Saturday, January 3, 2009


Sometimes when work gets slow I just surf random blogs (The "next blog" button at the top of this page will take you to some unsuspecting person's blog). I came across this one yesterday and found it interesting. Betsy seems to be on a trip to China to teach English. She posts pictures and captions for each. I've decided that I will copy her model for future trips I take. It seems to be a great way to share your experiences with people.

I've also found some of her observations entertaining.

Betsy on Chinglish:

I’d heard that in the huge effort to prepare beijing for the olympics many of the chinese street and road signs were replaced with bilingual ones, “chinglish” signs would be edited and corrected, taxi drivers were given manuals and encouraged to learn some basic english phrases, olympic volunteers were taught western customs/ ettiquate and a fair amount of english as well.

I’m not trying to make fun of the chinese for not having perfect english on all their signs--English is such a complicated, idiomatic language and i’m sure a lot of chinese people who speak some english also notice the mistakes-- but still it’s pretty entertaining to see the signs and t shirts here. some t-shirts seem like someone randomly opened a book or dictionary and just started copying down the first thing they saw. other t-shirts or signs seem like something just couldn’t be directly translated into english from chinese and come out sounding natural. A few of my favorite signs so far include, (on our block) “The Noble Pet Chamber”, and “Massage of the Blind Man”. i also feel like you just wouldn’t call a sporting store in the U.S., “Hot Wind” or a restaurant “The Glory Hymen Restaurant”. But my favorite has to be “Very Suspicious Supermarket”. Unfortunately that one’s not on our street or i would be a devoted customer.

Isn't the internet wonderful?

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