Thursday, April 26, 2007

I am sorry, Peking University ...

... but what's the reason behind translating 创新 chuang4xin1 ("innovation") as "imagination"?

I am sure, when it comes to Operating Systems, your 2007 Imagination Festival keynote speaker does rely much more on the latter than the former, but do you really need to rub it in that bad?

source: Xinhua News

Seriously: If Asia's best university (according to the 2006 THES World University Rankings ) can't hire a translator, I don't know who will.

Really sorry.

Thanks go to blogger "Beyondword" for pointing this out to me.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


My colleague Ca-Mie De Souza 嘉美 in Beijing delivered a correspondent report on Chinglish yesterday.

In China to standardise English used on bilingual signboards the most interesting statement is related to my Possible approaches to China's bilingual sign-makers. A shop owner is quoted saying
我们没有专门的翻译,主要我们还是邀请别人,或者是我们简单地通过电脑的金山快译和英汉字典。招牌之类的可能就用简单的,文字并没有太复杂的。We don't have professional translators, so we ask someone else or use the computer's Kingsoft translation tool and an English-Chinese dictionary. Signs usually have simple words so we try to translate them ourselves"
(Kingsoft is a popular Chinese-English translation software in the PRC, original Chinese quotation from

This strongly supports my guess that a lot of offline Chinglish is actually produced online, don't you think?