Monday, December 23, 2013

Understanding Taiwan's Tobacco Labels

A Disassociated Press Public Service Memo [黑色幽默, kuso, satire]

by Eric Mader

The Chinese writing system is the world's most difficult--by a long shot. Foreigners who move to Taiwan engage in a daily uphill battle to read shop signs, posters and product labels.

Having been here awhile, and studied Chinese, I thought I should do my part to help newcomers make sense of their environment. Today I'll post these translations of Taiwan's tobacco warning labels for the foreigner smokers here who can't yet read Chinese.

Label 1

This one says: The wife and kid getting on your nerves? Time to step out for a quiet smoke. And why not stop in at the pub for a pint while you're at it?

Label 2

This one says: One of these lungs belongs to a street-smart big city detective always one step ahead of the game. The other belongs to a suburbanite flake who believes in crystal healing. Can you tell which is which?

Label 3

This one says: Yes, it is possible to continue smoking while having sex. Just be careful you don't stub your cigarette.

Label 4

This one says: Colas and other soft drinks not only rot your teeth, they can also lead to obesity. Tobacco, a known appetite suppressant, can help you shed those unwanted pounds.

Label 5

This one says: Smoking is one of life's great pleasures. Given the current state of smoking technology, however, you will have to wait to be born before you can begin.

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