Chinglish signs in a school

| August 22nd, 2010

(From Renren) The following are signs found in a school in China (Huizhou Boluo Experimental School).  Clearly, English is probably not a subject they teach in this school.


Dormitory Affairs Office (Dormitory Caretaker’s Room)


How many of you realize that each grain in your plate is a result of hard labor.


Living economically, not being fastidious about food and clothing.


To help and to give to each other, unity and love


Learn how to be human, learn how to seek knowledge, learn now to work, learn how to live, learn how to keep fit, learn how to appreciate beauty


Walk softly, do not disturb others


Advocate conservation, oppose wastefulness


Cherish food is a virtue


Elementary school cafeteria


Obey the student rules, be a civilized student


Network (Web) Office

Software Production Room


Middle School Department of Ethics


Keep the campus quiet, do not create disturbance and do not chase each other


One person endures difficulties, everyone comes to help


Be loyal and devoted to the motherland, give love to society, give filial devotion to parents, give care to others, keep the confidence in oneself.


Abide by the public morals, be a civilized student


No Spitting

27 Comments | Leave a comment | Comment feed

  1. Antau says:

    Funny as hell,reminder:there are some minor mistakes in the correct translation of pic 5 and 7.

  2. Daniel says:

    > Clearly, English is probably not a subject they teach in this school.

    I wouldn’t be so sure 🙂

  3. Daniel says:

    OK, a follow-up: According to the below two websites, teaching English is supposed to be a *specialty* of this school!

    According to their website, that “Buluo Experimental School is an experimental base for international cooperative composite English education” (or something close to that). (Boluo Experimental School: About Us)

  4. SDS says:

    you guys have to realize that’s not just any English, its the lyrics to an up and coming rap song translated into English. This is the only way to communicate with today’s youth- rap (broken) English. F*ck YEAH!!! I LUV U!!!

    Anyway… to put things into perspective, its not just in China you find funny English translations. It goes for the most of Asia (where English is not a prevalent spoken language). I’m not sure about other European countries (etc.) that don’t use English as a native tongue but insist on putting it everywhere to look more globalized.

  5. David says:

    It may look funny or hilarious but have you seen chinese translations in non-chinese speaking countries to at least help chinese tourist find their way around. The bad Engish is the beginning of better things to come.

    • nkkhoo says:

      Chinese is very concern if a foreign country uses bad Chinese in the tourist spots or airports. They usually see that as a disrespect to Chinese culture and people.

      But ironically, they totally ignore good English should be the proper way to help foreign tourists to find their way out in China.

  6. Tony Neville says:

    There is the potential for a most excellent game show in all this.

  7. malagebi says:

    It’s not a fair comparison to say “Oh, Chinese translations are bad in non-Chinese speaking countries.” Chinese isn’t part of the national curriculum in other countries as English is in China. English is a required second language for all Chinese students which they study for the majority of their lives until they graduate from college. If I studied a language for 10+ years I would expect fluency or that those instructors teaching the language would be fluent.

    • nkkhoo says:


      I am a Malaysian Chinese, with experience in learning more than three languages in the different stages of my life.

      My first language learned is Fujian native dialect until the age of seven. Then I started to learn Mandarin a.k.a Chinese in China during my elementary school. I only received six years of Chinese language basic training. My advanced skill in Chinese was acquired from own reading efforts.

      English is a minor subject during my school days with an hour lesson in a week, spanning for 8 years and conducted by local poorly trained English teachers.

      In another word, English is a third language for Chinese descendant in Malaysia. But I dare to tell you, Malaysian Chinese will never produce such “Chinglish” as you seen in China. No insult pun!

      If English is a second language for Chinese students until they graduated from college, they should have a better proficiency in English than other nationals in Asia.

      Many Western expatriates in Asia can testify that Malaysian Chinese mostly have better English skill than the Mainland Chinese.

      I believe that English teaching method in China is outdated and staffed by unqualified English teachers. No conducive environment for Chinese students to practice English may be the key.


