Not quite Chinglish

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Signs in a Chinese park:

Because none of these signs (more to come) are flagrantly wrong, I will not do a usual LL-style explication cum word-for-word transcription, translation, and explication.  Nonetheless, by and large they are awkward and unidiomatic, though some are rather charming in their own way..

In recent months, I've noticed that the quality of English coming from the Sinosphere is improving.  Indeed, I know for a fact that the Chinese government is starting to spend real money to recruit native and fully fluent speakers of English to "proofread", "edit", and write for them.  To a certain extent, big business is beginning to do the same thing.

Selected readings


  1. Jenny Chu said,

    February 13, 2024 @ 11:13 pm

    Many of us in non-English environments, seeing such signage, think, "I could start up a great business offering proofreading / editing services to the people who have posted such signs!"

    Just as a warning to those of you who are thinking of this: it doesn't work. We've tried.

  2. Guy_H said,

    February 14, 2024 @ 9:41 pm

    I suspect the quality of English is improving because Google/Bing/Baidu Translate have all improved! I'm quite impressed by the quality of machine translation these days for Chinese-to-English translation. It only tends to fail if the Chinese is too colloquial/slangy/dialectal or too classical/literary. Everything in the "middle" seems to work fine.

  3. Jarek Weckwerth said,

    February 15, 2024 @ 5:25 am

    @ Guy_H: Absolutely right.

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