The word “propaganda” (å®£ä¼ xuÄnâ€‹chuÃ¡nâ€‹) doesn’t carry the same sinister connotations in Chinese. A range of promotional material and activity that we wouldn’t automatically consider insidious in North America would be called “propaganda” in Chinese. (So maybe it’d be most accurate to use the word “propaganda” more broadly like the Chinese do but retain the negative connotations?) Anyway, this April contained a lot of propaganda. Before the gov. started spinning its role in the earthquake relief efforts, an unrelated propaganda campaign was already underway in Tianjin.
I mentioned in before how our teacher warned me about this April’s campaign in Tianjin to enforce previously unenforced laws; she was afraid I’d get a ticket for the way I bike. Our neighbourhood got some colourful new posters detailing the rules in pictures, though the photo at right of our neighbourhood notice board shows how much people seemed to care. Our Chinese teacher’s explanation of how people feel about these little campaigns (“è¡ŒåŠ¨“) fits right in with what we’ve seen in our area. After all, they’ve been through this drill before.
According to her, there’s an understanding between the front line guys who have to make a show of implementing these kinds of campaigns and the people who are supposed to alter their behaviour/business activities: play the game, let us put on a show for our bosses so they can report to their bosses, and we’ll continue looking the other way just like we’ve always done once this little xÃngdÃ²ng blows over.
I won’t bother translating all the text from the posters, but here’s the main parts (left to right, top to bottom). I followed the Chinese grammar as close as I could for fellow language students’ sake. Not the most exciting material, I know, but this is our neighbourhood; all the behaviours mentioned are ubiquitous around here, though some more than others. Besides, you know you’ve always wanted to know how to say “propaganda poster” in Chinese!
“Tianjin City City Administration Regulations” Propaganda Poster 1
tiÄnjÄ«nshÃ¬ chÃ©ngshÃ¬ guÇŽnlÇ guÄ«dÃ¬ng xuÄnchuÃ¡n guÃ tÃº
City residents ought to abide by City Administration laws and regulations and behaviour norms, cherish public facilities, protect the public environment, and maintain public order.
shÃ¬mÃn yÄ«ngdÄng zÅ«nshÇ’u chÃ©ngshÃ¬ guÇŽnlÇ fÇŽlÇœ guÄ«dÃ¬ng hÃ© xÃngwÃ©i zhÇ”zÃ©, Ã ihÃ¹ gÅnggÃ²ng shÃ¨shÄ«, bÇŽohÃ¹ gÅnggÃ²ng huÃ¡njÃ¬ng, wÃ©ihÃ¹ gÅnggÃ²ng zhÃ¬xÃ¹
In public places it is strictly forbidden everywhere to spit phlegm, spit chewing gum, strictly forbidden everywhere to pee or relieve yourself, strictly forbidden to carelessly throw cigarette butts, paper scraps, fruit peels and pits as well as all kinds of other waste material. [Sign: Prohibited everywhere to poo or pee] (Fine: 50å…ƒ/$7.45)
Ã i gÅnggÃ²ng chÇŽngsuÇ’ yÃ¡njÃ¬n suÃdÃ¬ tÇ”tÃ¡n, tÇ” kÇ’uxiÄngtÃ¡ng, yÃ¡njÃ¬n suÃchÃ¹ biÃ nnÃ¬ huÃ²zhÄ› luÃ n dÃ ofÃ¨ibiÃ n, yÃ¡njÃ¬n luÃ nrÄ“ng yÄndÃ¬, zhÇxiÃ¨, guÄguÇ’ pÃ hÃ© yÇjÃ qÃtÄ gÃ¨lÃ¨i fÃ¨iqÃ¬wÃ¹. [jÃ¬nzhÇ suÃdÃ¬ dÃ xiÇŽobiÃ n]
It is strictly forbidden from buildings or vehicles to toss out any kind of material.
yÃ¡njÃ¬n yÃ³u jiÃ nzhÃ¹wÃ¹ huÃ²zhÄ› chÄ“liÃ ng xiÃ ngwÃ i zhÃ¬ gÃ¨lÃ¨i wÃ¹pÇn
It is strictly forbidden on buildings, construction and other installations or trees, residential passageways and other places to exhibit, post, hang, carve, scribble, any kind of urban eyesore slogans, propaganda articles and other materials.
