Wednesday, October 03, 2007

It's Chinglish time on Channel News Asia.

I did an interview with my colleagues Suzanne and Steven from Prime Time Morning this, well, morning.

I hope you'll enjoy it. I certainly did. Just click on the screenshot.

(Screenshot taken from http://www.channelnewsasia.com/ptm/)

28Comments:

At 10:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote ...

在德国有没有汉语标识?会不会也出现中国类似的情况?

 
At 11:25 AM, Blogger olr — 纪韶融 wrote ...

在德国有错误的英语牌子其实很不少!

不过,我还是认为,十全十美主义的方面是德国人和中国人最大的思想区别之一。很多中国人(我不是说全部)很快就用“差不多”这个评论概念结束某种工作人物,德国人不是,当然,每个方式都有好处和坏处。

而跟刚所写有关,很难想象的是,一个完全搞不清楚中文的德国老板随便上网,翻译以下他公司的名字,公司的口号,贴在大门上,觉得这样就可以。真不可能。其实,我很高兴情况不是这样,因为我在德国的好几个中国朋友在靠翻译吃饭 :)。

祝好,

韶融。

 
At 7:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote ...

你的中文水平太差,写的句子都不通顺。中国人有句古话,您这是狗拿耗子。
我是追求完美的中国人,看不得您这种拿着半桶水中文到处猪鼻子插大葱。衷心希望您能提高中文水平,感受中国的博大精深。

 
At 7:55 AM, Anonymous Sebastian Helm wrote ...

I view this project with mixed feelings. On one hand, making fun of other people's mistakes rubs me the wrong way. It also can create fear of mistakes, the worst enemy of learning a foreign language.

On the other hand, after seeing the interview I agree that it can also foster mutual understanding. I sincerely hope that "Chinglish writers" can laugh about their booboos just as we laugh about the “蝌蝌啃蜡” story, that they're not getting in trouble, and above all, that we're not laughing at, about or über each other, but with each other.

Sebastian Helm

 
At 8:45 AM, Blogger olr — 纪韶融 wrote ...

Thanks for your comment, Sebastian. This project is controversial, I am very well aware of that. But, since it is explicitly NOT about making cheap jokes, I am happily sticking my head out for a better understanding between east and west. As you say, it is first and foremost about laughing with each other, and humor was and will be the best platform to cross all borders.

Best,

olr.

 
At 8:52 AM, Blogger olr — 纪韶融 wrote ...

谢谢你的看法。谁说我的中文会跟中国人一样好?

我猜你没有看(完)上面的采访。

恭喜你是属于这一群追求完美的中国人。让我失望的是,你觉得随便骂我比真正要帮助我提高中文水平重要。

 
At 2:45 PM, Blogger vincent wrote ...

我一直很好奇
唐诗给外国人的感觉是怎样的
在其他国家有这种令人反复咀嚼而更能添味的文体吗?
(wensente9682@yahoo.com)

 
At 5:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote ...

要学好一门外语,一定要了解这门语言的文化,要懂得以这门语言为母语的人们的文化和思维。
good translator = know about and understand the cultures + can speak the foreign language
我生活在法国,在把法语翻译为英语,或者把法语翻译为中文的时候,我遇到过很多次因为文化和表达方式的不同而造成的错误翻译和表达。
I live in France. I have met and made the mistakes when I translated French to Chinese or French to English. As you know, the people have different culture,background, and education, therefore they use the different expression...

中文是很美的语言,需要细细得来品位。有的根本就不需要翻译,保留汉语拼音就可以了。这样既可以避免误会和尴尬,而且还可以使中国文化更国际化。
对于博克里的这些中式英语,我作为中国人坦然地接受,不需要太敏感,而是希望我们都会真正懂得学习语言的意义,提高外语的水平。

as a chinese, I love the beautiful language. It better use Pinyin for some typical chinese word. I really hope Chinese culture would be more opened and more international.

wéwé

 
At 12:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote ...

在中国虽然有很多人学英语,但能真正说的很地道的人并不多。很多时候我们并没有意识到那是一种错误的表达方式,更多时候会有“能理解就可以了”的想法。虽然心情有点复杂,但您的网站让我受益匪浅,感谢您对此现象的关注。

 
At 12:46 PM, Blogger huedde wrote ...

Dear olr,

just now, while sitting in the office on a sunny saturday and working on 500 photos, I was watching the interview. Fortunately, it is in english... To tie in with a two year old episode in our kitchen, it is now my turn to say, I am your lobby. :o) again my congratulations for saving these language blossoms.

Hope you're well,
yours, H.

