Monday, February 08, 2010

Funny restaurant sign

Recently I was in Tangkak and saw this interesting sign outside a Chinese restaurant. Can you spot the error? What do you think is the name of this restaurant in Chinese?

(Sorry for the poor quality of the picture. Took it with my mobile phone from quite distance.)

This sign reminds me of a documentary I saw about a group of people who went around public places in Beijing to spot signs with bad English. This was during the period before the 2008 Beijing Olympics.


Alex is right. The signs says 上海灘 (Shanghai Bund) in Chinese which is actually the title of a classic 1980 TVB period drama series starring Chow Yun Fatt. I did not like the series and have not watched it. Nowadays people identify this title with the theme song sung by Francis Yip who once said that she has never appeared in a concert where the audience did not demand that she sang this song. A perennial karaoke favourite it was one of several memorable hits penned by Joseph Koo.

Speaking of Cantonese drama series, they were very popular in Singapore in the 70’s when RTS still aired dialect programmes. I think without doubt the most popular were the two series Men in the Net and 亲情 (cannot recall the English title). On evenings when the show was being aired, it was reported that you would not be able to hail a taxi because the drivers were all glued to their tv sets. For a while the most popular phrases among Singapore boys were; “Lei yau moe kau chor” and “Chee sin!” (crazy).


yg said...

sometimes words get broken up and they sound strange; at other times, words get joined up and they sound funny. example: are you anus (a nus) graduate?

Icemoon said...

wah, yg can spot that. maybe he likes to go there for shopping. i was thinking of a mountain soup restaurant.

Anonymous said...

@Icemoon: me too but I thought it sounds like 'sua ku soup' restaurant in Cantonese.

alex said...

I think if you join the first two word it would end up as Shanghai Tang.



Brian and Tess said...

going around the world last year we got used to mangled English in many places - a consequence of it being a world language and being used for advertising and other signage in particular. Spore of course was not a bad offender and the only place we did not see bad English was in Canada in Quebec Province - in fact we saw no English at all as English signage is banned! Everything must be in French! This is more than ironic when you go to a place like Cambodia which has a lot of English signage.

fr said...

I think it depends if you think in cantonese or mandarin ...
in cantonese - SHAN sounds like mountain, GHAI like chicken, TANG can be a stall

WK said...

Following the first comment (YG's comment), another example of different meanings as a result of spacing of a word is:
"Be a part" and
"Be apart".
tan wee kiat

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Victor said...

Following Wee Kiat's comment, another sentence that could cause an embarrassing situation with a missing space is "The pen is mightier than the sword". No prizes for guessing which missing space would cause the embarrassment though. :p

baby cribs said...

That sign is very funny but I know that they offer a very good service inside that funny signs. I've been there that is why I can tell that.

Tiom said...

My favorite was seen in Nepal, whilst trekking in the Himalayas.


I think it was supposed to be HORSES. But i can't be sure!