The Olympics begin on this the most auspicious day of days. As a homonym, the number 8 sounds like "good fortune" in Mandarin and Cantonese. To contrast, the number 4 sounds like "death" so good luck selling apartment #444 to that lovely couple from Taiwan.
In light of the extra attention going around, many have circulated some photos of bad Chinese-English translations in China. I'm not big on reprinting or forwarding what you've already seen so I shall introduce my own photos from a trip to Beijing in 2004.
The first photo (above) was taken in the train station in Beijing. "WELCOME TO COME" well, don't mind if I do. Except that the stairwell was very crowded and busy and we were running to catch our departing train. So late were we that I didn't have time to stop and get a picture in focus.
"Charged Lounge" With electricity? OR sexual tension? I took the photo because it looks like everyone in there will shit out their own piece of luggage.
No funny writing here. Just a very gay air conditioner. We're so happy we're are gay in our Speedos and air conditioning that we decided to have ice cream!
And just to remind you, it was the height of the bird flu scare. No chicken available at KFC, just fish sandwiches. (Not that I ate there. Someone else told me.)