Lost in Chinese translation: Please Support the Door?

Nobody wants to be that person holding the door open and breaking Muni, alarm blaring, multiple pairs of eyes throwing daggers, so this is generally good advice.

But rider Dave on the Muni Diaries Facebook page noticed that something might be lost in translation on this sign. The Chinese translation of “Please do not hold the doors” actually reads, “Please do not support or help the doors.”

(Well, the door might need a little help in the form of riders collectively yelling “Step down!”)

Being Chinese-speaking myself, I think the word “扶” can also mean “to physically hold.” Could the translation also be interpreted as, “Please do not lean on the doors”?

Chinese-speaking riders, help us out: what should the sign really say?

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  • Chinese Rider

    I’m not sure of the Cantonese, but in mandarin, the more standard version seems to be 严禁扒门 or 禁止掰门. Oddly parallel, based on google results for this, it’s often somewhat mistranslated into English as “Please don’t slap the door and force open”.

  • Another Chinese Rider

    The translation is passable, though possibly a bit awkward. This sign I spotted on this transbay AC Transit double decker on the other hand is definitely wrong and somewhat unintelligible – the sign translated “Watch Your Head” literally, turning it into “Look at your head” in Chinese. I guess it’s a friendly reminder to comb your hair on the bus?


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