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Home >> Sci-Edu
UPDATED: 20:07, May 25, 2005
Welcome the 2008 Games with correct bilingual signs
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Photo:Zhou Jie, Vice President of, addresses the press conference.
Zhou Jie, Vice President of, addresses the press conference.
A press conference was held by China Daily Website to launch an activity named "Use Accurate English to Welcome the Olympics--Public Bilingual Sign Standardization Drive", at the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE), on May 25, 2005.

The activity will start from major Chinese cities as Beijing, Shanghai, Xi'an and Guangzhou.

The campaign is aimed at improving the country's international image and enhancing public awareness about using correct English by identifying and correcting bad translations on bilingual public signs and printed materials.

It is reported that junior high school students once found 91 mistakes on bilingual signposts in the Wangfujing and Xi'dan areas in downtown Beijing last year.

Such errors in English usage happen because there are no uniform criterion for bilingual use.

Photo:Ding Hengqi, professor from UIBE, gives a lecture on bilingual signs at the press conference.
Ding Hengqi, professor from UIBE, gives a lecture on bilingual signs at the press conference.
Ding Hengqi, professor of UIBE, gave a lecture at the press conference. He cited many translations on bilingual signs that are so badly garbled that they hardly make sense, some of which very funny, such as "Preserve green grass and retain the green color" for "Keep off the grass", "Office area, please do not coming" for "Staff Only", "Visit in civilization, pay attention to hygiene!" for "Be civil in your behavior and keep the place clean and tidy", "Collecting money toilet" for "Pay toilet" and "Deformed man toilet" for "Handicap accessible toilet".

Through this activity, the organizer hopes that when achelets from all over the world arrive in Beijing in 2008, they will find that all the English signposts have clear and standard English, whether signs at tourist sites or highway signs.

The activity is supported by the Cultural and Education Section of the British Council and the Public Affairs Section of the Canadian Embassy. A number of renowned Chinese universities, including UIBE, will participate as well.

By People's Daily Online

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