Emergency Toilets (Guilin)

Spotted this sign in Guilin:


This is not Chinglish. This is not bad translation. This has got to just be someone’s idea of a joke.

What the Chinese actually says is:

应急避难所 (yìngjí bìnànsuǒ) emergency shelter / place of refuge in an emergency

I feel a little bad for the foreigner sprinting for a toilet like the guy on the sign, and unable to find one in time…

(It is kind of funny, though!)


John Pasden

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


  1. It’s a stretch, but you don’t think it might still be an artefact of bad machine translation? I’m thinking somehow misparsing 避难 by itself and then 所 is taken as a shorthand for toilet…

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