POTD: Lost in Translation #3

POTD: Lost in Translation #3Lost in Translation #3
Jiauguan, China

This shot came out a bit blurry, but I love the message. Can you guess where this sign was posted?


8 thoughts on “POTD: Lost in Translation #3”

  1. The Chinese equivalent of “walk” at a busy intersection?? Too funny to try to understand the meaning behind the translation, though I like the idea of a “small step for civilisation! 🙂

  2. Hi Larry,

    Hope you’re enjoying your trip. I hope to travel abroad more some day, and I hope to visit China, too.

    I’m going to guess that this sign was posted outside the visitor’s center for the China National Space Administration (CNSA). It vaguely sounds like a translation of Neil Armstrong’s famous words.

    1. Thanks for the guesses Kathy and Joe. The sign was actually posted above the urinal in a men’s room I was in. Joe, that makes your guess related to the famous Neil Armstrong quote particularly humorous and apropos. I mean, given that sign, I couldn’t think of a better comment to make to someone who did actually take a step forward to keep the floor clean than to say “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind”! 🙂

  3. Jeffrey beat me to it. It sounded oddly like an attempt to make it to the moon. But now that you have mentioned what it was for all I can think of is the Clorox bleach commercial where the two boys are putting tape on the floor in the bathroom to see how far back they can be to hit their target.

  4. I asked the Chinese teacher about this. She said the translation is fairly reasonable, and before I could mention where the sign was located she knew. Apparently in China, they have trouble with people peeing everywhere so this is an encouragement to advance their civilization by using the facilities properly.

    1. Randy, I think their advancement efforts have been rewarded, as I saw no evidence of messy urinals in the places I visited that have them. However, from my point of view, if they really want to advance civilization they might think about focusing on eliminating the squat toilets that seem to be the norm in public places in Gansu Province. To a western mind, there’s not much civilized about them even when they are clean. much less after twelve hours of use on a night train from Lanzhou to Jiuquan as we experienced. I quite realize this reaction is a cultural thing but they were pretty gross.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.