Author Topic: Engrish  (Read 1109 times)

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Offline Alligator

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« on: October 15, 2006, 08:47:08 PM »
I came across this article on the bbc news website and it reminded me of the attached link below, which has been circulating on email for a couple of years, but still makes me chuckle.

Beijing stamps out poor English 
China has launched a fresh drive to clamp down on bad English in the run-up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Previous attempts to wipe out Chinglish - the mistranslated phrases often seen on Chinese street signs and product labels - have met with little success.

Emergency exits at Beijing airport read "No entry on peacetime" and the Ethnic Minorities Park is named "Racist Park".

Beijing city authorities will issue new translation guides by the end of the year, Xinhua news agency said.

Running joke

The booklets would be handed out to hotels and shopping malls, on public transport and at tourist attractions.

Chinglish has become a running joke among many foreigners in China, and several websites have been set up listing humorous examples of mistranslation.

A road sign on Beijing's Avenue of Eternal Peace warns of a dangerous pavement with the words: "To Take Notice of Safe; The Slippery are Very Crafty".

Menus frequently list items such as "Corrugated iron beef", "Government abuse chicken" and "Chop the strange fish".

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

The municipal government in Beijing first tried to stamp out the problem just a month after being awarded the 2008 Olympics back in 2001.

A year later the Beijing Tourism Bureau set up a hotline for visitors and residents to tip off examples of bad English, and said results would be reviewed by a panel of English professors and expatriates.

The file on the attached link shows a number of signs that have been found around Asia, it's funny that you know what they mean to say, but they just manage to get it so badly wrong.  ;D

Similar amusing and pretty impressive slideshows can also be found on this site by just clicking on this link  The 'chav wedding' is quite a good one.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2006, 08:53:34 PM by Alligator »

Offline Jarvis

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Re: Engrish
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2006, 02:01:01 PM »

Always good for a laugh these orientals  ;D

A relly of mine has a Japanese girlfriend.

Recently, while she was touring Egypt, she phoned my sister to tell her where she was, and where she was going next......

" Herro, I'm in a hotel in Ky-Lo, tomorrow I go to Rux-or"

We assume she was in Cairo and travelling on to Luxor  :-X

Offline Tel Hudson

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Re: Engrish
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2006, 05:50:19 PM »
I shouldn't be too critical of the Chinese because I cannot speak or write Chinese - at least they are making themselves understood in English.  Also the labial sound in Chinese and Japanese is half-way between 'L' and 'R' and we misinterpret it because it sounds wrong.  So what was probably said was actually, "Helro I'm in Ky-lro. I go to Lruxor"  We automatically notice and magnify the difference between that and standard pronunciation.

The Germans have a similar problem as the German 'W' is halfway between the English 'V' and 'W'.  Try asking a German to say "The Vales of Wales."

Anyway enough of this sanctimonious nonsense.  These are a few I have come across.

Sign in a Thai hotel
"To go up press button up.  To go down press button down.  Press both button get you nowhere."

On some exterior party lights
"For inside and outside use only."

A French Ski instructor once called out to me
"Conserve your weight."
(I never did find out what that meant.)

Instructions for an Irish caravaning holiday.  (You hire a Gypsy style horse drawn caravan and go off by yourself.)
"Do not leave the horse under the caravan overnight."
"The first thing to do each morning is catch your horse."
(Perfectly good English but this was in the brochure.)

And now an English one from a sign outside a Pick-Your-Own strawberry place just South of Junct 11 in May
"XXX Farm, CLOSED  Pick Your Own"
I am right 96% of the time. I don't give an aerial intercourse about the other 5%..