4 years ago1,000+ Views
What it says: Do not disturb. Tiny grass is dreaming. What it should say: Stay off the grass (?) The Chinese is actually untranslatable. It is likely that the person doing the translation actually started with English and attempted to translate back into Chinese because neither 休扈 nor 扛搅 actually mean anything - they definitely don't mean 'dreaming' which is the cute part of this picture. For the first error, I suspect that the sign-writer was somehow confused by the homophonous expression xiūhù 修护 ("under repair / maintenance"). It would have been more natural to say that the tiny grass is xiūxī 休息 ("resting") or, to match English "dream" in what I suspect might have been the impetus for the wording, zuòmèng 做梦 ("is dreaming"), mèngxiǎng 梦想 ("dream"), or some other poetic expression for "dream" containing mèng 梦. The second error is probably orthographic, since it would be perfectly acceptable to write dǎjiǎo 打搅 ("disturb") in that position. When written hurriedly and sloppily, dǎ 打 and káng 扛 resemble each other. It would also be perfectly acceptable to write dǎrǎo 打扰 ("disturb"). The fact that dǎrǎo 打扰 ("disturb") and dǎjiǎo 打搅 ("disturb") are synonyms and sound similar may also have contributed to the confusion.
@maryjane01 @spudsomma I'll never forget the time I was visiting a park in Beijing and it had a sign exactly like this one. Some foreigners wanted to take a picture on the grass so they ignored the sign, jumped the fence and were getting ready to take a picture when another foreigner went up to them and yelled at them to get off the grass "Can't you read English?? The grass is DREAMING!!!"
@Maryjane01, but this is so much more likely to keep people off the grass! Daniel Pink writes about emotionally intelligent signs in his blog at I love them--instead of "We prosecute shoplifters" there's a sign that says "Free ride in police car if you shoplift." Or a local favorite in a parking lot: "Please don't back into the parking spot--the plants can't breathe." People always backed in, and now, they don't. Signs that make you think are more likely to get you to cooperate.
What does tiny grass dream about?
I love that story, @funkystar25!