Funny Bits of English We've Seen Around Beijing

  • Sleep Slope Is In Frontage

    A warning (on a trash can) at the Badaling Great Wall. "Sleep slope" is kind of fun to say. Like "flip flop." Thanks to Jayne for sending this to me!

  • Don't Call in Thunder Storm Day

    More Badaling trash can advice. This is funnier if you don't know the back story, but apparently someone was once struck by lightning when she used her cell phone on the Wall during a lightning storm. Thanks to Jayne for this contribution as well!

  • Spread the muttony and dry area of cow

    Special addition from Inner Mongolia

    This sign labeled the jerky section at a large souvenir shop.

  • Convey your heartworm feelings

    This mistake is somewhat disturbing since the sign was next to our table at a Korean Barbecue restaurant! Thoughts of heartworms are not so appetizing when you're ordering raw meat! At least it's cooked at your table, so you can be extra sure it's well-done.

  • Beer Shampoo

    For sale at a Jingkelong supermarket near you! A great way to smell like you've had a long night at Sanlitun without the hangover! Actually, I took a sniff, and thankfully it didn't smell like beer.

  • Firehy Drant

    I've been slow to post this, but it amuses us every evening as we wait for the elevator at our office.

  • No Raise of Poultries

    A sign at Houhai Lake. The images are also kind of funny - The friendly No-Ducks illustration is right next to an image of dumping industrial waste into the water. Who'd have thought that ducks were on the same level as toxic waste?

  • Please don't crush and span the rail

    We saw this sign on the Great Wall at Simatai. First, I don't think I'm strong enough to crush a rail. Second, this isn't really a rail. It's just a chain hanging between two posts.

  • the chopsticks grow your son

    This is the text on the back of a chopsticks set Samantha bought at Wangfujing. The whole thing is a riot!

  • Carefully Bang Head

    A sign near an escalator in Hainan, reminding us to use caution when knocking our head against the ceiling. Many thanks to Caroline for the photo and the related chuckle!

  • Notice of See-Bath

    Special addition from BeiDaiHe

    see bathing: going to the beach to check out the people in swimsuits
    Aside from the aforementioned title, this sign that Caroline noticed at BeiDaiHe is full of amusing phrases like "you shouldn't go in abyssal region" (click on it to view a larger copy).

  • Product Exemption From Quality Surveillance Inspection

    Okay, there's nothing wrong with the language on this plaque at the Great Wall Winery, but the general idea concerns me. Even if they've done a decent job in the past, should they really be exempt from quality control for a few years?!

  • 1-Star Toilet

    I think the idea of giving toilets their own star ratings is silly! And is one star really something to be proud of?

  • Spain Knight

    It's quite common to come home and find ads slipped under our door. Usually they're just for massage services or satellite TV, but now I know who to call for a Spanish knight! I guess this is helpful in case I ever need to start a crusade.

  • Salad Stuff

    Maybe Bar Blu has a point. Surely we all know what goes into a salad: salad stuff!

  • Donkey-Hide Gelatin Flavor

    I found this snack in the shop in our building. Why do the dates taste like donkey skin? What does donkey skin taste like? Maybe I should buy some to find out.

  • Bravo's food is so healthy and delicious

    Technically the English is correct, but the "so healthy" speech bubble is coming from a basket of french fries!

  • No Speel

    Who says that things have to be translated into English? The Sanlitun 3.3 Market apparently decided to post their "Don't Climb on the Wall" sign in Dutch! (Although it's probably not as effective that way!)

  • Please do not disturb me

    Photographed at a park downtown. Perhaps the grass is sleeping? Thanks to Barbara for this one, too!

  • Female Restroom

    Spotted at Oriental Plaza. If you put your female restroom and your male restroom too close together, you may end up with more restrooms than you wanted! Thanks to Barbara for the submission!

  • Rarely Sports

    This was on the back of someone's jacket. I suppose it's the lazy man's Nike.

  • Don't Exceed the Statutory Height

    This ring road sign (especially it's "No Giraffes" illustration) always amused me on my way to work. Unfortunately, it's now been corrected to read simply, "Don't Exceed the Height Limit."

  • Drenatal Edugational Music

    This was the title of one of those "play it to your pregnant tummy" CDs. I really hope the baby ends up more "edugated" than the translator.

  • Hauoiful

    The sign outside Bravo Italia Ristorante advertises that the restaurant is delicious and "Hauoiful." Babelfish tells me that it's "sumptuous." Google Translate says "rich."

    I think Ståle actually figured this one out! From his note:


  • Comming Soon

    Normally, I wouldn't really notice something like this, but it caught my eye, and I thought it would actually be kind of clever if it was! Oh, well!

  • scat for the coach

    The reserved seating sign on the instructor's desk at Shijinglong Ski Resort. "I'm the scat man! Ski-Ba-Bop-Ba-Dop-Bop"

  • Collect Fees Documents

    The folder for the bill at Rumi, the new Persian restaurant.

  • New show of the health

    I found these in the convenience store in our building, and they're quite tasty - a little like yohays. But I wouldn't really consider them to be healthy for you! Lucas speculated this just means that the company made them healthier.

  • Boning Garden

    This is the name of my friend Adrian's apartment complex. According to him, the suggestive name is a little misleading, especially since his girlfriend isn't living in Beijing.

  • Are You Rure?

    This popup confirmation window appeared when I submitted the web form to sign up for a trip with WestChina. I don't know if I'm "Rure" or not. Koray suggested that since I was "OK," I could probably just click that button!

  • Debar Clamber

    A sign at the Great Wall, contributed by Donna, who suspects that it means "Keep Off." I think it looks like what happens when I type with my fingers on the wrong keys: Oy rmfd ip ;pplomh dp,ryjomh ;olr yjod@

  • Iced Belly Wash

    A slurpee (soda & crushed ice drink) sold at the wax museum refreshment stand near the Ming Tombs. Many thanks to Donna for the addition!

