Sunday, November 18, 2007

More Adventures in English

One of my favorite games to play in China is "guess what they were trying to say". The thing about Mandarin is that it is very concise. For example, if you want to say something tastes good in English, you have a variety of choices. You can say "tasty" "delicious" "scrumptious" "mouthwatering" "delectable" or "yummy". In Mandarin you simply say "hao chi" (pronounced "how chir") which means literally "good eat".

So lets just say some of the nuances are lost on us. And of course, literal translations simply do not work. They end up being totally non-nonsensical. Hence, my game of "guess what they were trying to say". It consists of reading a sign, menu or product packaging covered with totally insane English and using my limited Mandarin skills and a lot of guesswork to deduce what might have been intended. Who else wants to play?

I took these photos outside of a construction site for a new office tower. Sorry for the poor quality.

This one says "Carving Valley Land of CBD Power Heart driving the city".

This one says "Curve the Artistic Mediasdfs" My best guess here is a drunken typist.

This one says "Confirming Sagacity cuddling the high tech dominating times" I think the image that accompanied this is also relevant here...

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