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Chinglish Menu Posted by on Oct 24, 2012 in Chinglish, Culture, food

For anyone who’s been to China, you’re probably very familiar with the wonderful art of Chinglish (中式英语 – zhōng shì yīng yǔ). From hilarious t-shirts in the market that display text such as, “I give all a smile because I am in the cheerful monkey,” to silly signs on the lawn encouraging you to “Cherish the poetry feelings of grass,” to that well-known Chinglish proverb “Good good study, day day up” (好好学习天天向上 – hǎo hào xué xí tiān tiān xiàng shàng), Chinglish is everywhere you look here. Some of the funniest Chinglish can be found on the menus of local restaurants, where direct translations of Chinese names often result in very funny English names. Unfortunately, the powers that be in Beijing are doing their best to do away with Chinglish menus in the city by offering restaurants a detailed list with the official English names of thousands of famous Chinese dishes. While there may come a sad day in the future where you no longer find “chicken without a sex life” or “red burned lions’ heads” on the menu, thankfully the authorities can’t move fast enough to do away with the widespread Chinglish that exists on Beijing menus. To prove this, I present to you a series of pictures fresh from the menu of a restaurant located on the campus of one of China’s most famous universities, where I work as an English teacher.

My family all decked out in Chinglish t-shirts.

"What the #$&@ is this?!"

Eggplant with surface.

Cordyceps flower pot duck.

Wood vinegar.

Want to take a guess as to what this donkey meat dish is called?

Bet you didn't guess it - "Dry pot Xiang's ass."

Get the bright furnace.

Spicy temptation of frog.

Detonation pickled radish.

Ding Xiang fish with investigate the benefits of chamomile.

Tom flower elbow sauce.

Mustard stings head.

Dried egg flavor/Tiger egg stem.

Sweet mix duck Jane.

Fragrant peanut Bao Mingxia hair.

Baked black pepper cowboy bone.

Beef filet with mushroom explosion.

Palace spicy chicken explosion.

Strange taste tender lamb.

 

Mmm… don’t you just want to dig right in to a big plate of “strange taste tender lamb“? Here’s to hoping that the authorities either keep moving slowly or just give up entirely on their efforts to rid the capital of Chinglish menus. If you ask me, Chinglish is a unique aspect of Chinese culture that should be embraced, not eradicated. If only China would see it that way, too.

 

Discussion

  • Have you ever seen Chinglish?
  • What’s your favorite Chinglish that you’ve seen?
  • Do you think China should do away with it or embrace it?

 

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About the Author:sasha

Sasha is an English teacher, writer, photographer, and videographer from the great state of Michigan. Upon graduating from Michigan State University, he moved to China and spent 5+ years living, working, studying, and traveling there. He also studied Indonesian Language & Culture in Bali for a year. He and his wife run the travel blog Grateful Gypsies, and they're currently trying the digital nomad lifestyle across Latin America.


Comments:

  1. Read a Chinese Menu:

    Great collection of Chinglish on menus. Always a favorite past time of mine.

    I think my favorite is “Mustard stings head”. No idea at all what you are getting there.

  2. somary:

    great to be here want to know Chinese language


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