Quiet thirst

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Mark Swofford, who is visiting the Jiaobanshan (Jiaoban Mountain) Park in Fuxing District of Taoyuan City, sent me this photograph of a sign introducing the area:

Featured in the park are the remains of a retreat-palace built by President Chiang Kai-shek (1887-1975) in 1960.

The Mandarin writing itself is odd enough (e.g., being one, long sentence), but some of the translations into English are truly whimsical:

xiǎngyǒu Táiwān Lúshān měi míng 享有「臺灣廬山」美名 ("enjoys the reputation of 'Taiwan's Lushan Mountain'"), which comes out as "disguised the reputation as 'Taiwan Lushan'"

xínggōng 行宮 ("temporary imperial abode; detached palace"), which comes out as "footsteps"

shèjí kǒu 射擊口 ("shooting port"), which comes out as "quiet thirst"


  1. Hervé Guérin said,

    July 28, 2022 @ 3:38 am

    And Jiang Gong does not mean anything for any English speaker… In fact, if I had not read the Chinese text, I wouldn't have understood it.

  2. AntC said,

    July 28, 2022 @ 6:26 am

    "It has four-season weather …"

    Is that a thing in Taiwan/in Mandarin vernacular more generally?

    We say in New Zealand's mountains: 'four seasons in one day' — in other words carry gear for both snow and sunburn and everything in between.

    Well done to Mark for finding any signs in English in Taiwan's mountains/parks. They're usually well-supplied with explanatory signage — but all in Mandarin, in my experience.

  3. Nick Kaldis said,

    July 28, 2022 @ 8:49 am

    Is it possible that they ran this through some sort of auditory translation process and the "口可" was mistaken for "口渴" and translated as "thirst"?

  4. J.W. Brewer said,

    July 29, 2022 @ 1:40 pm

    Another online description of the same park in English states: "The climate here is mild, and the mountains are listed, the valleys are lingering, the bell is graceful, and the momentum is extraordinary." https://www.chinawiki.net/thread/48/41395.html

  5. Sanchuan said,

    July 31, 2022 @ 1:41 pm

    @AntC Quite the reverse. They meant to say it's mild in all four seasons. So, to reverse the English: 'one day ('s weather) in four seasons'.

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