Of course there are many many compendia of silly signs in Chinglish,* and (more educatively) Victor Mair often features them on the languagelog site. But as a break from Daoist ritual, here are some cute pieces of advice spotted on my recent sojourn in Beijing (for previous sitings, see here):
In that last sign, may I draw your attention (m’lud) to item 2. I suppose “gamboling” (嬉戏) might be rendered less poetically as “rowdy behaviour”. But now, like a red rag to a bull, whenever I find myself in a Chinese elevator (as one does, more and more), it’s hard to resist a bit of subtle gamboling. So far I’ve managed to avoid scratching on the walls, though (§3)—good basis for a Japanese horror film, methinks. Also note §6: Please do not bang on (and on).
My own written Chinese must be full of such subtly unsuitable usages; I just hope it provides similar harmless entertainment.
*Just a few random examples:
And there are some gems here. OK, we’ve all got better things to do, but…