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Shanghai tackles bad English

Shanghai tackles bad English

Tourists visiting Shanghai for next year's World Expo could be confused by signs on wet floors reading "Slip Carefully!"
So authorities in China want to make sure they never see them.
The Shanghai government, along with neighboring Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces, published a 20-page guide book this week to standardize signs and eliminate notoriously bad, and sometimes amusing, English translations.
The official campaign prompted local media to share favorite mistranslations.
At Shanghai's iconic Oriental Pearl Tower, visitors are warned "Ragamuffin, drunken people and psychotics are forbidden to enter," according to the Shanghaiist city blog.
A malfunctioning online translation tool may have helped a restaurant named "Translate server error" get its photo published in yesterday's Oriental Morning Post. The sign's Chinese characters merely read "Restaurant."
The nearly 400 standard translations included in the guidelines were devised by linguists and experts from Shanghai universities.
They range from the basic labelling of men's and women's toilets to a stern "No Smoking, Eating, Drinking or Loitering."
Last year a city-wide inspection by Shanghai's Language Affairs Commission found that more than one in 10 signs had incorrect translations, the China Daily reported.
Shanghai and many other cities have previously launched campaigns to clean up widespread bad translations but problems have persisted, the report said.
Beijing ran a similar campaign in preparation for last year's Olympics.


Updated : 2021-04-19 15:20 GMT+08:00