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War on 'Chinglish' to prevent translation gaffes
Published on: 2017-07-03
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050China has long been known as the land of the confused tourist, with instructions on public notices using phrases like: 'Be careful to hit your head.'

But poorly translated English - or what is otherwise known as Chinglish - is set to become a thing of the past following the launch of a new national standard.

Chinglish is considered a national embarrassment in China, where youngsters are often given lessons in English from a very young age.

Authorities announced this week that the national standard would be rolled out in 13 public areas, including transportation, entertainment, medicine and financial services.

"English translations should prioritise correct grammar and a proper register, while rare expressions and vocabulary words should be avoided," the standard said.

The new rules, which will be enforced in December, will ensure that translations do "not contain content that damages the images of China or other countries".

China has rapidly opened up to overseas visitors in recent years, and local authorities and attractions have erected ever more signs to attract free-spending foreigners.

However, many of the translations can be too literal, meaning that public notices are often the subject of ridicule, or are deemed offensive.

Among the more offensive translations were signs erected in Beijing's Nationalities Park which referred to "Racist Park".

China has previously targeted its badly translated signs, particularly in the run up to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

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