In my Biology SE question Identify this large, beige or pine cone-colored squareish beetle and/or the pine cone it's on? I included a snapshot of a poster I saw when hiking. I was told that it advises that the beetle shown in the photo is a pest. I can at least recognize that it begins with what looks like "小心!" There's no date on the poster but I assume that it's modern and not a historical reproduction.

I saw this poster while hiking in Taiwan.

I noticed that there are (almost always) a pair of phonetic characters (注音?) next to each Chinese characters. In Taiwan I see books of sutras and other prayers written this way, but I've never seen a public announcement that looked like this.

Is there any particular reason why this particular public notice would require the phonetic characters? Are they there as a courtesy? Is this considered artistic or stylized in any way? Does this make it more accessible (easier to read) or look more "official"?

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2 Answers 2


Texts written for schoolchildren will be annotated with phonetic symbols. The last sentence indicates that this poster is made for schoolchildren:


If any [eggs] are found, take the opportunity to let the teacher know, so that they can remove [the eggs] before they hatch.

  • 1
    Ah, yes that explains it. Thanks!
    – uhoh
    Commented Apr 27, 2020 at 15:13
  • I've cited a website written in Chinese in this answer to a different species identification question in Biology SE. If you have a moment to take a look, please feel free to edit if I've misquoted the site. Thanks!
    – uhoh
    Commented Jul 31, 2020 at 0:56

This is bopomofo. Taiwanese people use it instead of pinyin for transcription. They also use a bopomofo keyboard for typing on their phones.

I'm travelling in Taiwan right now and I've seen it in children's books:

Children's book with bopomofo

and in very few other places, such as the zoo:

Zoo sign with bopomofo

Another zoo sign with bopomofo

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