Study Chinese, Learn English: Signs in China

Where’s a mirror when you need one?

Whether or not you’ve visited China, you may have seen photos from that part of the world.  Half of the time, the photos might be of pollution – in which case, have fun trying to find what it was a photo of – but other times, they might be of the ever-changing Shanghai skyline, or some relatively lengthy and not-so-bad wall, or of a menu written only in Chinese, as if to say, I give up! (at which point the waitress just brings you a plate of vinegary peanuts and something undoubtedly endangered)

Or, it’s a photo of Engrish.  Or, it’s not:

Shenzhen, Guangdong, China - Tourism Trend Hotel SignThis winner of a hotel – the “tourism trend hotel” – was formerly located in Shenzhen, in southern China.  I also noticed this pattern many times on mainland tour buses. Backwards fun for all ages.

Though, how did I know it was a hotel? I read the Chinese…if that’s an issue, then this is why you should always pack a small mirror in your bag/pocket.  Though they screwed up on a few of the letters, the owners must have recognized that English was rather bland, being that it is only ever written horizontally, and from left to right. Chinese writing, however, takes on all sorts of orientations; right to left, left to right, vertically, horizontally, and none of the above.

Da Vinci, this post is for you.

This entry was posted in China & Hong Kong, East & Southeast Asia, Hotels, Human Nature and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


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