  • Drink Drivers will Be Prospercuted

    Special addition from Tianjin

    Jaime saw this on a sign outside the International building in Tianjin.

  • Soliva

    Special addition from Tianjin

    A new white wine promoted in an apartment elevator advertisement. What an appetizing name! Thanks to Jaime for contributing this!

  • Trendy Scum

    I saw this on the shoulder patch of someone's jacket on the subway. I didn't have my phone or I would have taken a picture.

  • Avoid to lay shine place

    The product quality controls strictly and pakcs condition well. Avoid to lay moist high temperature or shine place, If you find any weakness, please the goods to send our company, and inform the time, place, and goods number, we can improve quickly, Our company will send a new good to you, thank you for your favour and welcome to give advice or comments.

    More snacks from Scott! Aside from the funny English, I thought these Green Tea Flavour Crackers were actually so tasty that I bought my own box!

  • Please Don't Sit on Ths

    On a short wall outside the Kempinski Hotel. It's so polite that I didn't even notice the spelling error! I thought it was cute!

  • Whatring Place

    Special addition from Harbin

    A sign in the Harbin train station above the water faucets.

  • Chinese Dericadessen

    Adrian found this on a chopsticks wrapper.

  • I want to erase architecture

    On one of the development posters for New Sanlitun. According to Lan, this horrible translation should be closer to "Architecture should blend with nature."

  • There are many cities in the world,
    there are numerous cafes in the city
    and you have walked into us!

    This is posted on the counter of the cafe in our building's lobby. I don't know which is funnier: the mental picture of (literally) walking into the cafe workers, or the similarities to Casablanca (Of all the gin joints in all the world, you had to walk into mine).

  • Lighting up of the Christmas Tree

    A brilliant and charming time of year, the Christmas season is soon upon us, we have being indulged the joyance of the Christmas season companying with bright and melodious music. We prepared a high beautiful Christmas tree for your. It will be waiting for you and your family decorating and lighting up the Christmas tree with us. In order to dress up our common family of Chateau Regency more lovely, don't hesitate, come to join us quickly!

    Please do not miss the happiness time!

    A notice posted at Chateau Regency Apartments and swiped for me by Tracy. This appears to be another case where the text was just run through an online translator.

  • Electricity! Look Out!

    On some type of circuit box at Capital Gymnasium. It's grammatically correct. It's succinct. And yet, it still sounds so funny! It's like the electricity might have jumped out at us at any time!

  • A Bride Too Far

    The title on the DVD cover of the WWII film A Bridge Too Far seen at Jenny Lou's. The cover art and even the font was exactly the same as originals I've seen in the States. How did this happen?!

  • 1. One Step Ahead
    2. Take the Aim
    3. Shoot!

    The thing that makes this particular sign so funny is that it's posted by the urinals at Tracy's gym! Yes, they posted directions for using the urinal!!!

  • Mylikes
    Milk Chocolate Replacer

    Another crazy snack contribution from Scott. This time on a bag of round chocolates that were a little like malt balls.

  • Take attention,
    the tasty is coming up,
    please be ready for it.

    Corner copy on a package of nut snacks that Scott picked up. I made sure I was ready for the tasty when I tried them!

  • Monopoly Different Upscale Leisure in Inside Sportswear

    The description on the back of a Silk Market stall's business card. A better translation might be, "Specializing in high-quality leisure and sportswear." I assume the "Inside Sportswear" just means they don't sell outerwear.

  • Help Protect the Railings

    Seen many places at the Summer Palace. If you don't help protect the railings, they might not be around for the next generation to admire!

  • Please make a betour

    Seen on a Summer Palace renovation area. Okay, they were actually pretty close on this one.

  • We is House

    A billboard on the 4th ring road. Yes, we is. Is you? I'm assuming "We" is the name of a new real estate development, which is strange in itself.

  • Good Tastes for the Masses

    Found on a bag of snack food, contributed by Scott, who was enticed to buy it just because of the humorous English.

  • Eskimo Hair

    The name of a beauty shop near work. I guess it's the place to go to look like an Inuit!

  • Pay your attention!

    I would have paid my attention, but I didn't know how much to pay.

  • Oldman

    Okay, so it's not really an English mistake, but this sign on the handicapped restroom stall made me laugh. Especially since it was in the Women's restroom.

  • Eat and Stay in Houser's Farm


    At Mutianyu, there were two signs a few meters away from one another. The first correctly said, "Eat and Stay in Farmer's House," but the second got a little mixed up and said, "Eat and Stay in Houser's Farm!"

  • Lie Fallow Duds

    A clothing store we saw on the way home from work. I'm not sure where they were going with the first part, but at least "Duds" makes some sense.

  • Wipped like it's new!

    Seen on the box for a non-stick wok at Carrefour supermarket.

  • ← Smorking Lounge

    Seen on a direction sign at the Beijing Capital International Airport! It seemed amazingly out of place, since the airport is so modern and impressive!

  • International Travrl Service

    Seen on a building in downtown Beijing. This was the first of the superfluous R sightings. Replacing various vowels with the letter R seems to be a common mistake in BeijEnglish.

  • Just Relax Mousse

    Seen at an ice cream shop near Wangfujing. It turned out to be Mint Chocolate Chip.

  • A Smoke A Wine

    Seen on a shop near Wangfujing. Sorry, but you can only have one of each!


    Seen on a sign in Wangfujing. I think it was a clothing store!

  • Don't Fling From Hight

    The infamous sign at Boya Garden Apartments. The management later posted a notice that people had apparently been ignoring this sign and explained why we shouldn't be flinging from heights.