A sign pointing to a sign

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zònghé xìnxī pái 综合信息牌 ("general information sign") — very well translated!  Better than GT, Baidu Fanyi, and Microsoft Translator, all of which have "integrated information board", which sounds as though it has been influenced by electronics.

There are about 114,000 ghits for this phrase.

As the first commenter to Chris Buckley's Tweet observes, "Very useful "

Reminds me a bit of this recent post:

"'National backbone'" (9/25/17)

As David remarks in "Emergence and Purpose" (Beloved Spear [1/29/13]):  "Epistemology is a sign, pointing to a sign, pointing to a sign."


  1. Adrian said,

    October 2, 2017 @ 7:33 am

    If it's pointing to an information board, then "sign" doesn't seem like the best translation.

  2. Keith said,

    October 2, 2017 @ 8:29 am

    I would say that "information board" is possibly a better translation. Probably it is like the departures and arrivals boards at an airport or railway station; an electronically controlled board that is updated frequently.

    As opposed to a static sign, which is printed or painted once and shows the same information from that moment on.

  3. Gregory Kusnick said,

    October 2, 2017 @ 10:17 am

    I have no opinion on the translation, but signs pointing to other signs are not unusual. See here or here for instance.

  4. BZ said,

    October 2, 2017 @ 10:27 am

    Even if it said "integrated information board" why would such a sign be necessary? Is there some ambiguity to the information written or displayed on the sign being pointed to? Is the sign pointed to not visible and the sign in the picture is pointing to some far-away location?

  5. Jerry Friedman said,

    October 2, 2017 @ 10:35 am

    BZ: "Is the sign pointed to not visible and the sign in the picture is pointing to some far-away location?"

    I'll bet it is. Often when I've been in an airports I've wanted to know the way to the nearest sign showing the schedule of departures.

  6. Dan Lufkin said,

    October 2, 2017 @ 11:34 am

    @ Jerry Friedman — At the Toronto airport the "information" board had only the arrivals time and gate. You had to go down an unmarked corridor, take an unmarked elevator to the 5th floor and enter the ticketing hall to find out whether you'd missed your connection. Luckily, there were (4 years ago, anyhow) plenty of nice volunteer guides with colorful vests to help you.

  7. David Morris said,

    October 2, 2017 @ 2:56 pm

    It's a sign! He has given us a sign! (with apologies to Monty Python)

  8. peterv said,

    October 2, 2017 @ 3:51 pm

    I am reminded of that sign sometimes found alongside roadworks on British motorways:

    "Sign not in use".

  9. CuConnacht said,

    October 2, 2017 @ 5:27 pm

    In the US it is is not usnusual to see a sign informing drivers that there is a stop sign ahead.

  10. chris said,

    October 2, 2017 @ 6:58 pm

    Is the sign pointed to not visible and the sign in the picture is pointing to some far-away location?
    That'd be my bet (it doesn't even have to be far away, just around a corner or something). The integrated information board is expensive so there are only a few of them in the airport. People who aren't standing in front of one right now might need to know where they can find one. Thus, several (cheap, static) signs pointing to the (expensive, dynamically updating) sign.

  11. Victor Mair said,

    October 2, 2017 @ 8:19 pm


    This afternoon I ran through a working class neighborhood near Swarthmore that I had never been in before. The houses were small but neat and well cared for. What struck me most about the stop signs in this neighborhood is that they all had affixed to the post below them the following explanatory sign:


    Full stop


    Rolling stop


    Your choice


    I thought that was pretty clever. I really don't like the way people drift / coast through stop signs in residential areas, one after another.

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