Thursday, March 19, 2009

Mistakes are funny to laugh at.

Oh mistakes! We all make them (other people more than me). Sometimes you end up in the Chinese emergency room. Sometimes you wake up in a park. Some of them start off horrible and turn out for the best, like the time I accidentally moved to North Carolina or space exploration. And some mistakes are hilarious.

In Beijing, people speak Mandarin. It's an old language and it's difficult and I speak rather poorly. Although, my colleagues and friends are polite enough to tell me how great my command of the language is when I can direct a taxi, order drinks or show off my impressive list of swears and insults.

Somehow I still cannot remember how to say "hospital" or "take me to the United States Embassy! I have shamed this nation!"

Mandarin is all about the tones in which you say things. There are four tones and to my brutish western ears, it's taken a while to get used to. For example, there is one word that means "excuse me". Excuse me, as in "Excuse me, waitress. May I have some more booze." But if you mispronounce the tone you are saying "Kiss me". After many odd looks, I now know the proper way of saying it.

So I know how it is to speak another language and be a bit embarrassed about it. You laugh at it and get over it quickly. That's why I think it's totally okay to make fun of these signs found in different parts of the country.

Make sure to study your Mandarin with Serge Melnyk it will be useful after 'merica is renamed New China.

Not a mistake, but hilarious and curiously addictive.

I am sure that this wasn't a mistake.

And my personal favorite, which I have posted here before -----yes, this is completely real in Beijing.


Kryss said...

They really love the word "cunt" in China. Bring on more Engrish!

Casey Brewer said...

I laughed out loud when I read this post last night. Take more pics Ryan!