|Ever wondered what the word "Chinglish" means?
Why Chinglish translations can be offensive, hilarious or simply incomprehensible.
"Chinglish" refers to the spoken or written English language that is influenced by the Chinese language. The term "Chinglish" is often applied to ungrammatical or nonsensical English in Chinese contexts. Other terms often used are "Chinese English", "China English" and "Sinicized English".
The term Chinglish mostly describes the out-of-context, charmingly bad language used to translate Chinese signs and postings into English. We've all seen pictures of these signs floating around on the Internet.
Learning Chinese, the ancient language spoken by millions of Chinese citizens, may be complicated. Using the right intonation, learning how to write and read over 40,000 characters, and getting used to the grammar structures are just a couple of things you need to do, in order to communicate well in Chinese.
Chinese names may have historical significance, but when translated in their most literal form, most of them may be considered offensive, hilarious or simply incomprehensible.
For example, what would you think if you are visiting a Chinese zoo and you see a warning sign that states "Lions to protect law"? Or if you are walking in the park and you see a big sign that reads "Racist park"? You can easily see how some of these mistranslations can cause a lot of confusion.
Literal translations are considered "Chinglish" to the majority of people that understand both English and Chinese. Chinglish translations happen because every individual Chinese character has its own meaning, but when compounded with other characters can mean something totally different. These mistakes also occur when characters are being translated too literally.
Blogger China Mike writes that one of the most common mistakes occurs when attempting to translate Chinese idioms.
To read more about the Chinglish "language", click here.
Check some funny pictures of the Chinglish "language" on Flickr.
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