken 11 October 2011 on the Guangzhou-Zhuhai Intercity Railway train

Next Station: CPU Metro Station…!?

Would you board a Metro train taking you to the “CPU station”?

If you’re in Nanjing, you’d probably have no choice. But that’s only true if you’re headed for the China Pharmaceutical University Station on the new extension to Metro Line 1 — a station that, like many other stops named after educational institutions, all are shortened to acronyms and initials throughout the whole line.

And talking about that CPU thing: There’s a chain store selling clothes calling themselves CPU as well. What’s this CPU obsession in China all about?

As one of my fellow class mates would say when the system went wrong: I’LL BUST OUT YOUR CPU!

Let’s hope the CPU of the Metro train doesn’t have to be busted out…

What It Should Read: China Pharmaceutical University station
Taken 12 October 2011 in the Nanjing Metro