A Hostel for Punsters
11 Apr 2009
There’s a hotel on Shanghai’s West Zhongshan Road (中山西路) that I pass pretty often. Its Chinese name is 驴馆, or, literally, “Donkey Hostel.” Its English name is Red Donkey Hostel [website]. (Unsurprisingly, they passed on the opportunity for the similarly puntastic “Ass Hostel” English Translation.)
The Chinese name 驴馆 is a pun on the word 旅馆 (hostel). 驴 (donkey) and the 旅 in 旅馆 (hostel) are both pronounced lü. Even though 驴 is second tone (lǘ) and 旅 is third tone (lǚ), tone sandhi rules render their pronunciations identical in this case.
Here’s a (semi-fictional) image of what the hostel looks like:
See also: other articles on Chinese puns