Crazy Circus Chinese Characters

14 Feb 2017

I’m always on the lookout for interesting, creative use of Chinese characters, and that includes cool and weird Chinese fonts. Well, the characters at the bottom of this poster really caught me by surprise, because I didn’t even realize they were characters at first:

Crazy Circus City

If you’re struggling to make anything out, note that English at the bottom right: “Crazy Circus City.” Big clue.

OK, here’s what it reads:

疯狂马戏城

Literally, “crazy (疯狂) circus (马戏) city ().”

(Don’t worry if you still find it hard to read even after you know what it says, and even if you know the characters. It’s really hard to read!)

For some reason the traditional form of is used, though: . My Chinese teacher back in college always told me that mixing simplified and traditional characters was a big no-no. It’s just too… crazy.

If the whole thing had been in traditional characters, it would have read:

瘋狂馬戲城

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John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.

Comments

  1. Also it uses some cursive forms typical of handwriting (the outer radical in 疯 and the 王 in 狂), which makes it even more difficult to make out. Very cool find.

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