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This WebPage, "Chinglish", was written and edited by Leon.  There was no copying or plagiarism.  Content from this page may be copied (BUT NOT THE WHOLE PAGE!) so long as I (Leon) am given credit for composing it.  And content may be reproduced on other websites, so long I am given credit and a link is directed by to this page.  If you'd like to share some Chinglish or comment on this page, you may contact me.  Click on the word "Contact" above.

Important Prologue:

Please understand that this page is NOT intended to ridicule the Chinese people.

I love the Chinese people!!!!!!!!  

Furthermore, as some have thought, this page IS not intended to be humorous entertainment.  It IS intended to be a constructive critique.

Why Chinglish is Bad

1. Many Chinese may mistakenly assume that they will be understood by worldwide English communicators, and whereas sometimes the Chinglish is close enough to be understood, it makes the producer thereof appear uneducated.

2. When we non-Chinese try to speak Chinese, or any other foreign language, the natives are impressed with proper grammar, phonology, and usage. Likewise we native English speakers are impressed when non-native English-speakers use proper grammar, phonology and usage.

3. In connection with no.2, a non-native English speaker who takes the time to proof-read (or have written material proof-read), and who fine-tunes oral linguistic skills in English shows an interest in the native English speaking interlocutor and his/her native tongue. In business, being accurate in use & usage of the English language is far more competitive than use of Chinglish.

4. From a very practical sense, while I acknowledge the benefits/advantages of Chinglish, why learn two languages? Why not just learn one: THE RIGHT ONE! It saves time, money, and effort in the long run. For, as any EFL teacher can tell you: it is easier to learn it right the first time, than to change bad habits. The development of bad linguistic habits in the L2 is called "fossilization". The fossilization of errors in the L2 is VERY hard to change.

Important Preface

In China, RED is GOOD, representing GOOD LUCK and FORTUNE; While GREEN is the color of FOOLS (especially one wearing a green hat).

So, I have put the CHINGLISH in GREEN (BAD), and the CORRECTION in RED (GOOD).


Now, without further ado...

Prize-winning Chinglish (My Favorite):

Wait for it...

You won't believe this!

This is a real sign (from China).

I have been accused of photo shopping this.

The photo has not be altered in any way.

Sorry.  This is a family-friendly website.  So, I had to censor it.

That was an actual sign in a Chinese supermarket.
I have seen it with my own two eyes.
(The city shall remain nameless to protect the innocent :).

I looked up the Chinese characters in my Chinese-English dictionary.
The first character means:  scatter, spread out, disseminate, proliferate
The second character means: shield (n. & v.), block, protect, preserve
The third character means: fruit

I've been informed by a Chinese American that it is supposed to be translated as:
Bulk, Preserved Fruit

And the same man told me that the use of computerized translators can produce such egregious errors as the one above.  Sounds like people need to go back to the old method, i.e. using bilingual lexicons such as the one to the right.


Now, for some more Chinglish

0.5  Han4 Bao3 Bao1

This is the transliteration of "Hamburger"

The problem is that when Chinese use the word "Han Bao Bao", they mean either chicken burger or beef burger, but more generally the former.  I went to a restaurant and ordered a han bao bao and got a chicken burger.  I wasn't asked which kind of burger I wanted, I was just given a chicken burger, by default.  So, when I went back, I ordered a BEEF burger.  The lady was shocked.  She had to confirm that I really wanted beef and not chicken.  THREE times she had to confirm it.  Finally, on the third time, I was getting quite annoyed, and I slightly raised my voice, "Yes!  Okay!  Beef!"

It turned out that it tasted like crap.  They really don't know how to make hamburgers in China.... well, not in this part of China, anyways. [I'm in Inner Mongolia]

1.  Farm Motor = tractor

(i.e., farm tractor, as opposed to the tractor, which is also colloquially called a "semi" [US] or "lory" [UK])

2.  Green Food = organically grown food

This "Chinglish" can be found on the packages/containers of many comestibles in China.  It is a word-for-word translation of the Chinese term.

