Apparently there has been some hasty Babel Fish translation going on in China in preparation for the Olympics. The Chinese characters pictured mean "restaurant". The sign looks rather expensive! :-)
Having worked in the localization business its hard for me to fathom printing and posting an expensive sign based on machine translation, but I see it happen all the time both for English in Japan and Japanese in Hawaii. In Japan I once worked for a company that had a large professionally printed sign warning "Use not the door lest the portal consume you." I felt like a druid had just cursed me every time I walked by that area. Mika recently noticed a (American) surfer with a very impressive looking kanji tattoo that simply read "foot":
The moral to the story is: Use a professional translator for signs and tattoos, or at least ask a native speaking friend. If you live in Hawaii and don't have any Chinese or Japanese speaking friends then you need to get out more. :-)
, thank you for sending us this link.