Shanghai to excise Chinglish from public signs

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David Wright  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 15:12
German to English
+ ...
What a pity May 3, 2010

Chinglish is one of the delights of travelling in China. I'll be sorry to see it go.

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Michael Mestre
France
Local time: 15:12
English to French
+ ...
Good (and sad) news but will they be able to do it ? May 3, 2010

While I agree with David that it would be sad to see such a rich source of entertainment removed, it really is a good piece of news for the sake of readability

However, I doubt that they will be able to remove Chinglish completely. At best they can have signs that an average English speaker can understand without rolling on the floor laughing.
I am not trying to imply that the Chinese can't be up to the task (I'm sure that there are extremely competent language professionals there), but the grammar is so different and both Chinese and English are so full of ambiguities that Chinese linguists translating /into/ English will occasionally make funny mistakes.
I guess that the same problem exists with any language pair involving very different languages...

I will add a quote from my own personal experience (a user manual obviously translated from Chinese):
"In any case the company is not reliable."

Good luck to Shanghai..


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Evonymus (Ewa Kazmierczak)  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 15:12
Member (2010)
English to Polish
+ ...
"don't want to see" May 3, 2010

one of my favourites "don't want to see" (i.e. "no entry")

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Arianne Farah  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 09:12
Member (2008)
English to French
....from someone on the ground - it won't happen! May 4, 2010

99% of the time English in China is like Chinese characters in the Western world (outside of Chinatown)... strictly for decorative purposes!

I remember reading a Reader's Digest story about a woman in America who thought some characters were pretty, copied them and then knitted them into a sweater... someone later pointed out that she was advertising that "this dish is cheap and delicious"

English in China is usually not there to convey information but rather to indicate status (look, we have English) or because some regulation imposed it.

The official pamphlet handed out at the Formula 1 races a few weeks ago were a disgrace, ranging from typos to utter gibberish... and this is an expat-centric event! I have seen "Please not to forgetting you.re cloth" on the personalized coat-check stubs of a very very high end venue.

And unfortunately it is considered incredibly rude to point out other people's mistakes or shortcomings as it causes the person to lose face so even if 5000 people (foreigners who couldn't care less about face) point out a certain mistake it won't be corrected since the person who made the mistake would lose even more face since a correction would imply that the person recognizes that a mistake was made.... not going to happen.

And when it's not spelling/grammar, it's utter gibberish... this bar just closed down... it was called "Hello Two Ok"...


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Arianne Farah  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 09:12
Member (2008)
English to French
Oh, and a few pearls May 4, 2010

When you hop into a cab, the meter tells you:

"Welcome to take my taxi. Please fasten seatbelt"

(note that there are no seatbelts in taxis)


When you complete a bank transaction at the ATM you are asked:

"Do you want advice?" "Yes" "No"

(if you press yes, you'll get the receipt


Just recently the automated phone tree for the major cell phone company top-up service was changed to comprehensible English spoken by a native. For the last 2 years it had been a Chinese woman's voice saying "Press 1 for claim loose mobeel process, Press 2 for [chinese word] susskiber".


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TAKAKO CN6YR
Japan
Local time: 22:12
Russian to Japanese
+ ...
Signs May 4, 2010

When it comes to funny English signs, Japan might be more entertaining than other countries as English and other European names are used almost everywhere, so laughing at other countries is the same as laughing at Japan itself...
But this restaurant in China definitely makes all of us smile: http://kanbanjournal.com/2008/07/54


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Erica Salvaneschi  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:12
English to Italian
+ ...
I bet you have never seen this one before May 4, 2010

as seen in Chengdu's airport

http://img168.imageshack.us/img168/920/img7917t.jpg


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TAKAKO CN6YR
Japan
Local time: 22:12
Russian to Japanese
+ ...
This is May 6, 2010

Erica Salvaneschi wrote:

as seen in Chengdu's airport

http://img168.imageshack.us/img168/920/img7917t.jpg


the worst one I have ever seen... How did they translate this?????


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