  8. Shenmeniao says:

    These is so humor

    Lets reading!

  9. Al says:

    Secretly Chinese translators think they are better at English than native speakers, who after all are only foreigners.

    To be fair, a lot of times Chinese translators have their hands tied. A dialog I once had with a Chinese translator who asked me to look over his work.

    Me: Well, this isn’t…this should be changed.
    Translator: Why?
    Me: Because you can’t say “Please welcome you”
    Translator: What would you say?
    Me: Err… how about “Welcome to the XYZ Conference”.
    Translator: That’s not correct.
    Me: What?
    Translator: There’s no subject in that sentence, it’s wrong.
    Me: The subject is implied, it’s an ellipsis. Fine, how about “We welcome you to the conference.”
    Translator: That doesn’t fit on the screen. Look, I know you’re right, but my boss says it has to have “Please” in order to be polite, and we need the direct object in the sentence.
    Me: Why?
    Translator: Because that’s how it’s said in Chinese.

    Note: Looking back on it, I suppose they could have written “Pleased to Welcome You” although that’s a bit ungainly.

    • gagi gagi says:

      how truly uncouth

    • nkkhoo says:

      Basically their exposure to Western culture and vocabularies is pretty limited. Word by word translation in Chinese thinking is the main reason Chinglish was created.

      I gave up to participate in a Chinese-English forum hosted by China Daily because many of them see Chinglish is a correct English. 🙂

  10. Kang says:

    Boluo is a very small town (by Chinese standards), and I think the only time I have ever seen a foreigner there is when I went there with a foreign friend. Nearby Huizhou city, which is practically bursting with native English teachers by comparison, doesn’t fare much better than Boluo when it comes to official signage.

    I’m actually really surprised to see such an out-of-the-way town featured here and held up to ridicule in this way. If it were a top-performing school in an up-market suburb of Shanghai or Beijing, than I could understand why it might be (almost) newsworthy, however this is the sticks, people. Amongst the many wonderful people of Boluo, I wouldn’t expect to encounter any who could speak, read or otherwise understand any English.

    • totochi says:

      Then why have English signs if no one can read it? Decoration?

      • ramjet44 says:

        A school is an institution of learning so there will be an opportunity to learn and be aware of our world. Aloha

      • Kang says:

        Um… actually, yes. A lot of the ‘English’ put on signs in small Chinese towns is nothing more than ‘decoration’. Someone, somewhere, feels it would look impressive. Since no-one can read English, it doesn’t really matter if it’s right or wrong. No need to get a professional or a native English speaker to do it; just get the admin girl to do a word-for-word ‘translation’ with a dictionary. It will surely impress the parents and visiting officials!

    • Stimpy says:

      I don’t understand your point. Because it is a small town no-one can point out the incorrect English? Why even bother having English if they are going to get it wrong? This should relate to small towns and huge cities, surely?

  11. lau says:


    • Tony Neville says:

      Learning the Chinese language is also very difficult. There are about 5000 Chinese characters. I was told that a minimum of 2000 Chinese characters is required to read a newspaper. The way the pitch of a syllable changes or stays constant alters the meaning of the word, and the sentence structure is very different than to English.

      The Chinese number system is easy to learn for the beginner.


  12. mk says:

    I like the English way more than the Chinese on the last one about spitting.

  13. Almend Yap says:

    I am a Hakka chinese from Malaysia and i happen to come across the site while searching for info’s on a place called Danshui (Thamsui in Hakka Dialect) in Huizhou area. Any one of you guys know Hakka Dialect? The reason is, I’m looking for a village in Danshui area pronouned in Hakka Dialect as “Sar Harng, Wong Chuk Lark or Wong cuk Lat”. 50 years ago, on the last visit by my grandma, the village was surrounded by Pear’s farm. That’s the only indication i have about the village. Anyone known or can assist to find out the actual chinese name of the village? A thousand thanks…

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