CHINGLISH TO LOSE ITS CHING IN SHANHAI
Chinglish, the delightfully ungrammatical strain of English that thrives on the streets of Shanghai, is under threat.The city , which will host the World Expo in 2010,is determined to create the right English language environment in five years’ time, and this desire has translated into zero tolerance for Chinglish.
Billboards and signage in the citywill henceforth be checked for spelling and grammar.We will establish a citywide supervision network to ensure that incorrect English spelling is corrected immediately,said Zhang Weijing, director of the Shangai Education Commission.
But anyone who has read the plot synopses on the covers of pirated DVDs emerging from Shanghai will know that the authorities have a Herculean task at hand. In a city where less than one percent of the population speaks English, misspelling is rampant—Pacticfic for Pacific and Shangshi for Shanghai.
The might of the Shanghai municipal government has been thrown into this linguistic adventure.English translations for traffic signs, scenic attractions, service facilities and shop names will be made available to the public.
The people’s Bank of China has launched training program and English language competitions for its staff.Crash courses are being introduced especially for those in the service industry (airports, hotels) where interaction with foreigners is required .University students are being encouraged to volunteer their services in correcting the wrong use of English.
Hopefully by 2010 at least half the residents should be able to understand and speak one hundred of the most commonly used sentences in English.Sun Xiaoxian ,an official at the city’s language Works Commission,said that an expert committee has been set up to handle the translations.
But Chinglish has its charm andwill surely be missed .Where elseare Christmas lights described as magically plus steady light feature or muscing used for an event of music and singing? How much nicer than musical extravaganza.