A subway ad, at the Dongsishitiao station on Beijing's Line 2, that involves a very interesting language issue. I've passed by this ad a number of times in the last month but didn't have a camera handy until now.

http://i142.photobucket.com/albums/r96/jfallows/IMG_5327.jpg

English speakers could, I think, read these English words in two ways:
    1) More freedom, and also more happiness (no causal relationship, "bigger and better"); or
    2) The greater the freedom, the greater the happiness (cause-effect, "the more, the merrier").

I've gotten different views from my native Chinese-speaking friends about the connotations of the Chinese version, 更多自由, 更多欢乐. Some say that it could be read both ways, like English; others, that it mainly means #1. So there are various possibilities here, all interesting: that this is a slyly subversive message in both languages; that it is an unintentional transmission of a subversive message though inexact translation; or that it is a fully intentional and brilliantly conceived transmission in English only, letting foreign-language readers conclude that an increase-freedom campaign is underway.

I can't say, but I'm tantalized by the possibilities.

What is has to do in either language with panda-themed tourism is a different question.

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