Deciphering Translated English Signs In China Means Using Your Noodle


When is a noodle not a noodle? When it's a line painted on the floor of a Chinese airport or train station, of course! There's a reasonable explanation, mind you, so put away those chopsticks and get your thin yellow “lines” at a restaurant instead.

Observing both signs depicted here, one can see the Chinese text on both of them is exactly the same. The accompanying English translation differs slightly between the two but the gist of it – the “noodle” part – is basically the same. This indicates two different machine translating devices were used but both made the same essential error.




It's amazing (and amusing) how just one character can cause so much confusion but blame it on me... er, “mi”, the Chinese character for “rice” that's also often used as an abbreviation for the measurement term “meter” and can be see in these signs as the fifth character from the right.

In a nutshell, the Chinese “Please stand behind the 1-meter line” becomes “Please wait outside a noodle” thanks to China's wonky machine translators. Just thought we'd clear that up, though humans applying non-mechanical fuzzy logic will figure it out most of the time. Now that that's been cleared up, have a nice trip and ENJOY YOUR FRIGHT! (via Shanghaiist and The Atlantic