07 June, 2007

Pinyin to English / Chinglish to English / Old English to Proper English

Beijing is really starting to make an effort with changing out Chinglish to English. The most well known example is the change from the "Dongda Anus and Intestine Hospital" to the "Dongda Proctology and Intestine Hospital." That place is right near my apartment, laughed every time I saw it.

Here's an article covering the other areas...

"Hello toilet, goodbye WC for Beijing Games"

Some concerns with this:

1. Taxi drivers cannot speak English. Out of the thousands of taxis I've ridden in Beijing, a handful could speak some, very broken, English...similar to my level of Chinese. If street signs are changed to English - are the taxi drivers going to understand? I think not. Same goes for Olympic venues, restaurants, etc... I had heard all taxi drivers in Beijing have to pass an English test prior to the Olympics if they want to drive during the Olympics. I'm not sure how this is progressing, but from what I can tell...it hasn't move past "Hello!" and "OK".

2. I don't want to see the pinyin removed. For someone who lives here and is trying to learn Chinese to effectively communicate with the the people of China, the pinyin is very helpful. Keep the pinyin, add the English.

3. Good luck with the menus...that's all I have to say about that.

I have a feeling there is going to be a lot of pointing during the 2008 games. Pointing at maps, location cards, menus, sporting events, etc...

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