By Oliver Lutz Radtke
Chinglish bargains a funny and insightful examine misuses of the English language in chinese language highway symptoms, items, and advertisements. A long-standing favourite of English conversing travelers and viewers, Chinglish is now speedy turning into a tradition relic: in guidance for the 2008 Olympic video games in Beijing, the chinese language govt was resolute to wipe out flawed English utilization.
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Extra resources for Chinglish : found in translation
To cast pearls before swine” is in Chinese “playing the cittern for an ox” or dui niu tan qin. For hu tou she wei (“tigerhead and snaketail”) Shakespeare is simply perfect: much ado about nothing. But also sometimes a bookworm is just a “bookworm”: shuchong. English may be defined as a hypotactic language whereas Chinese is rather paratactic. English relies heavily on a logical sequence; Chinese is deeply rooted in its graphic imagery. Both have their advantages. And both need to be taken into consideration when attempting to cross the cultural border.
The reinterpretation of language allows for a tremendous amount of humor, and humor is, and always has been, a cross-cultural form of communication. Therefore this book is about passion, not mockery. It is my most sincere hope that this book is understood as a bridge rather than a border. Chinglish is very often funny because of the sometimes scarily direct nature of the new meaning produced by the translation. A “deformed man toilet” in Shanghai or an “anus hospital” in Beijing is funny because it instantly destroys linguistic euphemisms we Westerners have carefully built up when talking about sensitive topics.
But what does that really mean? Poor Little Wang has to deal with something he might not be familiar with at all, but his superiors regard his English to be the best—in the company. So naturally he gets selected for the task. No one notices the problems afterwards because his boss’s English is virtually nonexistent, so nobody bothers. 4. We want to do it ourselves This would be a discussion about “losing face”: how come we’ve built the Great Wall and the Forbidden City and now need to rely on red-haired barbarians helping us with their language!