ä¸¥ç¦åœ¨å»ºç‘ç‰©ã€æž„ç‘ç‰©å’Œå…¶ä»–è®¾æ–½æˆ–è€…æ ‘æœ¨ã€å±…æ°‘æ¥¼é“ç‰å¤„æ‘†æ”¾ã€å¼ è´´ã€æ‚¬æŒ‚ã€åˆ»åˆ’ã€æ¶‚å†™å„ç§æœ‰ç¢å¸‚å®¹å¸‚è²Œçš„æ ‡è¯ã€å®£ä¼ å“å’Œå…¶ä»–ç‰©å“ã€‚
yÃ¡njÃ¬n zÃ i jiÃ nzhÃ¹wÃ¹, gÃ²uzhÃ¹wÃ¹ hÃ© qÃtÄ shÃ¨shÄ« huÃ²zhÄ› shÃ¹mÃ¹, jÅ«mÃn lÃ³udÃ o dÄ›ngchÃ¹ bÇŽifÃ ng, zhÄngtiÄ“, kÃ¨huÃ¡, tÃºxiÄ› gÃ¨zhÇ’ng yÇ’uÃ ishÃ¬rÃ³ng shÃ¬ mÃ o de biÄoyÇ”, xuÄnchuÃ¡npÇn hÃ© qÃtÄ wÃ¹pÇn
It is strictly forbidden whatsoever for work units and individuals to privately put up disorderly buildings.
yÃ¡njÃ¬n rÃ¨nhÃ© dÄnwÃ¨i hÃ© gÃ¨rÃ©n sÄ« dÄ luÃ n gÃ i
It is strictly forbidden on residential buildings outer eaves to add new doors and windows, open windows and alter doors or increase the original door and window dimensions. [Privately owned beauty parlour]
yÃ¡njÃ¬n zÃ i zhÃ¹zhÃ¡i lÃ³ufÃ¡ng wÃ i yÃ¡nshÃ ng zÄ“ngshÃ¨ mÃ©n chuÄng, chÄi chuÄng gÇŽi mÃ©n huÃ²zhÄ› kuÃ²dÃ yuÃ¡nyÇ’u mÃ©n chuÄng chÇcÃ¹n. [sÄ«jiÄ mÄ›ifÃ ]
(A whole strip of first floor street-facing businesses next to our complex have just filled in their illegal doors half-way and either posted signs saying “Normal business hours, go around” or provided steps for people to step over the recently laid bricks. After the first two three of the campaign, some of the businesses have already knocked most of their brickwork back down.)
It is strictly forbidden to illegally occupy the road, in public locations to display and sell, food and drink, or engage in activities like motor vehicle washing and repairing, etc. [Intersection Jianbing][Sanitary and clean]
yÃ¡njÃ¬n wÃ©ifÇŽ zhÃ nyÃ²ng dÃ olÃ¹, gÅnggÃ²ng chÇŽngsuÇ’ cÃ³ngshÃ¬ bÇŽimÃ i, cÄnyÇn, jÄ«dÃ²ngchÄ“ qÄ«ngxÇ hÃ© xiÅ«lÇ dÄ›ng jÄ«ngyÃng huÃ³dÃ²ng. [dÃ okÇ’u jiÄnbing][wÃ¨ishÄ“ng gÄnjÃ¬ng]
(Around here this means that all the street cart vendors have started crowding the entrances to neighbourhoods rather than being right out on the street corners.)
It is strictly forbidden on the road and in neighbourhood unappointed places to burn funeral wreaths, paper money and other funeral articles.
yÃ¡njÃ¬n zÃ i dÃ olÃ¹ jÃ shÃ¨qÅ« fÄ“izhÇdÃ¬ng qÅ«yÃ¹ nÃ¨i fÃ©nshÄo huÄquÄn, zhÇqiÃ¡n jÃ qÃtÄ sÄngzÃ ng yÃ²ngpÇn.
It is strictly forbidden for individuals to raise aggressive dogs, big-size dogs. (Penalty: 1000å…ƒ fine and the dog gets confiscated.)
yÃ¡njÃ¬n gÃ¨rÃ©n sÃ¬yÇŽng liÃ¨xÃ¬ng quÇŽn, dÃ xÃng quÇŽn.
