quote of the week

PUBLISHED : Monday, 10 May, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 10 May, 2010, 12:00am

'You not only take away the little giggle you get while strolling in the park, but you lose a window into the Chinese mind'

Oliver Lutz Radtke, a PhD student in 'Chinglish' at the University of Heidelberg, on Shanghai's campaign to clean up inaccurate English translations on signs and menus


The Shanghai World Expo opened its doors to the public on May 1. Since then, visitors and organisers have pointed out many English mistakes on signs and menus.

The mistakes can be misspelling or misinterpretation of a Chinese word translated into English. Organisers are now correcting the mistakes.

But Radtke does not want them to do so. He thinks these mistakes allow the non-Chinese speaker to get an idea of what the Chinese language is. It is an insight into another way of thinking. He also thinks it is part of the fun of being in a foreign country.

Perhaps not all mistakes are that bad after all!