Lost in Translation

One of the big reasons I chose Central College was for their study abroad program. They did a great job of drawing me in with the promise of established programs in Mexico, China, Spain, the Netherlands, and more. I loved the idea of pointing to a country name, telling Central to take me there, and flying away for a little excursion (with some studying thrown in on the side).

And I chose China!

As I looked through some of my China pictures this week, I noticed a theme: lots of pictures of tranquil gardens, lovely West Lake, various meals….and lots of funny signs.

Well-translated signs were kind of a rarity in China. Most were probably directly translated from Chinese character to a roughly equivalent English word. Results = not so good but usually very funny.


Hundred delights? Welcoming mansion? Sounds good to me

Of course this shows the dangers of quick translation programs that don’t account for sentence structure, context, and appropriate word choice. Be warned!

More examples that made us giggle:

Sometimes signs had inexplicable (and vowel-less?) English:

This one actually made some sense. The sign is meant to drawn in those who want a discreet, masseuse-can’t-see-your-naked-body massage:

My fiber crackers got straight to the point:

Body does love roughage

This shirt takes the cake. Perfect example of the need to be careful when buying clothes with another language as the design. It might be saying something like this:

Just a little glimpse into some of the amusements from my semester in China! We’ll save the pretty pictures of gardens and food for another time.


One thought on “Lost in Translation

  1. Very funny Amy! Love the blind masseuse ….would expect actually someone much more aware of body than someone that can see

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