3.  Taikonaut = mixture of Chinese and Greek-English.

     taiko means space (in Chinese), naut means sailor (in Greek-English)

     (This was seen in the English newspaper, China Daily.)  [Obviously the correction is: Astronaut]

       P.S.  I do not think that the China Daily "coined" the word.  I think someone else did and that the China Daily was merely reporting the "coinage" of a new word.

4.  Can you do sth?

Chinese seem to think that this functions as a request.  And while sometimes it does (in the vernacular), I don't think it is proper.  It certainly ins't as common as "Could you do sth?"  for a request.  Maybe is seems wrong because my middle school students use it to me, and it seems a bit rude.  So, I always answer:  "Yes, I can, but I'm not going to."  You should see the reaction this gets.  Cracks me up.  When speaking to an older person or person in authority, it seems more polite to ask:  "Could you do something?"

5.  Could I do sth?

I think I've been away from America too long and I'm not sure any more, but this seems incorrect.  As far as I can recall, we generally use the following forms for asking for permission.

     5.1   Can I do sth? (informal)
     5.2   May I do sth? (formal)
     5.3   Would it be all right if I did sth? (humble)

   The only time I've ever head "Could I...?" (used as a request for permission) is:

           Could I have your name? ...phone number?  etc.

I could be wrong on this, but (if you are a native English speaker) how does this sound to you:  "Mom, could I go outside and play?"  Sounds weird, doesn't it?  Maybe it is because of the degree of familiarity between Mother and child.  To familiar interlocutors, we tend to use "Can I ....?" 

I guess the function of the "Could I ....?" as a request for permission is correct, but the problem that Chinese have is sociopragmatics in usage of the forms of English.

So, in short, "Could I ....?" would be used only to a superior or stranger.

6.  (Seen written on a label attached to a new pair of socks):


possible correction:


7.  (Seen written on a package of children's chap stick):

Assorted Fruits
Good Moisten Lipstick

possible correction:

Assorted Fruits Fragrance
Good Moistening Lip Balm

Note:  I saw another brand of chapstick, and it read:  "Kid's Lip Balm", and I was thoroughly impressed until I looked at the brand name.  It was "AVON".  "No wonder!" I thought.

8.  {Seen written on a package of Yake V9 Sweets (Candy)}

Ingredients:sugar,glucose syrup,dextrose,acidulants lactic and citric acid,concentrated blood orange and lime juice,concentrated lemon juice,condensed skim milk,fructose,natural flavour,colour (fancy red,tartrazine),vitamin C, niacinamide, vitamin E,calcium pantothenate,riboflavin,vitamin B6,thiamin,folacin,vitamin B12

What about a space after punctuation marks?  PLEASE!

9.  (Seen written on a bottle of bleach)

Character: This product can specifically remove stains, bleach,kill germs,get rid of mildew,sterilize,remove odors.
Caution: keep it from children and keep in a cool place.  If swallowed,please consult a doctor.Not for silk,nylon,fur fabric and color fabric.Avoid mixing with acid cleaner,avoid pouring directly onto clothes.

possible correction:

For Specific Use
(see details on other side)
Product properties:  This product can specifically remove stains, bleach, kill germs, get rid of mildew, sterilize, and remove odors.
Caution: Keep this product out of reach of children, and keep it in a cool place.  If swallowed, please consult a doctor, immediately.  Not to be used on silk, nylon, fur fabric, or color fabric (or black fabric).  Avoid mixing with cleaners containing acid, and avoid pouring it directly onto cloth/fabric, i.e., dilute with water before applying to cloth/fabric.

10. (Seen written on a package of a dish-washing sponge)


11. (Seen written on a jar of honey)

All right now!  I can forgive the "l"s in place of the "t"s, but the "H", NO WAY!


12. On the same jar of honey:


quality guarantee
choiceness raw material
Series high foodstuff choiceness raw material produced meticulous apresent first choose best enjoyment good taste give first choose quality guarantee agreeable to taste
series high foodstuff choiceness raw material produced meticulous apresent first choose best enjoyment good taste give first choose quality guarantee agreeable to taste
produced meticulous series high foodstuff quality guarantee agreeable to taste
choiceness raw material

The author obviously didn't bother to try to make sense, just put some English on a label.  Maybe his/her boss couldn't read English, so he/she could get away with such poor work.

