Chinglish | South China Morning Post
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  • Jan 30, 2015
  • Updated: 4:51pm


Fluency in Chinglish doesn't count as World City yardstick

Hang Seng Bank

Before I start to tell you two stories, let me ask you a question: In general, do you feel English-language skills of Hong Kong people are increasing or declining since the 1997 handover?

Monday, 16 December, 2013, 11:29am 52 comments

Reviews: Chinglish

Photo: Kevin Berne

David Henry Hwang's comedy about miscommunication and misunderstanding between two cultures has garnered much acclaim in the US, winning the Chinese-American playwright a Joseph Jefferson Award (for best new work) in Chicago where it premiered two years ago.

5 Mar 2013 - 5:18pm

Found in translation

Mainland minister Xi Yan (played by Michelle Krusiec) and American businessman Daniel Cavanaugh. Photo: Berkeley Repertory Theatre/Kevin Berne

A love triangle, devious business machinations, bumbling bureaucrats and chronically ill-timed miscommunication: playwright David Henry Hwang pulls all these elements together in his hit play, Chinglish.

24 Feb 2013 - 6:11pm

Crazy for loving you

If you see the building in Shenzhen festooned with the intriguing words 'Lie Fallow Agora', you may wonder what it means. One day I finally looked at the Chinese characters. But of course! Lie fallow: not working, nothing to do, leisure. Agora: agoraphobia, fear of open places, from the Greek for marketplace. It simply means 'leisure market' and the place is, indeed, a huge massage parlour.

8 Jul 2012 - 12:00am


Drunk or drug driving totally unacceptable

I am very concerned about the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Recently, a young woman was run over by a motorist who was charged with drug driving. This horrific accident has raised awareness of the issue.

20 Jun 2012 - 12:00am

Talk of the town

Broadway is without doubt one of the best things about New York. One out of every four visitors takes in a show, and the industry contributes about US$10 billion to the city's economy every year.

27 Nov 2011 - 12:00am


The effect of Chinglish on HK

Is the gap in English standards between Hong Kong and the mainland narrowing?

In Hong Kong, some people use 'Chinglish'. It is influenced by the Chinese language, and is ungrammatical.

26 Oct 2011 - 12:00am

HK-born actress scores a first on Broadway

For someone who is about to make history, Jennifer Lim is looking surprisingly calm and relaxed.

The female lead of American playwright David Henry Hwang's critically acclaimed new play Chinglish, which opened in Chicago in June, will reprise her role on Broadway next month. She will be the first Hong Kong-born stage actress to get top billing on the Great White Way.

9 Sep 2011 - 12:00am

Making words sing

The drama's the thing for Hong Kong playwright Candace Chong Mui-ngam - except that this time, it's an opera. The esteemed playwright, who has seen success with works like French Kiss and Murder In San Jose - both commissions for the Hong Kong Arts Festival - has just finished the libretto for a new opera about 'the father of modern China' Sun Yat-sen.

29 May 2011 - 12:00am

quote of the week

'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


10 May 2010 - 12:00am

Shanghai wages war on Chinglish signs

For a city preparing to host the World Expo, signs on wet pavements warning pedestrians to 'be careful of the slip' simply won't do.

Starting next month, Shanghai will launch a campaign to clamp down on Chinglish in public signage.

22 Aug 2009 - 12:00am


Money can't buy health and love

People in Hong Kong tend to lead busy lives.

I believe the majority are just thinking of how they can make more money and forget one important thing - health.

If people earn a lot of money but are in poor health, how can they enjoy life?

I think good health is essential to lead a happy life.

14 Dec 2007 - 12:00am

Have your say

A beautiful mind is more important

I recently read an interesting book - How to Make a Beautiful Mind by Edward de Bono.

The book was highly recommended by my dad who said it would teach me to think creatively.

The author says having a beautiful mind is more important than having a beautiful body.

24 Apr 2007 - 12:00am

Fixing Beijing's signs an Olympic-sized task

Despite a year-long effort to weed 'Chinglish' from Beijing's public signs, phrases such as 'Welcome to take Beijing Subway on your next trip' will still be seen in the capital, thanks to their inclusion in a set of standardised English translations for public use.

12 Apr 2007 - 12:00am

Chinglish takes shape

When it comes to speaking English, Hong Kong students have been known to conjure up the liveliest of expressions.

If a student wants to make sure his friends won't stand him up before a get-together, it wouldn't be unusual for him to say, 'Don't fly me aeroplane'.

29 Mar 2007 - 12:00am