 
At 12:08 AM, Blogger xiaolu wrote ...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 4:11 PM, Anonymous Jeffrey wrote ...

just got a new funny picture from one of my hometown bbs websites. The picture can be found through the link at http://www.kfsy.cn/bbs1/UploadFile/2007-10/2007101015211221993.jpg

Cheers!

 
At 5:02 PM, Blogger olr — 纪韶融 wrote ...

xiaolu: 非常感谢你活力的支持!

Jeffrey: please be informed that I only post original stuff from people who reveal their identity and the location of their shoot to me.

Best,

olr.

 
At 7:43 AM, Anonymous wr wrote ...

Hi olr,
Thank you for this fine collection, that provides us with a solid insight into the every day use of the Chinese language and also into very different ways of expressing ideas, intentions, interests.
As I do not understand the Chinese comments on this site I only refer to its English contributions.
Did anybody already talk about what a great output and hard work it is to make those signs and boards bilingual (even with all the "mistakes")?
Having studied „Chinglish–Found in Translation“ I see my (German) typographical and information-related environment with different eyes: here in Germany almost all signs are exclusively addressing German native speakers. As if the local administration couldn’t imagine anybody from abroad might be lost when confronted with information expressed in this highly bureaucratic, often abstract ministerial language (Here and there at touristy places you may find an English word or, in Switzerland, even Japanese).
So for me „Chinglish“ isn’t primarily a local linguistic phenomenon but a sociological one: Its a way of thinking about possible communication setting. And that makes me hold Chinese people in high esteem. I take my hat off to all those Chinese institutions who aim at communicating beyond Chinese readers. Those who criticize without keeping this in mind run the risk of being real nitpickers. But wasn't the motto here „Chinglish is about passion not mockery“?
Good work, keep on running!
Regards,
wr

 
At 8:15 AM, Blogger olr — 纪韶融 wrote ...

Thanks a lot, wr, for pointing out that China is indeed to be lauded for putting so much effort into legibility beyond Chinese speakers.
At the same time, I'd also like to say that - according to my own limited opinion - a lot of Chinglish signs aren't intended to be read by foreigners, its English translation merely an ornament for a rather superficial internationality of the concerned company or location. Nevertheless, you are very much right to point out in this regard how little is happening in Germany where people are supposed (!) to live in the middle of Europe.

 
At 6:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote ...

COULD YOU TELL ME WHY YOU CHOOSE
纪韶融 MAKE YOUR CHINESE NAME????
有啥含义吗???
DANK!!!

 
At 2:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote ...

Bist du Deutsche?haha ,有意思,你研究的是中国文化吗?很高兴认识你,我在德国发现很多地方一样会出现汉语的错误,比如药店里竟然会把几个中国字搞错次序去贴上去,不同的文化不同的语言,没有人会保证自己能精通另外一国的语言啊~毕竟不是自己的母语。不过很开心你能找出很多这样的Komisch的错误来,帮助我们提高英语水平,呵呵~

 
At 11:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote ...

i am a chinese student and i am very interested in culture of all over the world,especially diference bewteen east the west,would you do me a favor.my email is wj3201239@163.com,and you can contact me on skype

 
At 12:02 PM, Blogger olr — 纪韶融 wrote ...

Hi,

I am all ears.

olr

 
At 8:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote ...

您好!
刚才看了你的电视视频,不过后面好卡,看不了了。您的中文发音非常不错,“青青草,脚下”那个。闭着眼睛,一定会以为是native说的呢!

一些错误的标识牌的确是有碍于外国游客来中国的旅游便利。谢谢您长期以来的兴趣和工作对中国的支持,呵呵。
其实中国式错误往往反应了中文的习惯性思考和用词的习惯。比如wash toilet那个,在中文完全通用。“冲洗厕所”和“洗衣服”的洗就完全一样,一字多意,但是英文不亦然。其实就算很多中国的英语专家去做翻译,也不会正确多少的。呵呵,这个是文化的差异。解决这个办法就是中英文专家一起努力。长期努力,因为有些标识也是与时俱进的,比如中国重庆有“爱护公共卫生长命百岁,随地乱丢垃圾断子绝孙”的标识,万一一个外国人来到中国重庆,然后把这个标识拿到国外的中文标识去,想想什么效果。

另外您的中文回复的中文就像一个中国人写的英文一样,呵呵。虽然大意能猜出来,但是用词、文法和native有很大的区别。

最后谢谢您的网站,让我学习到不少的地道的英文表达法和思维习惯。在我学习外国语的时候,我就一直认为“语言不是正不正确的区别,而是地不地道的差异”。
---------------------
1.在德国有错误的英语牌子其实很不少!should be: 在德国,其实有英文错误(标识)的牌子也不少。

后面几段到处是这样的问题,另外您的标点的应用需要用心。

ps:我不是挑刺,我知道您学习中文,也许您的中文口语非常好,但是写作就和受过良好教育的中国人有着本质的区别了。这也是为什么有些中国留学生博士到了美国后害怕写英文论文的原因,写作是最考验语言能力的了。希望对您有帮助。

 
At 8:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote ...

