Tuesday, June 13, 2006

German Teapot with "Asian-Inspired" Gibberish

Reader Lester B. has sent me this photo of a teapot from Germany.

German teapot with

The red text in German says "enjoy your first tea", yet the four "Chinese-looking" or "Asian-inspired" characters are complete gibberish, even when they are read upside down.


  1. I've solved it!

    中華國 out of order and the first half of 風水!

  2. 華中國風 maybe? It sorta makes sense if it were 中華國風, like "Chinese atmosphere".

  3. It also looks like 筆中國風.

  4. Looking at it upside down, I thought the first one was a mangled 華, but with it flipped over, it does look more like 筆 than 華. I think there's a common consensus that the third is a mangled 國...

    Maybe they were trying to get 中華風, which I know the Japanese sometimes use to mean "Chinese style."

  5. I have no idea how this fits in -at all- but the third one looks to me like a poor attempt at 団.

  6. I'm going with 國 too, but as for what that... thing is on the left, it is beyond my powers to say.

  7. 箏中國風. like tian says, it's just gibberish.

  8. Tian (and other commentors who know their chinese characters), could you please remember to let the rest of us in on the meanings of the characters?

    The German teapot makers probably wanted to say something like: 'harmony is found in a cup of tea' -- but what did they end up with? "Dog contain cat entrails"?


  9. To lori:

    Go here: http://www.zhongwen.com/m/search.htm

    Scroll to the bottom.


  10. Glenn is right when he says that 中国風 (chuu-goku fuu) means "Chinese style" in Japanese. The first character on the teapot (which no one seems to have figured out yet) is a mangled version of 幸 (saiwa-i), which means happiness. The full translation, then, for this pot of tea, is "Happiness, Chinese style".

  11. Pappi is right.
    It should be 中華國風.
    Not only the characters is upside-down, but also characters in the two words "中華" and "國風" are preposterous.
    中華 means China
    國風 means folklore
    these two words are both written language.

  12. I vote for either 華中国風, since my Nelson's 漢英辞典 lists 華中 as a word for "Central China", or 茶中国風, since it's prolly tea. Though what the first character looks to me most like is 府 over 手.