Please do not anything

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Enigmatic East Asian sign:

Japanese

mono wo okanaide kudasai

物を置かないでください

"Please don't place anything [here]."

Chinese

qǐng bùyào fèng rènhé dōngxī

請不要奉*任何東西

"Please don't offer / present anything."

    *VHM:  I suspect that they may have intended "fàng 放" ("put; place")

English

Please do not [put] anything [here].

Korean

물건을 두지 말아 주세요.

mulgeoneul duji mara juseyo.

mulgeon (things, object)

eul (object particle)

du (put, place)

ji mal (don’t)

a juseyo (please).

Literal translation: "Please do not put things."

A more natural version would be: "Please do not place objects / items (here)."

Oh, the constraints of signage!

Selected readings

[Thanks to Haewon Cho and Zihan Guo]



7 Comments »

  1. DBMG said,

    January 16, 2023 @ 1:22 pm

    I can't help but wonder what exactly the place is if people are so tempted to leave things there as to warrant a sign.

  2. Taylor, Philip said,

    January 16, 2023 @ 1:33 pm

    This image may provide a little more context …

  3. ycx said,

    January 16, 2023 @ 1:54 pm

    This reminds me of https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/please-do-not-the-cat

  4. Howard Ross said,

    January 16, 2023 @ 6:27 pm

    I have as a hobby been collecting images of these "No signs" in Canada. I have hundreds including variants. No Smoking has the most variants. What I find intriguing is that some signs are perfectly understandable (to me) and require no text and others rely heavily on the text for meaning, so much so that the graphic seems totally redundant. So, why the need for the graphic? And in the case here the graphic looks more like a No Entry sign. Some prohibitions seem to be easier to illustrate than others.

  5. PeterL said,

    January 16, 2023 @ 6:55 pm

    Google Translate is a bit terse and impolite (and ungrammatical – doesn't "put" require a location?):

    don't put things

    although the reverse-translate is almost there (and also impolite):

    物を置かない

    https://translate.google.com/?sl=auto&tl=en&text=%E7%89%A9%E3%82%92%E7%BD%AE%E3%81%8B%E3%81%AA%E3%81%84%E3%81%A7%E3%81%8F%E3%81%A0%E3%81%95%E3%81%84&op=translate

  6. Roscoe said,

    January 17, 2023 @ 3:13 pm

    @ycx – or:
    https://amp.knowyourmeme.com/memes/i-accidentally

  7. KWillets said,

    January 17, 2023 @ 6:49 pm

    I believe the strongest sense of 두다 is "to leave", as in placing something for someone else to use or clean up.

    One could also write "Please 두 not anything" :).

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