Monday, March 12, 2007

I salute back.

This is another wonderful example of why Chinglish fascinates me. The signs aren't really wrong here, just that nowhere else in the world would a tourist be addressed like that. So I stand amazed and salute back.

Since many visitors of this site ask me to provide correct translations, I try to do so from now on. I will also be very happy to post your suggestions!

The first one in today's post, though, is already nearly untransferable in its genuine Chinese approach to the masses.

could be turned into:
"We greet all environmentally conscious travellers."

(this, of course, takes out all the fun but tries to leave in a bit of its Chineseness)


might be:
"Everybody loves a litter-free environment."

(文明 "civilisation, culture" again is very Chinese, why should one need to promote that on a public sign? I know why that promotion happens in China, so no need to explain it, i still omitted the word in my suggestion.)

Again, my fascination for Chinglish obviously also comes from the official educational approach to the public which is quite different from many Western societies' sign language where much of it contains commands and orders not to do this or that.
So when it comes to "Don't litter!" or "A clean environment is a kind of enjoyment" you choose for yourself ...

Found in the Forbidden City (Gugong) 故宫 in Beijing 北京.

Thanks, Hugh.

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At 12:27 PM, Blogger bratrice wrote ...

Hi there. I am from hong kong, I would rather say the original text are very creative and stylish already. I think the translations are excellent -- and thus the style of the original text can be shown in english.

The funny thing is, it's a country that gives all the commands and orders to the people and yet the signs are nuch more liberal.

At 12:33 PM, Blogger olr — 纪韶融 wrote ...

Hi Bratrice,

thanks for your comment.

I totally agree with you on the creativity of the original texts.

Which translations are you referring to, mine or the original ones?

I also have to give you credit for your little political comment there, very true, I wouldn't use "liberal", though, but rather "unaggressively persuasive" or the like.

At 2:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote ...


At 8:59 AM, Blogger Francis wrote ...


At 9:28 AM, Blogger olr — 纪韶融 wrote ...





At 12:20 PM, Blogger Francis wrote ...



At 12:51 PM, Blogger olr — 纪韶融 wrote ...





At 7:16 PM, Blogger bratrice wrote ...

I am afraid I have to tell you the orignal translations are excellent -- the style of the original text can be shown.

Yours are surely good but just too English :P

At 5:13 AM, Blogger olr — 纪韶融 wrote ...

Dear Bratrice,

thanks for pointing this out to me. Basically the topic between us now is whether or not to translate according to the original style. This touches the discussion about Levy's "illusionary" or "anti-illusionary" approach. I think the most important thing is that a sign is understood by readers of both East and West. So adding some poetic flavour on top of that really is a strong point of our type of Chinglish here.

At 4:33 AM, Anonymous T. Suzuki wrote ...


I'm a contributor to the Japanese Uncyclopedia (Wikipedia parody site).

I'm writing an article on Chinglish for the website.

Your blog is impressive and I wonder if you could permit me to use some images of Chinglish signboard etc.

pls see

T.S. (Japanglish speaker)

At 7:36 AM, Blogger olr — 纪韶融 wrote ...

Hi T.S.,

please contact me at [chinglish at] and we can discuss this.

I'm looking forward to your mail.




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