January 26, 2006

Sign at store

Here's a sign from a clothing store in America. The Chinese characters don't mean anything, but I will generously try to give translations to the phrases : "below things middle grow" and "middle things below grow" and "below things below grow." Or, to get creative, read the characters 下品 phonetically as xiapin, or "shopping." Then, the phrase 下品中生 becomes "Life is in shopping." And there is something going on with the large orange circles mirroring the circles being made by the hands. And I'm pretty sure that the hands doing sign language are intended as a pun, because they (and the Chinese) are a form of language displayed on a sign. Or maybe not.


  • A friend once explained to me the meaning of chinese characters that a man in front of us had tattooed on him. It was not good. Something like "Jackass." if I remember correctly.

    By Blogger Andy Hunter, at January 26, 2006 10:11 PM  

  • In Japanese, 下品 means "vulgar"-- kind of like 下流 in Chinese. Brings a whole new meaning to the sign, doesn't it!

    By Blogger amida, at March 15, 2006 12:27 PM  

  • That's interesting, amida. When I see a few Chinese characters in isolation, I tend to forget that they might in fact be written in Japanese, although I don't think that was the case here.

    By Blogger Taiwanonymous, at March 20, 2006 12:11 PM  

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