Archive for Signs

Multilingualism in Philadelphia's Chinatown

Sign spotted by Diana Shuheng Zhang on December 7, 2019:

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Agu hair bian

Here I am standing in front of a hair salon near the south gate of Kansai University in Osaka, Japan two days ago:

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Tero: an English word in Japanese garb

Three days ago, I passed through immigration at Kansai International Airport (near Osaka).  I was struck by a large, prominently displayed word in katakana (syllabary for transcription of foreign words and onomatopoeia):  tero テロ.

Since I was in a restricted area of the airport, naturally I couldn't take a picture of the signs with this word on them, but I knew right away from the circumstances what it signified:  "terrorism" — they were taking strict precautions against it.

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Remarkable Name of a Hong Kong Restaurant

From Bob Bauer:

Bob explains:

The photograph shows the front of a Hong Kong restaurant which has not only chosen as its name the colloquial indigenous Cantonese word, 冚棒唥 ham6 baang6 laang6 'all; in all' (Sidney Lau 1977:324), but has also displayed this name in BOTH Chinese characters AND Jyut Ping. We should especially note that the Cantonese romanization is correct AND complete with tone numbers!

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Sharing joys with birds

Vito Acosta sent in this photograph of a sign at Tianmu Lake ( Tiānmù hú 天目湖) in Jiangsu:

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Don't eat and don't drink

Wang Tong sent in this photograph of a sign which a friend of hers took during a visit to Japan.  The Chinese translation is quite amusing.

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University City train station notes

Announcements

1.

"Please be visible to the engineer OR* train will not stop."

*spoken with very heavy emphasis

Is there a choice?

2.

"Your attention please:  trains en route to destination may be late.  Passengers are advised* that times may increase or decrease** at any time."

*the preceding three words are uttered with rising crescendo, with a slight fall at the end

**strong emphasis on each of the preceding three words

This entire announcement is spoken in a seemingly snide, sneering, pompous tone.  No sympathy or apology whatsoever.  (In Japan, the railway administration is thoroughly ashamed when a train is half a minute late.  In Austria, where many of my relatives worked for the railways as much as a century or more ago, one could set your watch by the arrival and departure of the trains.)  I loathe this announcement more than any other — especially when one is made to wait for an hour or more, after which a train may simply be cancelled without explanation.

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Should there be a Constantine Memorial Column in Istanbul?

Sign for a tram stop in Istanbul:

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Pixie shoes

A stylish clothing company comes up with sexy new shoes worthy of an elf or a pixie, and look at their ad:

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Green box deep male shrine

Photograph taken by Yuanfei Wang in Baihou Town 百侯镇, Tai Po 大埔, Guangdong Province:

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Murgers and biangbiang in London

Restaurant sign in Mayfair:

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Diglossia in action

Neil Kubler spotted this restaurant sign last week in Xi'an in northwest China:

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Do not puke

Thai sign over a sink in a restroom, from Alexander Bukh on Facebook:

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