Here’s a play on words seen on a Coke tissue dispenser at a restaurant. I’ve been seeing a lot more of this type of ad recently, such as the “brain freeze” sign at a 7-11, so I’ll keep an eye out for more and post them here.
The text reads:
kě kǒu kě lè, shí zài hǎo lè
The play on words comes in the form of 食在 (shí zài) – which is the exact same pronunciation as 實在（实在）meaning “really”, “truly”, or something similar. The result is that the sentence phonetically reads “Coca Cola, truly happy” (可口可樂，實在好樂). Though, after changing 實在好樂（实在好乐） to 食在好樂（食在好乐）the result is that it reads something more along the lines of “Coca Cola, happy with food”, or “Coca Cola, eat happily”. There’s no perfect way to translate this as the Chinese isn’t technically correct, though what we can be sure of is that this is a subtle reminder that your food might go down better with a Coke.
Have you seen any interesting Chinese play on words? Let us know in the comments if you have!