In its quest of becoming a full-fledged multilingual society, China has announced a national standard for the use of the English language on Tuesday, purging the public of “Chinglish.”
The standard, created by the Standardization Administration and General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, is scheduled to take effect on December 1, 2017, People’s Daily reported. Primarily, it aims to improve the quality of English translations in 13 public arenas, including entertainment, finance, medicine and transportation, among others.
It will also provide standard translations for about 3,500 commonly used phrases and words, Shanghaiist noted.
With its emphasis on correct grammar and appropriate register, the standard is expected to wipe out poor translations — “Chinglish” — that have plagued China for many embarrassing years.
It specifically prohibits discriminatory, offensive and rare phrases and words, requiring that English must not be “overused” in public places and that all translations should not damage China or another country’s image.
Social media users, however, are skeptical about the standard, as past efforts to obliterate “Chinglish” apparently bore no fruit. Hilarious translations remain across the country, amusing and bothering English-speaking tourists.
Commenters wrote on Reddit:
“Good f**king luck with that.”
“I think there were talks about removing the English/pinyin on street signs in Shanghai a while back. Seems to have just been nonsense though, probably like this plan.”
“So they’re going to eradicate Chinglish by handing out another set of guidelines that no one is going to read. If I had a nickel for every time I saw a plan to eradicate Chinglish, and a nostalgic article lamenting its impending demise, I could buy a nice hot plate of victim of government violence chicken.”
Do you think China will succeed in its plan?