Archive for Signs

FORM TWO LANES

Driving back from the airport last night in unusually heavy traffic I came to a sign that said "FORM TWO LANES".

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Multilingual signage in Manhattan

Cameron Majidi sent in this photograph taken on East Broadway in Manhattan:

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(Whether) to dispose (of) or not to dispose (of)

From Florent Moncomble, a language academic in France:

My father came back recently from a trip to Japan and was intrigued by the following notice, which he found in his Tokyo hotel room one day. He gets by in English but could not make out its meaning and was wondering whether the fault lay with him or with the message — obviously the latter is the case. My interpretation is that this sign is left by the cleaning staff to apologise whenever they are unsure whether or not to dispose of (half-)used equipment such as towels and toiletries, and leave them in the room.

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Prolific code-switching in Vietnamese

Michael Rank writes:

I'm intrigued by a sign in the window of a Vietnamese restaurant in Shoreditch, ultra-hipster area of east London which also has lots of inexpensive, unpretentious (mainly) Vietnamese restaurants. I don't know any Vietnamese, I assume Can Tuyen (please forgive lack of diacritics) means "wanted" or "job available" or similar and that there are perfectly good words for waiter/waitress in Vietnamese, so why are these two words in English? It's a bit like another (Chinese) London restaurant sign that I mentioned in this post:

"No word for 'serve' in Chinese? " (3/1/15)

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The mostest and the bestest

Photograph of a sign in Hangzhou:

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Rats, heroes, and zeroes

I have received this notice from several sources in the last few days:

(Source)

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Chinglish medley

An assortment of Chinglish signs and menu items from my files (I forget who sent them to me).  There are eight all together.  Before diving into an examination of them one after the other, I should note that the last two partially result from the perennial problem of not knowing how to deal with warnings involving the heart (xīn 心).  Since I've already devoted an entire post to this topic, it might be worthwhile to take a peek at that before proceeding further:

"Mind your head" (8/28/15)

xiǎoxīn 小心 (lit., "little heart" –> "[be] careful; look out")

dāngxīn 当心 (lit., "heed / regard heart" –> "be careful; watch out")

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Some difficulties of painting Chinese characters on streets

Ryan Kilpatrick has an interesting article in Hong Kong Free Press:

"Taiwan city promises to ‘correct’ simplified road sign after public outcry" (12/7/15)

It includes this photograph, which illustrates some of the problems:

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Density of information

The first public sign I noticed after arriving at Hong Kong last week was this one embedded in the floor near the  conveyor belt (visible at the top of the photo):

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Chinese "No Smoking" sign in Central Park

Zach Hershey sent in this photograph of a sign in Central Park NYC:

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Stop and go

Andrew Herron sent in this photograph taken on Hospital Road, Hong Kong Island:

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No shitting here

Sign outside an apartment in Taipei:

Posted on imgur by Jverne

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Vowel movement

JH Rand sent in this intriguing photograph taken in the Philippines:

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