Friday Puzzle – Chinese Sign Answer

I saw this sign twice in China. It reads: 向前一小歩 文明一大歩.

Literally, “direction forward one small step, civilization one big step.” Neil Armstrong was a big hint that you could put this into something like, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” 文明 means civilization, so you could plug that or something like “society” in for mankind.

The location was the best part of the sign. It was above the urinals in a men’s room, making that one small but literal step forward. Here’s a picture of the whole sign:

I think the translation provided on the sign is great. It avoids putzing around in the lingo and manages to be quick and crisp like the original.

Four people got the translation for this correct. Three got the location right but claimed to have seen it or heard of it before, so I drew randomly from all four. The winner this week is Bilbo…on the Fukushima JETs Forum. Congrats, Billy.