Inventively mangled foreign-language versions of signs and menus have become an iconic feature of China, but the government is imposing a compulsory list of 3,500 common translated phrases for public use in a bid to rid the country of Chinglish.

Starting from December, the Standardisation Administration, Ministry of Education, and General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine will issue a new guide, while encouraging sign-makers to “prioritize correct grammar” and avoid misleading direct translations.

Particular focus will be on translations that are offensive, discriminatory, or unpatriotic.

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Wrong translations “damage the country’s image,” while better use of foreign languages in public spaces will pave the way for the “development of a multilingual society,” officials explained in an article published in the state-owned People’s Daily.

The rapid opening up and economic development of a country, where most do not read foreign alphabets or speak other languages, in the past several decades has produced a demand for foreign-language texts that is simply not matched by the requisite expertise.