另外如果对于我说的中国重庆那个恶毒标识感兴趣,看这里。在此对于写这样标语的人或者公司做出最严厉的鄙视。

地点是重庆市南岸区洋人街。中英文标识的。图片不大,但是足够辨识清楚了。

图片地址:http://bbspic.bokee.com/forumDate/347/05dda1ba8822b098650d29dd836e0cce58615.jpg

或者这里:
http://image.bbs.myspace.cn/UploadPic/Original/2007/7/16/13/215212154862427116091126682538535195289.jpg

 
At 8:15 AM, Blogger olr — 纪韶融 wrote ...

太好了!感谢你的帮助。

祝好,

韶融。

 
At 9:37 AM, Blogger cherry wrote ...

哈哈~~
有意思

 
At 9:45 AM, Blogger cherry wrote ...

我觉得中国式英语很好玩啊
看着很搞笑
然后好像我自己有时也会这样

 
At 7:31 AM, Anonymous Jack wrote ...

你好!我也刚建了一个BLOG,谈论CHINGLISH的有关话题,刚写了几篇。不过之前不知道你在这方面已经有了如此多的积累。

因为准备写这方面的东西(有趣),所以Google一下,很快就发现了你。也许我会参考和借鉴你的许多东西。

另外,你的中文名不错,是自己取的吗?也恭喜你的著作出版。

最后,有时间登录我的博客站点看看,看看一个native的中国人怎么描写CHINGLISH的:http://chinglish.blogbus.com

[P.S.我去过德国的几个城市,比如慕尼黑之类的,那个维多利亚花园的烤肉、啤酒不错。]

 
At 6:20 AM, Blogger boss wrote ...

I used to be fascinated by a similar site, www.engrish.com, which focuses on Japanese-English. But those were just cheap jokes.

However, you did something different. A job well done in the analysis of the translations. I can enjoy as well as can really feel frustrated sometimes, of such translations, especially I am sort of bilingual in English and Chinese myself.

[ps. Jack, 您的 BLOG 看起来也不错喔.]

 
At 1:39 PM, Blogger wang wrote ...

Hey Olr
Fantastic site and stuff. I found a lot of Chinglish signs whenever I walked but I just laughed it off. I guess some people are pissed off because of their ego. Don't pay attention to them and keep the good working.

Actually I don't think your purpose is to embarrass us or else you wouldn't be coming to China as a student. Hope you enjoyed our languages and the poetry. I really find them beautiful and beyond other languages's comparison(maybe I'm not experienced enough to appreciate other languages).

Keep up the work and I'll try to get something for you if I can.

Danke!

 
At 1:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote ...

I haven't yet had a chance to view the video (the computer I'm using has no sound card), but this is my comment on Chinglish.

In translation, the best quality work is done by those who translate into their native language. When traveling in Europe, I see signs in English that have clearly been translated or at the very least proofread by native English speakers.

In the cases of Chinglish we see here (as well as Japlish, Thailish and other forms of broken English), the work has clearly not been checked by a native speaker of English. Chinglish exists because of this failure to consult a native speaker. Why this failure?

1) Face. There are cases when the pride of a translator, businessperson or official gets in the way of quality. The translator is reluctant to admit his English is not up to par with that of a native speaker, despite, say, having lived abroad for decades and having majored in English. Sometimes even work that has been corrected by a native speaker is then messed up again by some mid-manager or cadre who feels the need to make his mark.

2) Money. The company requesting the translation is too cheap to pay for a native English speaker, and so asks a secretary (who studied in the US for a year) to do it, or runs the text through a machine translation program.

3) Ignorance. The translator is inexperienced with language learning, thinking that translation is merely a matter of looking up words in the dictionary and stringing them together.

4) Lack of foreigners to consult. The translator is willing to seek out native speaker help, but there are no foreigners around, or at least none who are willing to help.

5) Sabotage. A foreigner does check it, but leaves it as is or messes it up for giggles, revenge, or some other motive. (I've seen this happen on occasion.)

6) Typesetting. The translation is perfect, but the typesetters do not know about the rules of English, running words together, spacing them oddly, transposing, flipping or rotating letters, or using erroneous punctuation conventions.

7) Poor translators. The translator is a native English speaker but is highly inexperienced, thinking that the translation should adhere as close as possible to the original text even if it means that it sounds bizarre in English. The translator then fails to get his work proofread by someone more experienced. (I've seen this far too often.)

I'm sure there are other reasons.

 

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