Friday, October 15, 2010


Definition: Ungrammatical or nonsensical English in Chinese contexts

Results: Uncontrollable laughter

Chinglish has to be one of my favorite parts of living here. It's nearly impossible to leave the house without encountering some sort of English error, whether spoken or written. (Not that I have much room to criticize, considering that my own Chinese skills are certainly less than perfect!) Our trip to the beach at the beginning of the month was no exception.

Exhibit A: the train station

Now what exactly is our furry friend responsible to accomplish? Keeping train patrons safe from potential explosives or in fact acting as an explosive himself?

Exhibit B: the hotel's concern for our safety

It might not be a five-star establishment but I've never stayed in any other place that cares for my safety enough to provide me with a Fire Fighting Filter Type Self Saving Breather.

First of all, we just have to wonder...Is that an Arabian princess or a medieval knight on the front of the can?

And in case there was any doubt as to how to use said object, let's refer to the instructions given:

1) Take out Fire Fighting Filter Type Self Saving Breather.
2) Tear at the package bag of Fire Fighting Filter Type Self Saving Breather.
3) Wear helmet and pull contractive belt fast.
4) Choose way and flee for your life decidedly.

Point for attention:

Once find fire condition, tear at the packaging bag of breather immediately, wear helmet of breather imperturbably and correctly and get away from fire field as quick as possible.

Decidedly?!?!? Imperturbably?!?!?

We made sure to practice right away in the event of "finding fire condition."

Exhibit C: the hotel's miserliness exposed

Kevin is a hotel kleptomaniac. Without fail, he always takes every single hotel free sample home with us, claiming that at some unknown time in the future, he'll find a use for it all. Sometimes he does (he uses a hotel shower cap for a bike seat cover when it's a rainy day); but most of the time he doesn't (which explains why I have a gazillion tiny bottles of hotel shampoo that clutter my bathroom and drive me crazy). So during this hotel stay, I thought I'd try my own hand at some hotel thievery.

But wait...the hotel hair dryer is in fact not complementary.

Thankfully, we made it home without needing to rely on the aid of the bomb dog or the Fire Fighting Filter Type Self Saving Breather. I'm still on the lookout for a hair dryer though.

PS- If you've got some time to kill, there is a whole website dedicated to funny Chinglish findings around the country.


Anonymous said...

We've found plenty good examples of "not quite right" English. --James

Gretchen said...

You were cracking me up with these!!! HAHAHA!!!

Ashley Claunch said...

This is hilarious, you should get an award for funniest blog ever! Thanks for sharing and making me laugh today!