Ads for the Confucius Institutes show up all over the Web. At times they seem to be virtually ubiquitous, at least on sites that I visit. One that I've been encountering frequently of late shows a sculpture of Confucius, at the bottom of which are written the words "Kongzi Xueyuan" 孔子學院, translated below that as "Confucius Institute," followed by the words "Teach you pure Chinese."
Aside from the fact that "Teach you pure Chinese" as a whole strikes me as an odd locution, the notion of "pure Chinese" by itself gives me pause. If the Confucius Institutes are going to teach you "pure Chinese," they must have in mind one or more kinds of "impure Chinese" that they do not want you to learn. Are there opposing institutions that are out there teaching "impure Chinese"?
Since "Teach you pure Chinese" sounds strange, both grammatically and conceptually, I thought for a moment that perhaps it may be the result of overly literal, direct translation from Chinese, in which case it would be a candidate for designation as a specimen of Chinglish. If I were going to back translate "Teach you pure Chinese" into Mandarin, the result would be something like this: "Jiào nǐ chúnzhèng de Pǔtōnghuà" 教 你纯正的普通話 (or Zhōngwén 中文 or one of the many other possible names for "Chinese"). This actually occurs once on the Web, though it is part of a longer sentence: "Zházhá néng jiào nǐ chúnzhèng de Pǔtōnghuà hé Shànghǎihuà!" 扎扎能教你纯正的普通话和上海话! ("Zhazha can teach you pure Putonghua and Shanghainese!").
Despite my skepticism that Zhazha can teach you pure forms of both Putonghua and Shanghai(n)ese, the addition of a subject and an auxiliary verb at the beginning of the sentence makes me feel more comfortable with it, just as it would to modify "Teach you pure Chinese" thus: "Sarah (or Zhazha or whoever is capable of doing it) can teach you pure Chinese."
"Chúnzhèng de pǔtōnghuà" 纯正的普通話 ("pure Putonghua"), without the preceding "jiào nǐ (teach you)," yields 921,000 Ghits, whereas "biāozhǔn Pǔtōnghuà" 標準普通話 ("standard Putonghua"), which sounds more natural to me, yields only 181,000 Ghits. "Biāozhǔn Pǔtōnghuà (standard Putonghua)" emphasizes standard pronunciation, which is based on that of Beijing. To tell the truth, I'm not sure what exactly is meant by "chúnzhèng de Pǔtōnghuà (pure Putonghua / Chinese)," nor who are its model speakers.