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.

向自觉维护公共卫生的游客致敬。
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)

and

文明整洁的环境是一种美的享受。
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.

Labels: ,

12Comments:

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 ...

博主:
"文明整洁的环境是一种美的享受"是个病句,只不过人们知道是什么意思,见怪不怪了。
至于口号和标语,多到泛滥,随处可见,已经是大家生活的一部分了,也没什么希奇。

 
At 8:59 AM, Blogger Francis wrote ...

呵呵,偶然间拜读到您的文章,其实这些翻译在中国太多了,我并不觉得这是多大的创造,这是中国式思维的必然结果,但却不符合西方人的思维。
谢谢您的留心,以前我看到这些翻译,感觉是有点怪怪的(我是个地道的中国人^_^),但却也不知道正确的说法应该如何。
Thanks!

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

你好,Francis!

我去过南京:).

谢谢你的留言。

我就是觉得这个被你叫作“中国式思维的必然结果”非常迷人。探索东西方人的思想区别带来很多对其他人甚至对自己的新发现,有点像靠着语言学的心理学,能明白吗?

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

看的出,您对汉语有自己的心得。
很高兴,您曾到过南京,希望南京的山水能给您留下美好的印象:)
很想知道您汉语是在什么地方学的?

谢谢~

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

再次说欢迎:)。

为我学汉语提供最大的帮助可能是这里还有那里两个地点。

祝好,

纪老外。

 
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 ...

Hi,

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
http://ja.uncyclopedia.info/wiki/%E3%83%81%E3%83%B3%E3%82%B0%E3%83%AA%E3%83%83%E3%82%B7%E3%83%A5


T.S. (Japanglish speaker)

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

Hi T.S.,

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

I'm looking forward to your mail.

Best,

olr.

 
At 11:54 AM, Blogger ramzahn wrote ...

I think "We greet all environmentally conscious travellers." is very clear and concise if a bit on the lyrical side. But that adds to the local flavor, so to speak.

Most intlligent species respond better to positive stimulation. Only humans should be otherwise? I don't think so.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home