Saturday, August 02, 2008

'Chinglish' Will Persist In China Even After Beijing Olympics, Says Survey

Chinese officials may be working overtime to eradicate Chinglish before the start of Beijing Olympics but the delightful admixture of Chinese and English will persist and even thrive far after the Games, a study claims.

"We have worked out 4,624 pieces of standard English translations to substitute the Chinglish ones on signs around the city," said Lu Jinlan, head of the organising committee of the Beijing Speaks Foreign Languages Programme (BSFLP).

But will it be the end of Chinglish? No, says The Global Language Monitor (GLM), which documents, analyses and tracks trends in language usage worldwide.

"Studies by the Global Language Monitor suggest that Chinglish will persist - and even thrive - far after the Games end," it said in a statement.

The GLM has listed several of the all-time favourite Chinglish words and phrases. For a Chinese, 'deformed man toilet' is restroom for handicapped persons, 'airline pulp' is food served aboard airlines, '3Q' is thank you and 'rocketry' is a rock wall.

According to it, Chinglish is the outgrowth of several convening forces, including the widespread acceptance of English as a global language, the fact that nearly 250 million Chinese are currently studying English as a second auxiliary or business language and the astonishing complexity and richness of the Mandarin language.

The difficulty is further evidenced on the official Olympic website of the Beijing Olympic Games -, where it states that "we share the charm and joy of the Olympic Games".

Hundreds of scholars have proofed the site and decided that the word charm is most appropriate in describing the Games.

In the past, words such as 'power', 'pride', 'heroic', 'majesty', 'triumph', and even, 'tragedy' have been used frequently to describe the Olympic movement but the word 'charm' has largely been ignored, the GLM said.

"Charm has a number of meanings including the 'individuating property of quarks and other elementary particles'. In this case, we assume the authorities were using the definition of charm as a transitive verb: to attract or please greatly; enchant; allure; fascinate; or delight," it said. (DNA News)
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Blogger Pat & Bill said...

Forget Chinglish, It seems to me that there is a case for using Esperanto at international events such as the Olympics.

1:59 AM GMT+8  

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