Chinglish – Fug Captive Fish Or Firds

I came across this photo by macloop on Flickr, talking about Fug Captive Fish, whatever that means:

Yet another funny sign in China

The full text of the sign reads:

Fug Captive Fish Or Firds
And Set Them Free Pool

Any guesses on what that means? Birds, not Firds, obviously, but the rest?

Apart from being a great example of Chinglish, it has a little extra significance for me as the photo was taken in Zhaoqing, where I lived for a year or so.

Also, I happen to think it’s a great photo – in black and white with the subject looking down at the sign.

6 Responses

  1. Stavros

    OK, it’s “fang sheng chi”, literally “release life pond”, so a “pond where you set animals (birds and fish) free”. So the english version is not too bad, except I can’t possibly imagine what fug stands for…

  2. Hudson

    I’d say Fug is a misspelled transliteration of Fan (放) in Chinese. Also, Chi (Pond) can’t be a venue to set birds free. So the translation is not only too bad, it is a total diaster.

  3. Stavros

    Naturally I meant “not too bad” by chinglish standards. The chinese writing does not specify what living creatures can be released, but maybe if a pond is big, with trees etc around it, it can apply to birds too. In any case, fang (not fan) sheng is exactly that, I think it’s a concept linked to Buddhism (respecting all aspects of life) and extends to not consuming living creatures (vegetarianism?).

  4. irene

    Should be “Fugle Captive Fish Or Birds” , i guess.
    The “Pond” is used for people to release sin (zuìniè), “set the bird/fish/turtle free” which means set themselves (human) free & keep away from sufferings in man’s world. Yes, it’s a concept linked to Buddhism, but should be more related to KARMA, not vegetarianism. Chinese Culture is not easy for the Westerner, learn & study more before criticism. I’m sorry for my poor English & hope that you can understand what I m talking about. Thanks!

  5. Stavros

    What criticism? Don’t be so touchy, nobody criticised the concept, just the english translation (and not harshly I might add). Unless you re suggesting that the english sign is perfectly translated. And fugle? What is fugle, except a no longer used term for “signalling”?

  6. irene

    Stravros, of course I dont think the translation is perfect; otherwise, I wouldnt make the guess. Our English are not good, that’s the fact! I want to explain the reason of having such “Pond” as a Chinese….. “Chi (Pond) can’t be a venue to set birds free…….it is a total diaster(disaster)”, or maybe I dont know there is a word “Diaster”. Pls advise, thanks!

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