Please Disturb: Chinese Signage in English

When I flipped a door knob ’Do Not Disturb’ sign in a Beijing hotel,  I was delighted to see that the opposite side stated ‘Please Disturb.’ A lack of native speakers of English living in China, coupled with the severe travel restrictions that until quite recently applied to Chinese people, have resulted in poor translations and an abundance of ridiculous signs. Below is a sampling from my travels throughout the Middle Kingdom.

Cruising on the Li River


Helpful instructions at the Guilin airport

Instructions for the visitors of the terracota warriors exhibit in Xi’an

Lavatorial activities not welcome in Beijing Temple of Heaven

Jiri Stejskal
CETRA Language Solutions