Category Archives: transit

An Order from the Chinese Rail Gods: Do Not Lie Down!

Apparently, the underground passageway for exiting riders is not the ideal substitute for a bed (or one of those super-deluxe seats in Business Class). For if you attempt to lie flat there, you’ll be hurried out of the place — by this sign:

The idea here is that you should have either done that one the train — or that this passageway should be kept free so that it’s always ready for the occasional, always-unannounced stampede of riders…

What It Should Read: Please Keep Passageway Clear. instead
Taken at the Langfang Railway Station

Is that light OFF — or NO?

Ah, Premier (deluxe) Class on the Chinese high speed railways. God class. Where everybody treats you like a right royal rider, and you get free Dezhou Braised Chicken for free (apparently).

Oh — and it also comes, on CRH380A trains, with free extra Chinglish. You have an option to turn OFF the Chinglish — or to turn it NO. That’s right: instead of turning on the Chinglish, you have to turn it no.

I’m sure the present-day rail boss is English-blind (but Chinglish-savvy)…

What It Should Read: ON/OFF instead
Taken in Premier Class on the CRH380A train

When You Take the Escalator… with Chinglish on it…

I’m at a loss for words. This sign just outright doesn’t make sense. It — like — ends halfway through where it’s not supposed to end!

It’s madness total. When you take the elevator safety… what will happen?… Plus, it’s an escalator… since when has it been an escalator?

What It Should Read: Please take the escalator safely
Taken at the Beijing South Railway Station

Self-Servicing Yourself to Some Italian Chinglish Tickets…

Un po’ d’italiano here in the city of the West Lake, Hangzhou — the Self-servico Ticket Office

Trouble is, for the average expat without a second-generation PRC ID card, these machines in that office laden with Chinglish are — well, just there to be seen. And not used. Somewhat skanky rules in effect as of 1 June 2011 dictate that only PRC ID card holders are allowed the luxury of buying train tickets from anyone other than a live human being (as in: a ticket machine).

And nope, counter to what the icon says, the machine doesn’t really like you sticking in all these coins to get your deluxe HSR ticket.

Too bad that these machines have “died” for us expats.

Too bad still for the Chinglish…

What It Should Read: Self-Service Ticket Office
Taken June 2011 in Hangzhou

Ramping Slowly to the Tune of… Chinglish

To do Chinglish right in a car park, not only do you have to roll up the ramp slowly, but you also have to — ramp slowly.

As in — make the ramp thingy a verb…

Either that, or it probably means that it is a slow ramp. Aaargh… Too bad if you’re in a rush. You’re being told to ramp slowly!

What It Should Read: Slow Down on Ramp
Taken August 2011 in Beijing

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 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…

Taken 11 October 2011 on the Guangzhou-Zhuhai Intercity Railway train

Disasters in Grammar Translation


January 15, and Beijing on September prefix bus passengers a “card” fare introduced 4% discount for students on a student card a 2% discount travel, and now, by BUS members of the public and the suburbs of Beijing City members of the public can enjoy the same preferential treatment to the Government. It is learnt that the immediate effect, Beijing company will be added to P Plus 220 bus routes in September prefix operators can be transported more than 45 million passengers.

The first sentence is not just a complete run-on sentence, but starts with a date, goes back to September, meddles with tiny discounts, and jumps back into the present. The grammar’s totally messed up. All we know is that the public is being treated well by the government…

The second sentence is odder still. “add to P Plus 220 bus routes” — sounds like “added to 220 more bus routes”. The last one, “prefix operators can be transported more than 45 million passengers”, looks more like a telco ad.

Amazing stuff…

Politically Incorrect Chinglish Disasters

What the heck is this… independent Beijing and independent Yanqing?

Spotted at the crossing between the Litian Highway and the Airport Side Road.
Should read: Beijing City, Urban Beijing or Beijing Urban Area.

Spotted on National Highway 110 in Changping.
Should read: Yanqing County

(I remarked earlier last year that this problem was still yet to be fixed!)