     But, for you, my viewers, I will give a correction:

This Honey is a Real Treasure
Quality is Guaranteed
Made of choice, raw materials
This high-quality food, made of choice raw materials and produced meticulously, is presented to you for your best enjoyment and good taste.  Quality is guaranteed and we are confident that it will be agreeable to your taste.

13. (Seen written on the back of a bag of marshmallows):


(Oh, thanks for clearing that up.  The English "Marshmallow" on the front of the bag wasn't clear enough.)


(Hmmm.  Okay, but when was this produced?)


(Wait a minute.  These are white marshmallows.  What colour?!)


(Where? I don't see it.)


(Through which orifice?  I guess they figure that if they have to tell me, I shouldn't be buying marshmallows. You think?)

14. (Seen written on a package of chocolate sandwich cookies):

BEAR Cool Sandwich Crackers

there is an imprint of a bear on each cookie


Hmmm.  Could this be the same company that produced the honey?  I don't know.  The name of the honey producer wasn't written in English.

-We like the new taste.We need the quality.And we need the best food.Here you will find what you want.Cool fashion need cool taste.You are the new man.How delicious can not forget,special taste,return the true flavour-Give you the minerable feeling.

What is the deal with Chinese refusing to put a space after punctuation marks???  And what the heck is a "minerable feeling"?

There is a "speaking bubble" coming from one of the cookies on the package, which reads:

"milk coffee"

What the Hell???!!!  Milk Coffee???  These cookies/biscuits/crackers are supposed to be for kids.  I need to pay more attention to what I'm buying!

possible correction:

Bear Sandwich Cookies/Biscuits
For your highest enjoyment and excellent taste
We like new tastes.  We expect quality.  And, we need the best food.  Here you will find all three.  These cookies/biscuits not only look fancy, but also taste good.  These cookies/biscuits will make you a new person.
You will not forget how delicious they are.
Kids: Eat me with milk.
Parents: Eat me with milk coffee.

15.  {Seen written on a bottle of honey (produced by a different company from the one above)}:

Ingredients: Natural Honey (thank God!).  LP-Iso-maltose. Medlar holoside.
Product Instruction:  Elder's Healthy Honey is adopted pure natural honey and LP-Iso-maltose as main raw materials.  It adds Medlar holoside for elder's health. It is ideal elder's nutrition food.
Taking Method: 15-30 g/d. Take with warm boiled water or mix with milk or fruit juice.
Best before: 

  First question:  Who is Elder?

Do they mean "Healthy Honey For the Elderly"?

Third question:  "How does one adopt honey?"

Fourth question: "What is 'g/d'?"

Fifth question:  "Why isn't there a date after 'best before'?"

possible correction:

Ingredients:  Honey, LP-Iso-maltose, Medlar holoside.
Product Description:  Healthy Honey is made of honey and LP-Iso-maltose as the raw materials.  Medlar holoside is added for the health of the elderly. It is ideal, nutritional food for the elderly.
Suggested Method of Consumption:  Take 15-30 grams or drops in a cup of boiled water, or in a cup of milk, or in a cup of fruit juice.

16.  (Seen written on a package of wafer-like rolls):

Strawberry Chocolate Egg Rolls

DESCRIPTION:Strawberry Chocolate Egg Rolls

INGREDIENTS:Wheat flour,Sugar,Cocoa butter,replacer,Strawberry powder,Whey powder,Egg,Corn starch,Vegetable oil,Baking soda, Salt,Lecithin,Flavour

PRODUCTION DATE: (show on box)   [...but sold in small packets which have been removed from the box]


Question1:  Why haven't we heard of strawberry chocolate in the West? 

Question2: What the heck is a replacer?

Question3:  Is is legal to sell these things out of the box?

Question4:  Do the Chinese know what we in the West consider an "egg roll"?

