jump to navigation

Beijing makes dent in bad English translations April 15, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Culture, Sports.

Beijing has corrected over 6,500 traffic signs and will next target public toilets, museums, and menus as it erases bad English translations before the 2008 Olympics, a city official said Wednesday.

The host city is taking aim at sloppy and often hilarious translations that dot the city to avoid Olympic-sized embarrassment over menu items such as “fried crap” and attractions like the “Racist Park”, a venue dedicated to ethnic minorities.

Launched last year, the campaign resulted in 6,530 transport-related signs in Beijing being revised or replaced by the end of 2006. More than 1,000 others were dealt with at tourist spots around the city.

“We are targeting public places that are closely related to the life, work, study, and travel of our foreign friends,” Liu Yang, a Beijing municipal official involved in the effort, said.

Besides the progress with road signs, Liu said 20,000 signs had been inspected in medical facilities. “The error rate is relatively small and efforts are now underway to replace those wrong translations,” he said.

Among the next moves will be a campaign to inspect 129 museums in the city for bad translations, including those in the explanatory notes in various exhibits, and the many howlers seen on restaurant menus, such as “cow bowel in sauce,” “corrugated iron beef,” and “acid food.”

%d bloggers like this: