MING’S ENGLISH: The BBC reports the Chinese are going to war to correct the English … language, as China wants “to clamp down on bad English in the run-up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics.”
Chinese street signs and product labels notoriously feature nonsensical English translations, as emergency exits at Beijing airport read “No entry on peacetime” and the Ethnic Minorities Park is named “Racist Park”.
It’s a shame that park is being renamed. Where will former Fox baseball announcer Steve Lyons now get to play ball?
BBC readers also offered up some linguistic schtick from the Communist state:
On a Chinese menu: “worm pig stomach”
Bejing Red Light District Sign: “Prostitution, gambling and drag abuse!”
In a Hotel Brochure: “Please take advantage of the chambermaids”
Here’s hoping USA basketball player Kobe Bryant won’t be staying at that hotel for the 2008 Games.
And my favorite from Peter Douglas of Scotland: “At one of the bigger train stations (and I’m kicking myself right now because I can’t remember which one!) there is a huge, and I mean huge, sign which states simply ‘Question Authority’.
“The sign is merely pointing to the help desk.”