There is a new play opening on Broadway that should appeal to any of us who have struggled with communication and language skills while traveling, living and working in other countries. The play is called “Chinglish” and tells the story of a businessman from America who is attempting to set up a business and make his fortune in the city of Guiyang in southwest China.
So what is Chinglish? How well do you speak Chinglish? Take a look at the following phrases seen on signs and see if you can interpret what they mean before watching the video!
- The siren Lies
- Be mindful of the juicy surfaces!
- We will not subjugate to the naked!
- The fowl can’t eat!
- Penetration will be dealt with painfully!
Today and as you go through the weekend, think about communication in all it’s wonder – the humor, the challenges, the ways we communicate. And if you get a chance, learn to speak a little Chinglish!
Readers – here is a weekend challenge! Guess the meaning of the following three phrases and put them in the comment section. On Monday – I’ll post the answers!
- Beware of Missing Foot!
- Chicken Rude and Unreasonable (seen on a menu)
- Execution in Progress!
(Attention readers! See the second video clip or the bottom of the post for the answers!)
- False Alarm!
- Slippery when wet!
- No shirt, no shoes, no service!
- Don’t feed the birds!
- Trespassers will be prosecuted!
- Theater Review: ‘Chinglish,’ by David Henry Hwang, at Longacre Theater – Review (theater.nytimes.com)
- Understanding Chinglish (bbc.co.uk)
- VIDEO: ‘Chinglish’ play breaks barriers (bbc.co.uk)
7 thoughts on “We will not subjugate to the naked – Learning to speak Ch’ing.lish”
Wow…..I don’t even know what those could stand for……
Maybe the missing foot is talking about Big Foot? LOL
And the chicken one is for Spicy Chicken? I don’t know….Let’s see……the last one is “Killing Time”?
I am probably way off…it only makes sense after I see what was meant by it!
Very funny how the words are translated!
Entertaining — it widened my repertoire of cross-cultural communication. Spenglish and Genglish already offer some humerous terms and allow for lots of laughter as long as the communicators allow for it..
haha!! Have heard of Spanglish but not Genglish! The play looks so funny, although one review said it was a bit forced.
The only one I got right was “be mindful of the juicy surfaces”.
I just got the “Don’t Feed the Birds!” Try the ones at the end! Especially the “Chicken Rude & Unreasonable”.
That is hilarious, I have come across these kinds of phrases so many time. Really brings me back.
Oh you have to guess the ones at the end though!! There might even be a prize!!!