Is this an example of “Lost in Translation” or something else?

In China, learning English in the public schools is mandatory but speaking English like a native doesn’t always work well when you’re learning from a cartoon character called Mocky the naughty monkey.

Michael Meyer, the author of “The Last Days of Old Beijing” had this to say about Mocky: “Beijing students begin studying English in Grade One. Every child is enrolled in three forty-five-minute lessons each week until the end of elementary school, at Grade Six. Much of Mocky’s instruction is automated, reducing the teacher’s role to leading students through recitations of the dialogues, animated on a disc included with the text. Although Mocky speaks slowly, he sounds as if he’s inhaled some bad helium.”

Recently a friend shared the following e-mail (starts after the 1st video) with me and said it had gone viral among the Chinese. Because I’ve watched a number of Chinese films with English subtitles and knew about Mocky the naughty monkey, it was easy to read the e-mail and believe it was an example of “lost in translation” gone LOL crazy.

The viral E-mail starts next and ends before the 2nd video:

A friend went to Beijing recently and was given this brochure by the hotel.

She is keeping it and reading it whenever she feels depressed. The brochure has been translated directly, word for word, from Mandarin to English.

Getting There:

Our representative will make you wait at the airport. The bus to the hotel runs along the lake shore. Soon you will feel pleasure in passing water. You will know that you are getting near the hotel, because you will go round the bend. The manager will await you in the entrance hall. He always tries to have intercourse with all new guests.

The Hotel:

This is a family hotel, so children are very welcome. We of course are always pleased to accept adultery. Highly skilled nurses are available in the evenings to put down your children. Guests are invited to conjugate in the bar and expose themselves to others. But please note that ladies are not allowed to have babies in the bar. We organize social games, so no guest is ever left alone to play with them self.

The Restaurant:

Our menus have been carefully chosen to be ordinary and unexciting. At dinner, our quartet will circulate from table to table, and fiddle with you.

Your Room:

Every room has excellent facilities for your private parts. In winter, every room is on heat. Each room has a balcony offering views of outstanding obscenity!

You will not be disturbed by traffic noise, since the road between the hotel and the lake is used only by pederasts.


Your bed has been made in accordance with local tradition. If you have any other ideas please ring for the chambermaid. Please take advantage of her. She will be very pleased to squash your shirts, blouses and underwear. If asked, she will also squeeze your trousers.

Above All:

When you leave us at the end of your holiday, you will have no hope. You will struggle to forget it.

The punchline, as it turns out, is that the original e-mail that went viral was an April fool’s joke and one person who thought it was real forwarded it to everyone he knew who forwarded it again—going viral.

Also discover Translating “We Do Chicken Right”


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

His latest novel is the multiple-award winning Running with the Enemy.

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6 Responses to Is this an example of “Lost in Translation” or something else?

  1. donald says:

    Good write-up. I absolutely appreciate this website.
    Keep it up!

  2. Laurin says:

    It’s something else and that something is either a practical joke or gossip out of control

  3. danielfbowman says:

    The email looks like the best of many wrongly translated sentences from around the world. Nice April Fools Jokes.
    I wonder how soon Americans will need to learn Chinese because they are the world leaders.

    • Not quite yet, I think—China, being the world’s leader. If China achieves it’s goal of a middle class of 600+ million Chinese, that will be the first sign. From what I’ve been reading, China is about half way there at around 300 million and the pace is fast.

      China’s leaders may understand the importance of a well educated and growing middle class more than in the United States where poverty is growing and the middle class is shrinking. In addition to the fact that while China is improving its public education system, the United States is destroying its system through President Obama’s Common Core Standards designed to destroy public education and turn our children over to corporations to teach them so the corporations can earn a profit off the taxes that support the public schools.

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