Not all Chinese businesspeople are willing to spend money on professional translation. Thus, most signs and labels end up as horrible English translations.

One example is this label in a supermarket in China that reads “A Time Sex Thing.” Looking at the picture, a disposable cup, you might wonder how it is related to the label.


Actually, it’s a word-by-word mistranslation. The person who translated the Chinese phrase “一次性用品” might have looked up each morpheme in a Chinese-English dictionary and picked the shortest or simplest alternative in each case.

In fact, “一次性用品,” if translated right, means “having the nature of single-use” or, in short, “disposable.”