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ERIC Number: EJ948282
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 25
ISSN: ISSN-1470-8477
"Please Don't Climb Trees and Pick Flowers for the Sake of Life"--Making Sense of Bilingual Tourism Signs in China
Radtke, Oliver; Yuan, Xin
Language and Intercultural Communication, v11 n4 p389-407 2011
This paper deals with Chinglish as Chinese-English translations found on public bilingual signage in the People's Republic of China. After a short review of the existing literature, this study attempts to establish a typology of Chinglish with corpus-based research. Additionally, the corpus serves for geographical and statistical analysis. This study finds that the majority of errors are over-literal translations with grammatical mistakes. Only a few signs feature irrelevant wording, Pinyin or typos. Very few signs feature Gibberish with completely unintelligible word fragments or a random set of characters. The problem does not lie with the sign producer, since most of the time the words appear to be correctly copied and stenciled onto a sign surface, the problem lies with the translator. The number of Propaganda Chinglish signs is very low, given the commercial nature of more than 90% of the corpus. Noticeably, more than 80% of the signs carrying non-commercial information or guidance or warnings do not feature the institution, official bureaus or authorities that issued the signs. Tourism is a major contributor of the corpus with about one fourth of the total number of signs. Further research is needed to elaborate on the decorative use of English in the commercial realm, where the existence of non-Chinese lettering is used to establish an appearance of cosmopolitanism or the status of an international brand. The anonymous nature of the communication between the issuing institution and the general public is another striking feature of the present research results. (Contains 9 notes, 1 table and 4 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China