Weird English

Signs, product packaging, clothing… sometimes I notice weird English here in Hangzhou. Sometimes the cause is a typo, sometimes it’s negligent copy/paste, and sometimes it appears to have been a complete shot in the dark. Sometimes the result is close-but-no-cigar, sometimes it’s hilarious, and sometimes it’s mystifying.

This sign in the ZJL dining hall says “Tray Recycle” rather than “Tray Return”. What’s weirder is “Wheaten Food”. The Chinese text refers to noodles. (The English on the sign where the wheaten food is sold says “Noodle & Pastries”.) You might think that “Toilet” is weird too, but it’s pretty normal, internationally speaking.
This is a sign at Hema, a supermarket whose name means “Hippo”. It says “Welcome to use Shopping Cart and Shopping Basket”. But that’s not why I took a photo. I took a photo because it says “How to Use Shopping Cart?” It shouldn’t have a question mark unless the wording is “how do I” or “how do you” or “how should I” or something similar. But I see this mistake a lot.
I am entranced by this entrance sign that says “Entrancen”. It’s giving off French or German vibes somehow. But I think it’s just a typo.
“Hold the handrail. Orderly take escalator.” Can “orderly” be an adverb like “leisurely”? And if it can, can it go in front of the verb?
There are written compositions, and there are musical compositions, and there are baked compositions. The noun here is indicating that the contents of the 1kg box are “composed” of a variety of cookies “posed together”, as it were. The box can be yours for 158 yuan (about 22 USD or 30 SGD). These cookies are German, so… this probably doesn’t count as Chinglish. Still weird.
On the right: “Girl half year card is more favorable/free parking/open at9”. None of this is in any way related to the Chinese on the sign or the dining hall that it’s in front of. And I think maybe they meant to write “grill”.
From the Department of Signs That Say The Opposite of What They Mean: “Take care to fall into water.” (Reposted from GAITC 2023.)
This sign at the lake at the lab says: “PLEASE DON’T PLAY WATER”
“No stay here! Please mind the gap!” Think about it: we use “no” for -ing nouns (no smoking), and “do not” for verbs (do not litter).
My boss is the one who noticed this weird D and E. It’s not an English mistake, it’s meant to be Chinese text! There must have been some copy/paste font encoding error. And guess what? These stickers are all over the building. Maybe they’re all over the campus. And they’re all wrong! Oops.
Winner, winner, chicken… hey, that doesn’t rhyme! Well anyway, I’m just glad the McDonald’s machines here have English. 🙂