Beijing, China’s sprawling capital, is all set to host the next Winter Olympics in 2022. The fourth most populous city in the world has a history stretching back 3 millennia. Yet it’s known as much for modern architecture as its ancient sites. But the megacity is in news for some time now because of a rather weird reason.
China is removing embarrassing and offensive mistranslated English signs from public buildings before hosting the Winter Olympics. In this regard a big city-wide correction campaign is underway, targeting baffling public notice blunders including toilet signs that label disabled people “deformed”.
As part of its correction campaign, the foreign affairs office in Beijing is now on the hunt for mistranslated English, or the rather fancy term ‘Chinglish’ , signs across the city before the much anticipated 2022 Olympics.
Ever since the national standard on English translation took effect on December 1, 2017, Beijing officials have worked with Chinese foreign experts and volunteers with translations of these signs and notices on public places such as schools and hospitals, as well as establishments frequented by foreigners like international hotels and metro stations.
Since the new translation came into effect, Beijing’s foreign affairs office claim they have screened over a whopping two million Chinese characters on bilingual signs; ensuring a much more accurate English translation.
According to Chen Mingming, who is Executive Vice President of the Translators Association of China and advisor to the correction campaign :
“Translations of public signs not only help foreigners, but their quality also shapes the image of a city.”
In March this year, the Chinese government launched a website to encourage locals to help with the campaign .A government website to simply report Chinglish. The website contains a list of government approved English translations on subjects such as hospitals, restaurant, shopping and sporting events for reference. This push to perfect the city’s punctuation and grammar is on track to be completed before the Winter Olympics commences on 4th February 2022.
It’s no secret that Chinese take a lot of pride in their own language. Learning English has never been their priority. But since it’s becoming the economic superpower in recent years, China has been taking certain important steps to promote the tourism in the country.