Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Fighting Against Misused: Shanghai Is Cleaning Up Chinglish Signage

For 2008 Olympic Games, Beijing replaced thousands of English signages, which included 400,000 street signs and 1,300 restaurant menus, such as Dongda Anus Hospital was rechristened Dongda Proctology Hospital; Racist Park was rechristened Minorities Park. Now it's turn for Shanghai. To greet millions of visitors, Shanghai is taking great effort to eliminate mangled English of Chinglish. "The purpose of signage is to be useful, not to be amusing," said Zhao Huimin, the former Chinese ambassador to the United Sates.

However, while the Chinese people are striving to eliminate Chinglish, Oliver Lutz Radtke, a former German radio reporter, put forward an opinion that Chinglish deserves preservation. "If you standardize all these signs, you not only take away the little giggle you get while strolling in the part but you lose a window into the Chinese mind." Jeffrey Yao, an English translator and teacher offered an example: for the warning "Keep Off the Grass", Chinese version tries to express it into a gentle way, that is "The little Grass Is Sleeping. Please Don't Disturb It." "Some Chinglish expressions are nice, but we are not translating literature here," said Mr. Yao, " I want to see people nodding that they understand the message on these signs. I don't want to see them laughing."

Source: NDTV.

Read more at http://www.ndtv.com/news/world/shanghai-works-on-fixing-the-mangled-english-of-chinglish-22975.php

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