Why the Chinese will Never rule the World

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Much attention has been given to the Chinese in recent years and their rapid industrial growth. Seems everything you buy these days is made in China. Well, not everything … yet … but that seems to be the fear. I say we have nothing to worry about.

We inherited my step-dad’s motor scooter and since we had no use for it, we decided to sell it. It was made in China. I have to wonder why they don’t get an actual English speaking person (English as a first language) to at least proof read their instruction manuals if not write them outright.

Here are some excerpts from the instruction manual for the scooter.

  • Wear brightly garment.
  • It is not available to close other vehicle nearer.
  • Accident often occurs due to over speed, so never surpass the maximum speed in the road you are passing.
  • The passage should hold the safe handrail firmly or embrace the driver, and put the foot on the footrest.

These are all good recommendations and we know full well what is meant. Still, it is hard to take seriously such silly sounding statements or the people who allowed them to remain so.

At one point while firing up the scooter after it had sat for a couple of months, Bernd inadvertently flooded the engine by following these instructions:  When start engine in cold especially in winter turn the ignition switch to OFF, Paddle the kick back start lever about 5 times, there comes a slight of fuel, let the wire in circuit, the engine can start.

Because he had flooded it, he looked in the instructions to learn where the spark plug was so that he could remove it and clean it. He found the section he needed but he was told to “ripe” off the plug.

My personal favorite is this one:  Ride on seat from the left. Make sure to sit well, let the left foot on the ground to keep from upside down. Before running the rear brake should be keep in braking condition. It really made me chuckle.

Are they trying to save money? Do they think they can write as well in any language as they do in Chinese? Do they care whether or not anyone understands what they are trying to get across? Because we were unfamiliar with the scooter, we had some trouble starting it (aside from it having sat for a quite a while). We discovered that the “kill” switch is a toggle switch and that it was engaged. Nowhere in the manual did it mention that the scooter will not start while the kill switch is engaged. Okay, so possibly that one is a no-brainer, but most kill switches I’ve had experience with are buttons and cannot be left in an engaged position. But if it had been mentioned, it might have gone something like this:  With that the kill switch is on the engine can not be start. Do not toggle the switch and the engine may be start.

Some time ago, Bernd ran across a woman on the Internet who was writing about techniques for dealing with mean people. Stating that she was a lifelong fan of “Japlish,” she used an example from an instruction manual that she found amusing:  When passenger of foot heave in sight, tootle the horn. Trumpet him melodiously at first, but if he still obstacles your passage then tootle him with vigor.

Because of my husband’s experience with this and other manuals written in “Chinglish” (his word), he is now secure in the knowledge that the Chinese will never rule the world. He does admit though, that they can probably cause a lot of trouble … mainly with their instruction manuals.

If any of you have run across similar badly worded instructions, I would love to hear about them. A good chuckle always makes my day brighter.

Published by Dianne Lehmann

I'm a writer. But I'm also a wife and a mom to a couple of fur babies. You could call me a cook (but never a chef, I'm not that good) and provisioner as well. Laundress? Yeah. Probably. I design jewelry and I crochet. But mostly I love to write. I love words and how they sound. I love their meanings and origins. I love stringing them together. And of course, I love to read. Thinking about it just now, I realize that what I love most is life and the people around me with a special place set aside for my wonderful husband, our adorable dog and our inscrutable cat. It's the world and the people in it that fuels my writing. So thanks to you all for being the amazing beings that you are.

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