I’m sure you’ve seen companies with signboards in both the English and Chinese languages, in bi-lingual Singapore. Or watched their Chinese ads on TV. Funny thing though, some companies choose the Chinese words to mimic the sound of their English names; the words themselves are meaningless. But they fail badly, in my opinion.

Big corporations come to mind, like McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken. The golden-arch fast food chain uses the Chinese characters Chinese characters for McDonald's name (pinyin: mai4 dang1 lao2), a far cry from its English name when you say them. I prefer the local “mac-don-ner” version — which aunties and uncles can say pretty well — anytime (I’m laughin’ it <-- Pun here).

KFC tries hard too, but their Chinese characters for KFC's name (pinyin: ken3 de2 ji1) barely makes it. Ok, so the Chinese language basically lacks sounds that can enunciate English words. In fact, Asian languages, be they Japanese, Korean, Indian, etc, all have this characteristic. But with some ingenuity, certain English words can have meaningful Chinese counterparts.

So when this laundromat’s signboards caught my eye, I had to snap a picture and sing praises of their near-perfect choice of Chinese words (as circled in the pic). Kudos to whoever came up with the idea!

Note: The author receives no compensation of any kind for “promoting” Easy Wash. This post is written entirely for entertainment purposes only, in usual Oppa WittyCulus style 😉 My only reward is this: you Like it and share it with your friends.

Easy Wash Laundromat Chinese & English signboards

Here’s why: the Chinese characters Chinese characters meaning 'easy wash' (pinyin: yi4 xi3) mean and say exactly what’s in English!

Chinese character meaning 'easy' literally means “easy”, while Chinese character meaning 'wash' means “wash”. When read, these 2 characters really sound very close to how “easy” should be uttered, especially when done excitedly! Wow, this can’t be mere coincidence but some very clever application of the Chinese language; and English translation, too.

And then, there are the Chinese-owned companies who proudly display their company names in Chinese, but sometimes use quirky English words on their signboards. These can be unwittingly hilarious as well, but we’ll keep that for another post…

🙂 – 🙂 – 🙂 – 🙂 – 🙂

Name Within a Name?

While we are on the topic of names, have you come across the artiste who goes by the name “will.i.am“? Yup, we’re talking about Mr William James Adams, one of the founding members of “The Black Eyed Peas”.

At first glance, the dotted version of his name looked like the perfect rendition of his real first name — it says: “Will, I am”, like in Yoda-speak. [N.B. Yoda is the most powerful Jedi Master in (Star Wars) galactic history, but he speaks funny :-)] Except there is a snag: “William” is traditionally shortened to “Bill”, not “Will”. Letter swapping (“B” for “W”, for example) seemed to be a popular trend of long ago…

Oh, well. Still, will.i.am is a very neat name!

🙂 – 🙂 – 🙂 – 🙂 – 🙂

Calendar Names, Anyone?

It’s not unusual to come across girls with names like “June” and “May”. These are names derived from the calendar months. Others like “April” and “August” (this one for the boys) are quite common too. But not every month goes down that well, so to speak.

Here’s a riddle: there’s actually a boy’s name hidden in the calendar. See if you can find it!

Give up? Click here to reveal the name…

2 Responses to “What’s In A Name? Easy Does It…”

Comments (2)
  1. Thanks for posting this. Was looking for this info all over the web.

  2. hi It’s a nice post.

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