No more funny translations in China (AP news article)
Thread poster: Silvina Beatriz Codina

Silvina Beatriz Codina  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:04
Member (2002)
English to Spanish
Dec 9, 2002

We have all seen these involuntarily funny translations. They are a hoot, of course, but one has to take into account that they do not fulfill their purpose.

I guess the following is good news for Chinese translators. Because, I expect, this must mean they\'ll call good professional translators to do the job, not amateurs or machines.

World - AP Features

Beijing launches campaign against bad English-language signs

BEIJING - Fed-up with menus offering delicacies such as \"fried pawns\" and \"bean eurd,\" Beijing is declaring war against incomprehensible and misspelled English-language signs and notices, the state-run China Daily reported Friday.

\"There are many \'Chinglish\' words on road signs, public notices, menus and signs describing scenic spots, which often puzzle foreigners,\" Xiong Yumei, vice director of the Beijing Tourism Bureau, was quoted as saying.

The signs feature misspellings, obscure abbreviations and jarring word-for-word translations of Chinese characters into English.

Some examples: \"Collecting Money Toilet\" for a public toilet, and \"To take notice of safe, the slippery are very crafty\" on a sign warning that roads are slippery.

Restaurant menus are also fertile ground for indelicate misspellings.

\"When I had dinner with my friends at a Chinese restaurant at the Temple of Heaven, it took us a while to realize that the \'crap\' on the menu was, in fact, a misspelled but very tasty fish,\" said Janet Clause, an Australian tourist, referring to \"carp.\"

\"The soft-fried \'pawns\' are a seafood without \'r\' and the \'bean eurd\' is, I presume, bean curd. It is surprising how many spelling mistakes can exist on a five-page English menu,\" she was quoted as saying in the newspaper.

Students at prestigious Peking University have launched a six-month campaign to root out problem signs at 60 well-known tourist spots, relying in part on tips from foreign visitors, the newspaper said.

\"Linguistic perfection is becoming increasingly important with the rise in the number of foreigners flowing into the city,\" said Li Honghai, a top official with a municipal committee promoting the study of foreign languages among Beijing residents.

The newspaper said more than 3 million foreign tourists will have visited Beijing by the end of this year.


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No more funny translations in China (AP news article)

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