Keeping you in the picture

Download our media pack

China to improve its English

Date 17 Oct 2006

The Chinese government is clamping down on bad English in the run-up to the 2008 Olympics. Because most visitors know little or no Cantonese or Mandarin, Beijing city authorities will be issuing booklets to hotels, shopping centres, restaurants and public transport operators in an attempt to eradicate the worst examples of what is commonly called ‘Chinglish’, the BBC reports.

The mistranslated phrases have become a running joke among foreign visitors to the country, and the government now wants to improve China’s reputation. Restaurant menus feature “Corrugated iron Beef” and “Government Abuse Chicken”. Road signs warn of uneven surfaces with “To take notice of Safe; The Slippery are very Crafty”, and a paragliding platform is marked with “site of jumping umbrella.”

Previous attempts to remove such signs resulted in the Beijing authorities setting up a hotline where bad translations could be reported to a team of English professors and expatriates.

  • Post a comment
  • Send to a friend

Send to a friend

Add your comments

Fields marked (*) are required