Chinese city asks for help to stamp out 'Chinglish' signs


As China continues its meteoric rise in international business, trade and tourism, government officials across the country are trying their hardest to make the nation as welcoming to foreign visitors as possible. That has included a large campaign to add English translations to as many public signs as possible.

Despite its best intentions, though, the results have been mixed at best. Poorly translated signage has become so rampant that it has spurred a new term, "Chinglish." The Internet is filled with often hilariously poor translations found across the country.

Linguistics experts say translating Chinese to English, or vice versa, can be more difficult than translations between any two European languages, because of the fact that the two languages are of two different "language families"; Indo-European and Sino-Tibetan.

Officials in one southern Chinese city have grown so concerned over the issue that they're asking for help from anyone, anywhere who has run across a translation tragedy.

The city of Shenzhen is asking anyone who comes across an incorrect sign to take a picture, and share it online so a new group of English-language experts can examine and fix the offending translations. What's in it for the online community to help out? There will be prizes, of course. 

See more irresistible headlines.

“People will be awarded based on how many correct submissions they send,” Huang Zhijun, director of the office’s international language environment department, said at a press conference. Awards will include English study books and free English training classes.

Nearly 8 million foreign tourists visit Shenzhen each year, and many of them stay for long periods of time due to business or other commitments. 

According to GlobalVoicesOnline.org, there have been several attempts in the past to stamp out Chinglish in larger cities, like Beijing and Shanghai. The campaigns were not very effective. Take a look at some of the more infamous translation fails.



Next Up in News

#BlackPantherChallenge sends internet into frenzy
#BlackPantherChallenge sends internet into frenzy

“Black Panther” is one of the most anticipated movies of the year, and thousands of children may have a chance to see it for free thanks to the #BlackPantherChallenge.  Earlier this month, Frederick Joseph, of New York, launched a GoFundMe to help students from the Boys & Girls Club of Harlem “see a black major cinematic...
James Franco, ‘Wonder Woman’ among Oscar nomination snubs
James Franco, ‘Wonder Woman’ among Oscar nomination snubs

Nominations were announced for the 90th Academy Awards‬‬ Tuesday, and although a number of actors and filmmakers and films have multiple noms, some names expected to be called were snubbed. >> Read more trending news  According to The Hollywood Reporter, James Franco was considered by many to likely be nominated for his role ...
Silo collapse in New Carlisle: Facts and figures you should know
Silo collapse in New Carlisle: Facts and figures you should know

Officials are still cleaning up following a grain silo collapse which happened late Sunday night in New Carlisle. The collapse caused 10,000 tons of corn to spill onto Ohio 571, a major road in the city. The roadway is expected to be blocked until Wednesday at the earliest. Until the road is cleared, the Ohio Department of Transportation is recommending...
Inspiration for 'Rosie the Riveter,' Naomi Parker Fraley, dies
Inspiration for 'Rosie the Riveter,' Naomi Parker Fraley, dies

The woman who many believe empowered housewives to leave their kitchens and enter the workplace left empty when men went to fight in World War II has died. Naomi Parker Fraley was discovered in 2015 to have been the inspiration for the “Rosie the Riveter” poster tha decades earlier had become the symbol in which women realized &ldquo...
Police plan to ramp up security at Jackson Browne concert in Florida after threat
Police plan to ramp up security at Jackson Browne concert in Florida after threat

There will be increased security during singer-songwriter Jackson Browne’s concert Tuesday evening at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts after a threat was made at a northwest Indiana church known for its progressive stands on racial and social justice issues, the Orlando Police Department said. Police said banners with racist...
More Stories