Question5:  Is an egg-roll really Chinese food?  I haven't seen one since I came here.

possible correction:

Strawberry-Chocolate-filled Wafer Rolls
DESCRIPTION:  Egg Wafer Rolls with a strawberry-chocolate filling
INGREDIENTS:  replace the word "replacer" with something more appropriate, maybe "emulsifier"
PRODCUTION DATE:  (shown on box)
EXPIRATION DATE:  1 Year after production date

17.  (Seen written on a package of Cookies):

Display or store in a cool and dry place away from direct sunlight and high temperature;Consume soon after opening to avoid prolonged exposure to air.
Produced Meticulous A Present First Choose 100%
Natural Food

Jeeze!  Makes it sound like my cookies might spontaneously combust if they are exposed to too much heat or air.

And, why a dry place?  These cookies are in a hermetically sealed plastic (vinyl) package.

possible correction:

We recommend you display or store these cookies in a cool and dry place away from direct sunlight and high temperature.  The cookies are best consumed soon after opening the package to insure freshness, and to avoid possible spoiling from bacteria in the air.
Produced Meticulously to present you with the best choice.
Natural Ingredients

Note:  That's the best I could do with the second part.


The World Scholar Award
...goes to HuiJiaBei Harbin Food Co.,Ltd.

See no. 18 (just below)

18.  {The following was seen (by me) written on a tin package of formula milk (for my son).  It should be noted that I am posting this here because I want to praise HuiJiaBei Harbin Food CO., LTD for its impeccable English.}:


We suggest an intake of 2 to 3 glasses of milk per day.  To prepare one glass of HuiTianLi milk, please add a small package of powder into 210ml of previously boiled water (7scoop = 30g of HuiTianLi powder +210ml warm water).Stir it until powder is fully dissolved.

19.  (Seen written on a carton of pear nectar)

The pulpy pear nectar

produced by Huiyuan is made of pears.  By special cold crushing process and fully compact filling methods, as well as the UHT technology, the original taste and nutrition of the fruit juice are kept well at maximum.  The use of 7 layers of compound packing materials of paper, aluminum foil and plastic and so on, prevents nutrition and color of the product from being damaged by sunlight and air.

Points for attention in drinking Huiyuan Juice

Please drink it in time after opening the pack, In any case, the exposed product should be kept in cold conditions below 5 (degrees) C.

All right, now!  First of all, I'm glad that pear nectar is made from pears.  That's a relief!  Secondly, what the heck is UHT technology?

Possible correction:

HuiYuan Pear Nectar

HuiYuan Pear Nectar is produced with the fresh pears of [  ] province.  Because of a cold crushing process and fully compact filling methods (whatever that means), as well as (whatever UHT stands for) technology, the original taste and nutrients of the fruit juice are preserved to the maximum level possible.  The use of 7 layers of packing materials, aluminum, plastic, and so forth, prevents deteriation of nutrients and prevents discoloration, both of which can be caused by exposure to sunlight and/or air.


HuiYuan Pear Nectar should be drunk soon after opening, and an open carton should be refrigerated at a temperature below 5 degrees C.

20.  (Seen written on a package of "TASTY FOODS EGG CAKE"):

Product:  Strawberry Cream Cake

[Wait!  I thought this was an egg cake!]

Wheat flour, Egg, Sugar, Shortening, Liquid glucose, Milk powder, Glucose, Sorbitol, Salt, Emulsifier, Leavening agent, Brandy, Flavor, Potassium, Sodium propionate, Edible pigment.

Shelflife: 8 months

Production Date:  show on package

1.  The combination "egg cake" is kind of redundant, because in the West,

all cakes have egg in them.  Unless you've got an excessive amount of eggs in your cake,

It probably isn't necessary to mention the eggs.

In this, case, I see that "egg" is the second thing on the list of ingredients.

AND, after eating the cake, I noticed that I could definitely taste the eggs.

So, I'm gonna let "egg cake" slide as acceptable English.

2.  But switching from "egg cake" to "cream cake"... What's up with that?

On the front, "egg cake" is written.  On the back, "cream cake" is written.

