12 November 2008

Random Weirdness

I'm posting this mostly because I'm amazed that I recognize all but two of the characters. And what I can read doesn't quite translate as given, but whatever the other two characters are, presumably they contain the key to figuring out what it actually means.

From left to right: bú yào wèi nǐ de měi ?? ?? le wǒ

bú is a negation, so "not"; there's another word for don't, but depending on context, bú might be translated as "don't". Usually it's just "not" or "no".

yào means to want or desire, or can indicate future action; I wonder if "bú yào!" would translate as "do not want!" Possibly.

wèi ... well, the meaning I know for it is "for", but Bào Lǎoshī told us it had many other meanings.

means "you"

de is a possessive particle (think 's in English)

měi means beautiful or is used as the name for American. I don't think that's the usage here, though, as it's not followed by "guo", meaning "country".

The next two characters I don't recognize... le is a grammatical particle, generally indicating completed action. At least, that's how we've used it. It can also imply past tense.

Then wǒ means "I" or "me". There are no cases in Chinese.

So... "No desire for your beautiful (noun?) (verb-completed?) me/I.

If I remembered for sure where I'd put my Chinese dictionary, I'd try to look the other two up, but I think it's time for sleep now. Oh, the picture is from Engrish.com

Hmmm... I wonder if it's supposed to say, "Don't hurt me because I'm beautiful?" Presumably the missing verb, then, would be "hurt", and yào would be used in the sense of "future action", rather than "desire." For the moment, I'm leaving it, but that seems like a reasonable guess.

AM UPDATE: Found the first missing character. 美麗 (If those show up, the second one is the traditional version of the same character; mainland uses simplified, Hong Kong and Taiwan use traditional) It goes along with měi as "méilì ", apparently emphasizing "beautiful". And the second is 伤 shāng , meaning "injure" or "injury". So... "Don't for your beauty hurt me." I wonder if there's an idiom in there... The literal translation doesn't make a whole lot of sense.


John said...

"Don't for your beauty hurt me."

Protest against animal-tested cosmetics?

Qalmlea said...

Possibly, except I wouldn't expect to see a carved sign for that. I'd expect to see a cardboard or plastic placard. *shrugs*