Jim Unger recently got a new microwave oven made by Haier in China. He soon noticed that, when the cooking is done, it displays the following notice: GOOD. Since that seemed a bit odd, Jim thought about it for awhile, but then realized that it must be a translation of Mandarin hǎole 好了 (lit., "has become good"), which can mean lots of things ("well; okay; all right; ready", and so forth), but in this case indicates "done".
Curious to learn what other microwave ovens say when they are done cooking, I asked a number of friends what appears on the display of theirs when it is finished. Here are some of the replies I received:
1. It says 0:00 and goes ping.
2. Likewise. Except mine goes beep beep.
3. When I punch in 1 minute, it reads: 1:00, :59, etc. down to :01, then it rings three times and the window reads "END".
4. Mine doesn't say a thing.
5. Mine at home just beeps and goes blank.
6. Mine at home says "end"
8. Well, there’s this loud beep beep beep, then END blinks on the display screen. It's scary to me. I don’t use it for fear of it rearranging my body’s cellular membranes. My head has trouble enough trying to function as it is.
If different from the above indications, I'd be interested to know what your microwave says when it is finished.
Incidentally, I remember seeing and hearing about Chinese-made appliances that say "open" (kāi 开) and "close" (guān 关) for "on" and "off" (the Chinese word for "[power] switch" is kāiguān 开关 [lit., "open-close"]).
[Thanks to Heidi Krohne, Paula Roberts, Gordon Old, Duncan Smith, Frank Chance, Lacey Mair, Gene Hill, and Diane Moderski]