With the 2010 World's Fair scheduled for next summer in Shanghai next summer, the city is taking it's turn at all the silliness that Beijing got to engage in last year: the razing of the old city, the manic building, the civilization campaigns (no pushing and spitting). And yes, even the crackdown on Chinglish, as the BBC reports:
The authorities in the Chinese city of Shanghai are
starting a campaign to try to spot and correct badly phrased English on
signs in public places.Chinglish, as the inaccurate use of the language is known, has long been a source of embarrassment for the authorities there.It is also a source of amusement to foreign visitors.But Shanghai wants to spruce up its image. It is expecting millions of visitors for the World Expo fair.Sometimes you can see what the author was getting at, such as the
sign that warns people to "keep valuables snugly", and "beware the
people press close to you designedly".Then there are signs where they have mistranslated a crucial word.One in a hotel lift advises people "please leave your values at the front desk".Sometimes
they have just got it the wrong way round, such as on the sign in the
stairwell of a department store asking shoppers to "please bump your
head carefully".My favourites though, are those which get more
surreal, like the one on the Shanghai metro from the public security
bureau that reads: "If you are stolen, call the police at once."
My guess is that this campaign will be every bit as successful as the Beijing campaign was. Which is to say 'not very!"