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Chinglish: Found in Translation Paperback – August 8, 2007
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--Chinese and English are the most common languages on earth.
--The Beijing Tourism Bureau set up a hotline for visitors and residents to tip off examples of bad English in order to correct the signs.
--With the 2008 Olympics approaching in Beijing the country is trying to correct all of its signage. The issue has been featured on the Today Show as well as the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.
--Some foreign teachers also refer to a school's inadequate language department as the "Chinglish Department."
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Top Customer Reviews
Here's now a fine collection of many other such instances that have been documented by author Oliver Lutz Radtke.
"Chinglish" provides us with a solid insight into the everyday use of the Chinese language on bilingual signs and boards.
The book demonstrates a unique way of expressing ideas, intentions and interests.
Pictures of the Chinese originals in it's entirety are displayed and backed up by English elaborations of the intended meaning.
At first glance, the book probably strikes the reader as one that heightens the perceived idea that China's
"lingiustic misadventures" are a result of incompetence and a lack of knowledge.
This impression is quickly banished as it transforms into a new point of view:
A very creative method of expressing circumstances, requests and prohibitions emerge - completely different from the European way of phrasing caution or providing warning for instructions like "stay off the grass."
These bilingual signs and boards (even with all the "mistakes" in them) documents a Chinese attempt to reach an international audience.
So for me "Chinglish" isn't primarily a local linguistic phenomenon but a sociological one: It's a way of thinking about possible communication settings.
Respectfully, the author analyzes several models of sociological and physiological explanations and his deep insight into Chinese mentality and language is inherent.
Who could forget signs reading "Meeting critical situation asks velocity to poke strikeing," "No firemaking in hardcore scenery area!," or "The thing tube office?" Who could forget the kind thoughts expressed in signs like "Forever memory: Even goldfish need love......especially on rainy days," or "People, flowers and help each other in breath. If you pluck the flowers and break off the branches, you will reduce your own life at the same time," or even "The splendid joy of success is waving to you in your wonderful bowling?"
Of all the offerings presented here, without doubt the greatest are for food. "Advantageous noodle" sounds good, but you would need to be pretty adventurous to order "Man and wife lung slice," "Plain abalone buttons up the duck," "Tube-shaped container of glutinous rice chicken," "Strange juice," "Deep-fried seasame children stick," "Lactopork," or "Choicely raw material taste-tempting." On the other hand "Passion Donuts" sound great right about now.Read more ›
However, remember, the purpose of the English translation is simply to help foreigners. Otherwise, why would they bother? So some comments on this book about Chinese "overly misusing English", "incompetent", and the like, are really overdone and do not promote the understanding of each other.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Chinese is a lovely language. A literal translation into
English is hilarious. These signs actually exist. Read more
Funny book. I'm sure that Chinese phrases an English speaker would come up with would be equally humorous to a Chinese speaking audience.Published 17 months ago by craigery
This book is full of some very funny translations into English on signage around China. There are pictures of the actual signs with the Chinese characters on top and the English... Read morePublished on December 17, 2013 by Amazon Customer
There was a foreword that was incongruously long and serious compared to the few amusing signs depicted in the body of the book. Read morePublished on September 15, 2013 by Yellow
Fun book to have but not nearly as cool as some other silly little books I have. Good bathroom bookPublished on March 25, 2013 by Vellokat
I bought this book as a gift for a family member after seeing it in a store on vacation. He was thrilled to received it as a gift later. Read morePublished on March 17, 2013 by Midwest Reviewer