It is strictly forbidden to make use of high-volume broadcast loudspeakers or to produce other high-level noise to interfere with the surrounding residential life; if engaging in household indoor entertainment, renovations, etc., activities, you ought to restrict the time or take effective measures to alleviate noise pollution. (Amen!!!)
yÃ¡njÃ¬n shÇyÃ²ng gÄo shÄ“ng guÇŽngbÅ lÇŽba huÃ²zhÄ› fÄchÅ« qÃtÄ gao zÃ oshÄ“ng gÄnrÇŽo zhÅuwÃ©i jÅ«mÃn shÄ“nghuÃ³; cÃ³ngshÃ¬ jiÄtÃng shÃ¬nÃ¨i yÃºlÃ¨, zhuÄngxiÅ« dÄ›ng huÃ³dÃ²ng, yÄ«ngdÄng xiÃ nzhÃ¬ shÃjiÄn huÃ²zhÄ› cÇŽiqÇ” yÇ’uxiÃ ocuÃ²shÄ« jiÇŽnqÄ«ng zÃ oyÄ«n wÅ«rÇŽn.
It is strictly forbidden to illegally occupying city streets. It is strictly forbidden to change the purpose of approved road occupation or move location, expand area or extend occupation time length without approval.
ä¸¥ç¦è¿æ³•å ç”¨åŸŽå¸‚é“è·¯ã€‚ä¸¥ç¦æœªç»æ‰¹å‡†æ”¹å˜å è·¯ç”¨é€”æˆ–è€…ç§»åŠ¨ä½ç½®ã€æ‰©å¤§é¢ç§¯ã€å»¶é•¿æ—¶é—´ã€‚
yÃ¡njÃ¬n wÃ©ifÇŽ zhÃ nyÃ²ng chÃ©ngshÃ¬ dÃ olÃ¹. yÃ¡njÃ¬n wÃ¨ijÄ«ng pÄ«zhÇ”n gÇŽibiÃ n zhÃ n lÃ¹ yÃ²ngtÃº huÃ²zhe yÃdÃ²ng wÃ¨izhi, kuÃ²dÃ miÃ njÄ«, yÃ¡nchÃ¡ng shÃjiÄn.
It is strictly forbidden in the first place to illegally damage park green spaces. It is strictly forbidden after occupying park green spaces to delay in rehabilitating.
ä¸¥ç¦è¿æ³•å åŽ‹ã€ç ´åå›æž—ç»¿åœ°ã€‚ä¸¥ç¦å ç”¨å›æž—ç»¿åœ°åŽè¿Ÿå»¶æ¢å¤ã€‚
yÃ¡njÃ¬n wÃ©ifÇŽ zhÃ n yÃ , pÃ²huÃ i yuÃ¡nlÃn lÇœdÃ¬. yÃ¡njÃ¬n zhÃ nyÃ²ng yuÃ¡nlÃn lÇœdÃ¬ fÃ²u chÃyÃ¡n huÄ«fÃ¹.
And here’s some other recent sloganeering from near our old neighbourhood:
“Implement the Scientific Development Concept, strive to establish an economically strong district, cultured greater area and an ecologically suitable-for-dwelling city. (A Binshui Nanli Neighbourhood Committee announcement)”
luÃ²shÃ kÄ“xuÃ© fÄzhÇŽn guÄn, nÇ”lÃ¬ jÃ¬nshÃ¨ jÄ«ngjÃ¬ qiÃ¡ng qÅ«, wÃ©nhuÃ dÃ qÅ« hÃ© shÄ“ngtÃ i yÃ jÅ« chÃ©ngqÅ«. (bÄ«nshuÇnÃ¡nlÇ jÅ«wÄ›ihuÃ¬ xuÄn)
“Support the motherland, love Tianjin, behave like civilized Hexi district people!”
zÃ n zÇ”guÃ³, Ã i tiÄnjÄ«n, zuÃ² wÃ©nmÃng hÃ©xÄ«rÃ©n
For an interesting, unflinching window into contemporary China, I’d suggest checking out this large photo collection of translated slogans and photos — some are funny; some are very, very sad. Once you get out of the higher-profile cities on the coast, the slogans become much more… galling.