Monday, October 16, 2006

Chinglish


"Sunday, October 15, 2006
Drive Launched To Correct Bad English Ahead Of Beijing 2008
Posted 10:23 am ET (GamesBids.com)

A new drive has been launched to correct bad English in China ahead of the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympic Games.

Although there have been previous attempts to wipe out what is called “Chinglish” phrases often seen on Chinese street signs and product labels, they have not been successful.

Examples of Chinglish range from emergency exists at Beijing airport which read “no entry on peacetime”, a road sign on Beijing’s Avenue of Eternal Peace warning of a dangerous pavement says, “to take notice of safe; the slippery are very crafty” and menus which list such items as “corrugated iron beef”, “government abuse chicken”, and “chop the strange fish”.

Xinhua reports that Beijing city authorities will issue new translation guides by the end of the year. Booklets would be handed out to hotels and shopping malls, on public transit, and at tourist attractions.

Mistranslations reportedly happen because many Chinese words express concepts obliquely and can be interpreted in multiple ways, making translation a minefield for non-English speakers.

A month after being awarded the 2008 Games in 2001 Beijing’s municipal government attempted to stamp out the problem and a year later the Beijing Tourism Bureau set up a hotline for visitors and residents to monitor complaints about bad English. The bureau said a panel of English professors and expatriates would review results."



A classic example.

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