Monday, September 05, 2005


It was about time I did this. I have been amusing myself at the Chinese English, more commonly known as 'Chinglish' for the last few weeks.

The eggs I have are labeled in big letters as Green Eggs… enough to make Dr Seuss proud (but I’ll skip the ham: aside from being a vegetarian, I would rather not eat unrecognizably processed meat in a country that serves dog).

My toilet paper is wrapped in a plastic pack declaring “Mind Act Upon Mind, Toilet Tissue”… now I have heard of a dirty mind, but nothing that bad!

A packet of nut biscuits/cookies I bought the other day published this lengthy tome:

We like the new taste. We need the quality and we need the best food. Here you will find what you want. Cool face need cool taste. You are the NEW MAN. How delicious can not forget, special taste, return the true flavour.”

I am the new man? That’s a lot of pressure from a 100g pack of sweet crackers!

The sign draped over the back of a passenger seat in a cab (talk about a captive hostage!) had an advertisement for a cosmetic surgery company here in Shanghai. The ad was for breast enlargements, with a (highly re-touched) picture of a large breasted woman, and the slogan: “Ache and Be Happy”. I guess it is a new elaboration of the “no pain no gain” idea, but I for one think they shouldn’t be promoting the ‘ache’ part in their marketing campaign.

But the best I have seen so far was in a café today, named “100% Expectation Café”. The menu had many fun translations, and for the sake of time and space I have selected but a few. The food was listed in the food menu under the title:

Daintiness Nosh

  • Hodgepodge Fungus Cook Chicken
  • Make and Appointment Sandwich
  • Green stuff Salad
  • Yippee Dried Fruit
  • Fry Chook Plumage
  • Pig Nuts
  • Duck Chin

(and my own personal favourite…)

  • Gold A Threadlike Thing Sleeve-Fish

Normally I can guess what they meant to say, but most of these are beyond me.

I’m sure there will be more to come.


Dan said...

I think I may be able to shed some light on the menu items...

Could Fry Chook Plumage be chicken wings?
Could Hodgepodge Fungus Cook Chicken be chicken with mushrooms?
Could Gold A Threadlike Thing Sleeve-Fish be cumbed fried calamari rings? Think about it... they are golden, threadlike and if you imagine a squid without legs and head it would certainly be sleeve-like (well more bangle-like, but with the size of the average chinese person, who knows...)

Might be safer to stick to your Reeces Pieces I think...


'er said...

There could be a Column 8 item in this lot!

Louise said...

really? which ones?

mitch teich said...
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Mansi said...

Lou this is hilarious!
lol they actually have labels of that sort!!!?
thanks for sharing your experiences of shanghai ;)

Louise said...

Thanks Mansi! Yes they do actually have these labels... it provides endless hours of fun!