Signboards in China – Funny Translations


Maybe it’s not fair to laugh. We all make mistakes, especially in languages that aren’t our first. On the other hand, there’s no reason to take life too seriously either and having a giggle about translations is just that, a giggle.

With that in mind, do enjoy some of the funniest signs we came across our three journeys in China (Xinjiang Province, Yunnan Province, Tibet, and the Northeastern Provinces.

Enjoy the Greenery, or Not


Whereas in off-the-beaten-track regions we never found signs we could read, in tourist areas we did come across explanatory panels in English (well, sometimes).

Read More: Signboards in Pakistan

In one place it was possible to go up a mountain hill by cable car. The top was at about 5,000 meters and so they sold bottles with oxygen. Awesome. However, we can’t stop making fun of ridiculous marketing – you couldn’t just buy oxygen, but HEALTHY oxygen, at that. Imagine buying unhealthy oxygen…

Travel Guides for China

(click on the images to look inside)

Insight Guides – China

Fodor’s – Essential China

Lonely Planet – China

Products from Amazon

Read More: Signboards in Iran


Coen’s Favorite Signboards

Signboards that made us smile too, not because of creative translations but well, just because…

An Apple Store and a Patatje Oorlog – Coen had landed in heaven.

Patatje Oorlog is Dutch for ‘Small French Fries War’ (talking about odd translations…). If you would see that on a sign in the Netherlands, you might wonder what the writer of that sign had been drinking (or smoking), right? Well, just to explain, so you know: the ‘war’ element promises you that the French Fries are covered with peanut sauce as well as mayonnaise.

Read More: Hiking the Great Wall in China

And a Brilliant Sign

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