Lost in Translation: Funny Chinese English instructions in hotels

by Jul 15, 2016China, Humor

Funny Chinese English instructions begin to leap out at you when traveling in China. Here are 5 funny Chinese English signs that are intended for hotel guests.

Funny Chinese English translation fails are legendary, inspiring countless online spoofs, digital highlights, humor books and, yes, even plays and movies. You don’t have to spend more than a few hours in China before funny Chinese instructions begin to leap out at you, causing raised eyebrows, giggles, smiles, and even outbursts of laughter. But in hotels, when you start to read placards, instruction signs, and even service information guides, the level of ridiculous attempts at English take on an entirely new level.

These five signs with funny Chinese English instructions, below, are part of our third installment in a series of posts on funny Chinese-to-English translation fails. If you missed the first one focusing on fire warnings, be sure to check out Lost in Translation: Fire warnings become funny Chinese signs. Also, be sure to look and laugh at Lost in Translation: Funny Chinese English on warning signs, our second installment.

Now, without further ado, funny Chinese English instructions focused on  informing the hotel guest about…hmm… sometimes your guess will be as good as ours:

Funny Chinese instructions about using the toilet in a hotel room.

Well, thank goodness for being able to use the toilet every day to clean and disinfect. What a way to kick off our list of funny Chinese instructions.

Learning about damage or fouling in a funny Chinese English instruction at a hotel.

It is that bit about the “establishment inside the room equipment damage” that has us a bit bothered. And what, pray tell, is “cotton fabric soiled by fouling degree of compensation?” OK, all of it really has us bothered.

Calling the cleaning service button is another example of funny Chinese instructions.

In many hotel rooms in China, you will find control switches by the bed to allow you to conveniently turn on or off various things in the room — TV, lights, etc. But that other button on the far right and closest to the bed had all of us in our group a bit flummoxed. Until we figured out this was to call for housekeeping. Yes, you never know when you will have a sudden need for housekeeping services while lying in bed.

Funny Chinese instruction about damage by distiguished guests

Chinese instructions are certainly polite! We appreciate being called distinguished guests and we are very excited to learn the room offers us spare articles. But we are wondering about completing those room facilities and the correct use of same as there was absolutely NO instruction brief provided on that. Not that we would have understood one.


Our award-winning photos make a perfect gift – to yourself, a friend, or a family member. Prints for a wall, on a desk, as greeting cards, cozy fleece blankets, ornaments, fridge magnets, coffee mugs, luggage tags, coasters, mouse pads and puzzles. Subscriber Club members get 25% off any order

Funny Chinese instruction in a hotel for honorific guests.

From distinguished to honorific…. Things are getting pretty upscale now. We really have no words for this sign posted in the hotel bathroom. Except we were most certainly ready to defend against that dang mattress that might fall down. Especially if it meant being accused of immodesty. Funny Chinese instructions at their best.

You might also be interested in reading:


As an affiliate for Get Your Guide, Amazon.com, iVisa, Global Rescue, Think Tank, 5.11, Kuhl, Adorama, and others, we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you should you choose to purchase through the links in our posts. It is essential to mention that we only endorse products we believe in and personally use. Your support for HI Travel Tales through these purchases allows us to maintain a sustainable platform for creating valuable and relevant content for you. 


Are you protected IF a travel emergency happens?

Global Rescue Travel Insurance Rescue Banner