Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Shanghai Is Trying to Untangle the Mangled English of Chinglish

In Andrew Jacobs’s “Shanghai Is Trying to Untangle the Mangled English of Chinglish” in May 2, 2010’s New York Times, a serious but nonetheless funny sign culture in China is both supported and attacked. The idea of Chinglish has been around ever since China began translating signs for those who spoke English in their country. Due to laziness and the use of a common yet terrible translating program, the translated signs all around China have become more entertaining then purposeful. Things like fried sausage are accidentally translated to say “fried enema” or drop off dirty dishes here into “the tableware reclaims a place.” Phrases like those are found on nearly every street corner and the Shanghai Commission for the Management of Language has been created to help correct some of the badly translated signs. While many Chinese feel that Chinglish is embarrassing, many others all over feel that it has become part of the culture of the Chinese language.

While I wouldn’t consider this topic to be priority on Chinas list of things that could be fixed, it is a funny topic. I think I’m on the side of the group that supports the survival of Chinglish simply because it makes you smile. I know there are many problems that could come with having badly translated signs all over the country but it is just too enjoyable to see these mangled up phrases.

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