I admit that there is a cream-like substance in between the two layers of cake,

but, lets get the name of the product straight, huh?

3.  At least the production date WAS printed on the package, otherwise I would not have eaten it.

Possible Correction:

Product:  Strawberry Cream Egg Cake


Shelf life: 8 months from production date
Production date:  shown on package

21.  The product name of a kind of hard candy:  "HeartLovE".

Okay, fine, whatever.  You can do what you want with product names.

22.  On a Tape of a "Mix" of various popular English songs (not classical):

In Great Demend Music


possible correction:

Music which is in Great Demand

Classic Songs of the World

23.  On a package of "Milk Candy":

Do have a taste of this candy?  This candy tastes sweet, You can taste this joys of freedom, And have a taste of success.

Is there such a thing as non-sweet candy?

Possible Correction:

Have you tasted this candy?  This candy tastes delicious.  It is a condensed milky center and with a sugary coating.  Having a taste of this candy is like having a taste of freedom and success.

NOTE:  the simile is much better than that metaphor.
For more info on similes and metaphors, click here.

24.  On a package of cashews:




Do these food companies all use the same translation service or what?  And I'd say it's NOT suitable for children under the age of four, because they might choke to death on the nuts, if they try to swallow it whole.

And, there was no equipment (which is not countable, by the way) in my package of cashews, nor was there any technique (which IS countable by the way) in my package.  Just raw cashews.  And I'm wondering... "Aren't cashews made by nature AND NOT BY EQUIPMENT?"

Possible Correction:

These cashews are produced by nature and cultivated with loving care to produce a CHOICE product.  The most up-to-date equipment and techniques are used to prepare the raw cashews for your enjoyment.  Our product is ranked first among similar products.

Cashews were once the gift of emperors, but now they are available to all.

[CAUTION: little children, under the age of four, should not eat these cashews because they might choke on them.  Therefore, please keep out of reach of young children.]

25.  On a package of dried carrot slices:

On the front:  It is healthy, delicious.  It is really the best snack for you.
On the back:

Ingredient:red raddish,sugar.

Using method: use directly

Store way:put in cool and aeration,don't put in sunlight.

Also on the back:

HOW DELICIOUS. Make you taste back.


I looked up carrot and radish to see if they were botanically related, and they are not.  So, how they came up with "red radish" for a translation is beyond me.  The package clearly show a picture of carrots.

"Use directly."  Things that make you go "Hmmmm."

And "...taste back."  This is a new collocation that I've never seen before and I'm not quite sure what it means.  Do you?

Possible Correction:

On the front:  This is healthy AND delicious!  It is really the best snack for you.
On the back:

Ingredients:  carrots and sugar

Method of consumption:  put directly into your mouth and chew thoroughly before swallowing.

Method of storage:  put in a cool, aerated area, and don't expose it to direct sunlight.

Also on the back:

How delicious!  It makes you want to come back for more!

26.  On a package of semi-dried cherry tomatoes:

The delicious snack fit you well

Try it with your friends and families,

enjoy the delicious taste.


Wasn't there a horror flick many years ago entitled, "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes"?  Here's Part 2:  Attack of the Savageness Tomatoes".

There is a Chinese name for the product (written in Chinese characters).  I got one of my students to translate, and the loose (free) translation is "tomatoes produced without poison".  What?  Does that mean that tomatoes which haven't been exposed to pesticides are more savage than ones that have?  Is that the message here?

I don't understand how my student came up with "tomatoes", because I looked up each Chinese character in a lexicon and this is what I found out:

1.  Tian1 = heaven
2.  Ran2 = -like
3.  Fan1 = number, land
4.  Qie2 = eggplant

So, what I get is:  Heaven-like land eggplants.

It is possible that the combination of Fan and Qie mean cherry tomato, but I'm not sure.

If one looks up "tomato" in the bilingual lexicon, one gets: xi1 hong2 shi4. [xi means west(ern), hong means red, shi is some botanical term which is not in my lexicon.  How do I know it is botanical?  Because all (or most) of the botanical words in Chinese have a pictograph of a tree on the left-hand side of the ideograph.

