Tuesday, April 24, 2007

CNN Revisiting Chinglish

Bad English.

Everyone’s seen it. It’s everywhere. No matter where you go in China, you’ll find signs like these.

As a Chinese American, who has been on many trips with other Americans to different tourist places in China, seeing a funny sign is…well, funny. In preparation for the Olympics, the Beijing Government instituted a program where Beijingers and foreigners in Beijing are encouraged to help find and correct such signs.

This initiative was first instituted in late 2005. Xinhua had an article on the problem entitied English signs in Beijing "lost in translation". The blog, Danwei had a detailed post; Beijing cleans up its own sign translations, on the subject. In my recollection, I remember this being reported in multiple Chinese media outlets and different western papers.

On April 19th 2007, Cnn.com posted an article on its website called Chinese officials crack down on bad English. This article basically reiterated what Danwei and Xinhua talked about more than a year and half ago.

How did CNN miss the boat on this for almost 2 years? Why are they writing about old news? Can anyone give me a good explanation that doesn't involve the China Olympics/Sudan issue that has recently came up?


Clement Wan said...
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Clement Wan said...

Personally I think the best mistranslation / example of poor english is the Quarantine forms they make you fill out at the border that ask if you've been snivelling lately.

Mike said...

I actually rather prefer the huge advertisements in the middle of the shopping district, declaring "big tome first open salle"

shirleyp said...

The translation for CNN's re-visiting is just that--RE-visiting. You think as the 2008 Olympics get closer we might see a lot of subjects re-visited just to make sure everything is covered?