Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I hope not.

"世界最大的体育盛宴即将爆发了" isn't supposed to be an anonymous bomb threat, but rather a happy announcement.

Two words are interesting:

sheng4yan4 盛宴 - feast
bao4fa1 爆发 - to explode, to erupt

This very modern and very Public Relations combination of a traditional "feast" with the rather aggressive "explode" leaves room for a lot of misinterpretations.

My rather uninspired suggestion:
"The world's biggest sports meeting is about to begin!"

Shot in 舟山 Zhoushan, 浙江 Zhejiang Province. Thanks, Kukuriku!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

A man of taste.

The purchase of the day. What could this lovely "present" be?

Nothing less than a wonderful toilet brush!

Found in a Beijing supermarket.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Synonyms are trouble.

I went to the Beijing Tourism Bureau website today and a most colorful flash banner urged me to do a rather strange thing: "Contact the Olympics".

I don't know how long this banner is online already and I wonder how long it will take them to realize they should take if offline pretty soon again. Why do so?

The problem is ti3yan4 体验 and gan3shou4 感受 mean basically the same thing: to feel or experience with (in my understanding!) 体验 having a stronger emphasis on physical experience. All in all it is definitely not about writing an email to Jacques Rogge.

Suggestion: Break it down - "Experience Beijing and the Olympics", maybe even: "Experience Beijing and feel the Olympics". Native speakers anyone?

Monday, June 09, 2008

Have you seen it?

I'd turn the translation around.
The Chinese is focusing on the hand (literally: dang1xin1 当心 ya4 轧 shou3 手 - "watch out" "crush" "hand"), I'd focus on the gate. Suggestion: "Watch out, moving gate".

Many thanks to Bernd, who also runs the wonderfully quirky