Please micturate in the urinal

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We have just emerged from a discussion of how to refer to dog excrement on public notices: "Scoop the poop" (4/15/15). The same sort of uncertainty surrounds notices concerning public urination by humans.  From a men's room in the West Beijing Railway Station:

Dean Barrett, who sent in the photo, apologizes for the fuzziness:

I blew it because I had the flash on and since there were other guys taking a whiz in the trough I didn't dare take another shot as I was already being observed….

No matter, the sign is worth examining despite the blurriness, and it's easy enough for me to reconstruct all of the Chinese and the English (see below).

Perhaps the most amazing thing about this notice is that the prefatory part in large, white characters on a striking red background at the top overwhelms the real notice in much smaller, black characters nearly lost on a yellow background at the bottom right.  By the time they read the top part and follow the arrow, the men standing in front of the trough have probably already splashed their shoes and the floor.

zhè shì wǒ yīzhí xiǎng duì nǐ shuō de huà 这是我一直想对你说的话
("this is what I've always wanted to tell you")

The injunction to urinate into the pool is common throughout China and is one in a group of four slogans exhorting people to be more civilized:

jiéyuē yòngshuǐ  wénmíng nǐ zuìměi 节约用水  文明你最美
Saving water  you are the best

xiǎobiàn rù chí  wénmíng nǐ zuìměi 小便入池  文明你最美
Urinating into the pool   you are the best

jíshí chōngshuǐ  wénmíng nǐ zuìměi 及时冲水  文明你最美
Flushing timely  you are the best

aihù gōngwù  wénmíng nǐ zuìměi 爱护公物  文明你最美
Protecting public property  you are the best

You can see the whole series here on the Englishtown site. Except for the second slogan, the English translations are more or less serviceable.

We've struggled with the second slogan before, as here: "Please pee in the pool" (8/4/14), with links to earlier posts on public urination.

It might better be rendered as "Relieving yourself into the urinal", or some such.

This placard from Hooters in Beijing explains the need for such signs:

Finally, the last clause of each of the four slogans may be more accurately and fully rendered as:

wénmíng nǐ zuìměi  文明你最美 ("[when it comes to being] civilized, you're the best")


  1. richardelguru said,

    April 20, 2015 @ 6:04 am

    We aim to please
    You aim too, please…

  2. Viseguy said,

    April 22, 2015 @ 10:00 pm

    Interesting word, micturate. Conflates the urge to urinate with the act of urinating. When the desiderative falls into desuetude, can the end of civilization be far behind?

  3. Rodger C said,

    April 23, 2015 @ 7:07 am

    Anyhow, shouldn't it be micturite?

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