Posted by: David Stewart | July 15, 2010

A Chinglish moment

At end end of his life, Michelangelo was said to have scribbled the words “Ancora Imparo” on a drawing. It means “I am still learning.”

After 30 trips to China, I can relate. Ancora Imparo.

  • I promised myself years ago, I would never buy electronics in China, and never ever ever visit in July or August. But even in July during a heat wave, Shanghai can be bearable. This week has had rain and overcast skies and temperatures in the 80s (F).
  • Starbucks is really not a “morning” thing here. The local SBUX next to my hotel doesn’t open early at all.
  • Even when they try to build a very attractive commercial center with beautiful shops, restaurants and clubs, sometimes people just don’t come.

And now, something not-so-new, fractured English or “Chinglish” as some friends call it. I got this off of a canister of tea I bought here to take home. It’s in teeny tiny micro print:

“Tea solid fine wooden England, as fragrance is the day nurtures. The fragrant worthily wild ginger, clear endures covers the pepper chrysanthemum. On the guest collection hall, the full moon searches the lady’s dressing case. Jade tripod with two handles note, Jin Nianxiang ten feet bamboo, beautifully sends the millet. After when, the clothes belt numerous is not strongly fragrant. Good fortune Mongolia turban square bamboo basket Tibet, painstakingly tires of Long Lanxu. Is willing Mr. to reprimand the different races, entire causes me to be fragrant.”


Somehow, this really causes me to be fragrant too, so I can relate.



  1. Usually Engrish is somewhat parsable when you figure out what they’re trying to say but… this? I have no idea!

    But you got a tea canister! ♥

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: