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Giggling in Hong Kong

Hong Kong Avenue of Comic Stars
Hong Kong Avenue of Comic Stars

There were many times when I wandered around Hong Kong in December that I just had to chuckle. Sometimes laugh out loud. Why? Signs and what struck me as funny use of English often caused me to stop, giggle and snap a photo.  So did the Kong Kong Avenue of the Comic Stars.

I loved it.  Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the challenges of the day and world, that we need a bit of comic relief.  Fun to find it in unlikely places and to enjoy cultural differences.

I am intrigued with Hong Kong English. Called Chinglish in a A Dictionary of Hong Kong English Words from the Fragrant Harbor.  Turns out that because the cultures of Chinese and the British are so intertwined that Chinglish as developed. Here’s what the dictionary says about it.

Defination: Chinese-English code-mixing.

Text example: A large number of overseas-educated Hong Kong Chinese have completely lost the ability to speak pure Cantonese, and communicate with each other in Chinglish without even realizing it.  Even government officials are often heard inserting English words into they sentences in a form of Chinglish lite.

But, I don’t know if some of what struck me as funny was the Chinglish or the lost in translation stuff  that amuses me.  For example, I really hooted when I saw a sign that said, “Beware deep water” next to a small pond that couldn’t have been more than 3 inches deep. Or what about the illegal tree cutting sign? Or no sand drawing?

Or the sign warning of slow pedestrians on a narrow walkway on a remote part of Lamma Island, far away from the hustle of city Central jammed with cars and motorcycles and buses.

I ponder about the sign on the beach. Did it dictate that one needed to keep the beach clean or one’s own body clean on the beach?

You figure it out.

Here are some of the signs that I enjoyed and hope you do too.

Waterfall and pond, Kowloon Park
Waterfall and pond, Kowloon Park
No illegal Tree Cutting
No illegal Tree Cutting
Hong Kong Signs
Hong Kong Signs
Hong Kong sign near the beach
Hong Kong sign near the beach
Lots of Beach Rules
Lots of Beach Rules
Hong Kong Beach
Hong Kong Beach
Hong Kong signs
Hong Kong signs
Be quiet, right?
Be quiet, right?
No Sand Drawing in Hong Kong
No Sand Drawing in Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong

I also loved the names of businesses and the mannequin climbing the wall in a shopping center. I had to look twice to make sure she wasn’t a performance artist.

Hong Kong Shopping Center
Hong Kong Shopping Center
Hong Kong Shopping Center
Hong Kong Shopping Center
Ever Rich Fashion Co in Hong Kong
Ever Rich Fashion Co in Hong Kong
Love Pet Station
Love Pet Station

The folks in Hong Kong value their cartoons, so much that they have a Walk of Comic Characters in the Kowloon Park. I really enjoyed seeing them and loved the families gathering around for selfies. Kowloon Park is the  location of the original settlement on Kowloon—a charming respite from the chaos of the shopping, shopping and more shopping in this part of the city. Here are a few of the statues that I thought were fun.

Hong Kong Avenue of Comic Stars
Hong Kong Avenue of Comic Stars
Hong Kong Avenue of Comic Stars
Hong Kong Avenue of Comic Stars
Hong Kong Avenue of Comic Stars
Hong Kong Avenue of Comic Stars
Hong Kong Avenue of Comic Stars
Hong Kong Avenue of Comic Stars

 

I loved this quote on the wall encompassing a huge construction site. What an inspirational thought.

 

Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Post Author
Susan J. Smith
Susan's career includes writing for newspapers, lots of community work and a wonderful family life. Now she is enjoying traveling, photography and writing for DesignDestinations and Grand Rapids Magazine. She welcomes you on her journey and appreciates your comments.

Comments

4 Comments
  1. posted by
    Mary Kathryn Boland
    Apr 12, 2017 Reply

    Hi,

    I love the Pleasure Grounds Regulations and the signs are great fun!!! Many thanks! Kati

    • posted by
      Susan J. Smith
      Apr 12, 2017 Reply

      Thanks, Kati, Doesn’t it make you wonder what we do when we translate foreign languages or what foreigners think of some of our signs. I’ll bet we have some silly ones.

  2. posted by
    peggy depersia
    Apr 14, 2017 Reply

    The cultural ‘mixes’ are endlessly fascinating as well as the associations we make depending on which side of the ‘cultural’ gate we are on.

    • posted by
      Susan J. Smith
      Apr 15, 2017 Reply

      I agree, Peggy. Always interesting and sometimes fun and funny. I truly love noticing the signs in foreign countries because they challenge the way I think about things.

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