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Funny sign translation: My personal favorite November 3, 2007

Posted by psychobserver in Hong Kong, Signage.
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One of my favorite activity in Hong Kong (and even more so in Mainland China) is checking translations (on signs, restaurant menus,…). I know. That does not sound really exciting, but I have been having a lot of laughs from that activity.

Now. I think I have found the pearl. Not only is the translation wrong in a linguistic sense… It just comes out really weird, having no connection with the original message, and it seems to me promoting fake goods, saying that with a bit of imagination they are as good as real ones! A funny statement, especially in Hong Kong were fake goods are a everywhere.

Hong Kong sign translation

(The idea behind the sign in Chinese is something like “Take care of nature”)


Bookstores and signage – Shenzhen September 14, 2007

Posted by psychobserver in China, Customer Experience, Signage.
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Shenzhen Book CityI was in Shenzhen yesterday afternoon making a trip to the biggest bookstore there. It was indeed pretty massive! 6 floors full of books and with people reading in every corner. Pretty nice place. I was most impressed by the computer science and programming section of the bookstore. I never saw so many books about C++, Photoshop or Dreamweaver… Just insane!

The role of knowledge and books in Chinese society is really important. And we can really feel that in the bookstore. While in France we may read more comic books or novels, Chinese bookstores are mostly dedicated to “learning stuff”. From literature to  design and… anything really, it seems that if there is no learning from a book, then it is  not interesting. So, simple novels have very little shelf space.

During my other trips to Shenzhen, I really had a bad impression of the city. It was dirty and had a gloomy feel to it. But that district around the bookstore, with brand new shopping malls like Citic and MixC, is quite impressive…

Anyway. I was trying to find the bookstore at some point and I thought it would be a good idea to follow signs… ha ha ha

Signage in Shenzhen

Signage in Shenzhen

Okay… I make a turn…

Signage in Shenzhen

Oh… A dead-end…