Tuesday, January 8, 2008

'Chinglish' - Lost in Translation...

2008 will be an exceptionally exciting year with many major events taking place around the world. One of these would be the Beijing 2008 Olympic Summer Games. As I'm sure that you're all aware, the Chinese have been preparing for the event for some time now (they made the news for being well ahead of schedule years back), part of these preparations is ensuring that english translations are incorporated into store and navigational signage systems.

Sadly, that is where the trouble begins... Chinese (Mandarin) is a rather complex language built out of individual characters/symbols which can represent multiple meanings depending on how they are vocalized. Enter 'Chinglish', which generally is the result of rigid machine translations of Chinese to English, often with humorous results. The picture above when correctly translated actually means, Loose Dried Fruit. There's a great article about this lost in translation problem, with more examples here.

If you think its an isolated incident, think again... check out the 'Chinglish' pool on Flickr. Some of these are ridiculous... enjoy!

No comments: