Chinese Language Blog

20 Hilarious Chinglish Signs Posted by on Apr 14, 2013 in Culture, Uncategorized

What happens when you mix Chinese and English? Well, you end up with Chinglish (中式英语 – zhōng shì yīng yǔ). Sometimes, Chinglish is just formed by using Chinese grammatical structures in English. Trying to translate Chinese directly into English will give you sentences such as “I very like play basketball” (我很喜欢打篮球 – wǒ hěn xǐ huan dǎ lán qiú) or “I with my friend together have dinner” (我跟我的朋友一起吃晚饭 – wǒ gēn wǒ de péng yǒu yī qǐ chī wǎn fàn). Other times, it is a result of trying to directly translate Chinese words for foreign things. That’s why I’ve had students ask me about “Christmas old man” (圣诞老人 – shèng dàn lǎo rén – Santa Claus) and the “fire chicken” (火鸡 – huǒ jī – turkey). Although the Chinese government is doing its best to eradicate Chinglish, thankfully they aren’t quite there yet. In many tourist sights, you’ll find an abundance of hilarious Chinglish signs. You’ll also find plenty of Chinglish on menus of restaurants, and you can even find it printed on shirts in local markets. For those of you who haven’t had the chance to laugh your ass off at ridiculous Chinglish all around China, I’ve built up a collection of some of my favorite photos from my years of living here. Here are 20 of my favorites:

The Chinglish way to say "no smoking"

Beware of the hilarious Chinglish.

But I never said you could share my civilization traffic!

Aw shucks... guess I'm not allowed in!

But what if I just ran to get here?? Or what if I'm a dog and it's a really hot day?

No idea what they're going for here...

Don't you dare toss here!

No touching China?

Best part about this? It was found in the Tsingtao brewery.

Who wouldn't buy condoms labeled "America great stick"?

It sure does!

Posted above the urinals in the men's room.

Is it just me, or does it look like this road is going uphill?

I always slip carefully.

Am I supposed to eat them?

Looks like it's too late for that guy...

Well that's better than construction rudely, isn't it?

I know I need greenery.

Your guess is as good as mine.

Indeed it is.

If those just aren’t enough to satisfy your appetite for Chinglish, then I highly recommend checking out, where you’ll find countless more examples of Chinglish, as well as Korea’s Konglish and some other hilarious signs from around the world. Of course, if you’d prefer to actually learn Chinese, we have plenty of good resources for you.

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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.


  1. Peter Simon:

    Excellent choices, excellent photos, especially those with some background. Has anyone found out what the omnipresent ‘No tossing’ wants to mean? As far as I remember, this one can be found at other kinds of places as well as where ‘Don’t jump’ may be he meaning.

    • Yiming Guo:

      @Peter Simon This means tossing trash outside the garbage bin is not allowed.

  2. Alex Thumm:

    These are the most hilarious Chinglish signs I’ve come across!

  3. Selina Chen:

    There are a lots of Chinglish like these in China. Each word is literally translated from Chinese.

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