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Thursday, November 8, 2007

Chinglish Strikes Again!

Open letter to Chinese Government

Dear Comrades:

Please allow me to proofread English signs in China. I will do it for free. China needs serious clean ups from Chinglish if it ever wants to be a respected member of the international community. Case examples below:

In Chinese, the word "gong" could mean either public or male depending on the context. So in the sign below, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China has its business service hours to the public as "To Male Service."

Well, I have to give credit to the sign below for cramming half a dozen Chinglish faux pas into one sign. So, where do we start? The literal translation of bus station entrance in Chinese is "enter station mouth" or phonetically "jin zhang kou." So, they translated bus station entrance as "bus stop jin mouth." Oh yeah, make sure when you ride the bus, you are a civilized bus rider (this one requires a bit of cultural context, you'll know what uncivilized riders are like once you ride a Chinese bus) and also remember to consciously queue up...

Hmmm, well you get the point.

In summary, we need to clean up Chinglish with the same fervor as we started the Revolution. Viva La Revolucion!

Sincerely,

Camrade Cat

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is so funny! I could not believe that they would have the signs displayed in public...

Cat said...

Chinglish is everywhere in China unfortunately. I really think they ought to stop putting up English signs because the translations are so crappy! Even the Chinese consulate in LA is not spared from Chinglish. The English on one of its announcements at the visa place was so bad that, someone wrote a big "F" on it.

Sun said...

jin zhang kuo--I think you are talking about "jin zhan kou", which is the Pinyin of 进站口.

Anonymous said...

wait, the male "gong" isn't the same as the public "gong" is it? -J

Cat said...

Yes, it is "jin zhan kou." I guess my Englese is just as bad as their Chinglish :-)

Yes, J, the male "gong" is the same as the public "gong", though public gong is commonly referred to as "gong1gong4" with the "gong4" being the same "gong4" as Communist (gong4chang3).

Sun said...

Again, Gong means Business, we normally say "danwei"-单位,compared with the Individual Service above.

Cat said...

Haha, I see, I misunderstood the sign above. So they were really referring to service to businesses (gong1si1) rather than service to the general public (gong1gong4). I will have to correct my blog. Thanks for the education.

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