Possible Correction:

Heavenly Cherry Tomatoes
This delicious snack is good for you.

Try it with your friends and family,

And enjoy the delicious taste.

27.  Stationery is a great place to find any of the ~lishes (e.g., Konglish, Japlish, and Chinglish).  The following collection of Chinglish is from ENGLISH notebooks (i.e., notebooks specifically designed for written English (as opposed to for written Chinese)).  Of all place to have Chinglish, I think English notebooks is the WORST place!  So, anyways, here they are:

27a.  "I enjoy so many things about you... being with you is the best thing of all!"

Actually, this one is the best I've seen, but there is a little problem, that being: "being with sb" is not under the category of "things about you".  So, there is a lack of cohesion in the two sentences.

27b.  in one place:  "I Love You"
in another place:  "GOOD LUCK"
in another place:  "Miracles sometimes occur, but one has to work terribly hard for them."

Okay!  The English grammar is good, but why is "I Love You" written on an English Notebook?  I don't get it.

27c.  "I have dream and hopes  L feel happiness  I'm a fairty in love."

GRAMMAR:  It should be "dreams" not "dream".

PUNCTUATION:  There are no periods at the end of sentences, except the last one.

SPELLING:  "L" is not a word; and, fairty should be spelled fairly.

COHERENCE:  Again, why talk about love on an English notebook?  I understand it being on letter stationery, but not on an academic notebook.  In fact, the three sentences lack any kind of cohesion or coherence.

See my English Writing Page for more info on cohesion and coherence.

27d.  "The fire is he test of gold adversity is he test of a strong man."

GRAMMAR:  There should be no definite article before fire.  Just "Fire" is okay.

SPELLING:  he should be spelled the.

PUNCTUATION:  There should be a period after gold.

27e.  "True love is born of despairand nutured by one crises after anotherIt is thechild of adversity who"

MECHANICS:  There should be a space between words, like:  "despair and", "the child".

SPELLING:  crises should be crisis.

PUNCTUATION:  There should be a period after another.  AND, there should be TWO spaces after a period.

GRAMMAR AND MEANING:  The word who begins an attributive clause, but above there is no clause.  Why not?

27f.  "Wherever you go my heart always runs to you and be with you."

PUNCTUATION:  Whenever an adverb or adverbial phrase occurs at the beginning of a sentence, it should be sparated from the rest of the sentence by a comma, like this:  "Wherever you go, my heart always runs to you..."

GRAMMAR:  The word be should be changed to is.

27g.  at the top:  "BOO SOL"
next line:  " 'Forever?' "
next line:  " 'Forever ever.' "
next line:  " 'Cross your heart?' "
next line:  " 'Cross heart' "

Obviously, this is supposed to be a dialogue, but the grammar is atrocious.  I have no idea what "BOO SOL" is supposed to mean, so I won't even bother with that.  Correction for the dialogue:

first line:  "Forever?"
next line:  "Forever and ever."
next line:  "Cross your heart?"
next line:  "Cross my heart."

At the bottom of the cover, it reads:
top line:  "Haru's ILLust"
next line:  "you are my best friend."
next line:  "you provide me with joy and love..."

Okay, now!  Illust is a new word for me.  It is obviously composed of two morphemes:  il and lust.  "Il" means wrong.  So, we have "Haru's wrong lust."  Strange!  I mean very strange!  Lust may be wrong (sometimes), but should the topic be on a primary or secondary student's notebook?  We're talking about a serious lack of pragmatics here.

Or perhaps the author has erroneously abbreviated the word "illustration".  Could be.  I really don't know.  In any case, it is wrong, 'cause you won't find it in any dictionary or lexicon.  Other problems include:

MECHANICS:  Both you and you should be capitalized.

PUNCTUATION:  There is no need for the "..." at the end of a complete sentence.  Only one "." is needed.



I miss the Chinese people, and the delicious food!

The only thing I don't miss is the polluted air.






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