Skip to main content

"Tainglish": Taiwan's Bad English Ads

A few weeks ago I made a one day trip to Tainan. I took the High Speed Rail (HRS), the fastest way to get there. While I was sitting on the train I leafed through the official HRS magazine and found the following ad.


Now, what does this exactly mean? "Inspire the fascinate dream of travelers".

All right, no one is perfect. I know how difficult it is for someone who is not a native speaker to write in English (since I belong to this group). I don't blame people who make mistakes and I don't mind making mistakes myself. But that's different for a company which is paying to have its ad published on a magazine. 

There are two possibilities: either did the owner/s ask a relative to translate the sentence into English in order to save money; or they hired a translator who lied about his or her English skills, or who got hired only thanks to 'guanxi' and was totally unqualified for the job. 

An even more striking example - inside Taipei main station there is a huge ad with an incredible misspelling. Look at this:



Have you noticed it? Yes, exactly:



What should we make of this? I mean, they could have just checked a dictionary. I understand it's excruciating to check every single word in a long text if you're not a native speaker. But that's just a sentence, it wouldn't have taken much time. Besides, this is supposed to be a professional ad. Did the boss ask a friend or relative to translate it in order to save some money? And how comes it that nobody noticed it? This ad made it on a wall in Taipei main station and no one noticed the mistake. 

Actually, in my humble opinion they don't need to use English. We are in Taiwan and most people speak Chinese. Usually this sort of ads have 99% Chinese and 1% English, because it looks cool and sophisticated to have something written in English. You want to prove your company is international. But if you really want to show your company is international, at least hire someone who can proofread your ads. 

This is not an isolated case. A famous Japanese bakery chain uses a slogan written in English, which makes no sense at all. Some day I might take a picture of that, too. 




The world’s leading TEFL course provider, i-to-i TEFL has trained more than 127,000 people in the last 18 years. i-to-i TEFL offers world renowned training – either face-to-face training in the classroom, distance learning online or a combination of the two! Learn more!

Comments

  1. That's so true. My personal favorite mistake is one in museum in Tainan, which claims that severel germans were awarded nobel prize in peach :D

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Rumours About Chinese Actress Fan Bingbing's Arrest Spread Online

Rumours about the arrest of Chinese model and actress Fan Bingbing on charges of tax evasion have spread on Chinese media.
As Apple Daily reports, celebrity Fan Bingbing and her younger brother Fan Chengcheng have allegedly been detained for taking part in a tax evasion scheme alongside her manager, Mu Xiaoguang.
Mu has also allegedly been charged with destroying incriminating evidence.

On May 28 TV anchor Cui Yongyuan posted on Weibo a contract that showed Fan Bingbing being paid $1.56 million (RMB10 million) for four days’ work on director Feng Xiaogang's film “Cell Phone 2.” 

Later Cui released another contract worth $7.8 million (RMB50 million) for the same work. He alleged that Fan had declared to tax authorities only the first contract, thus avoiding to pay taxes on the second, larger amount. 

Double-contracts for the purpose of tax evasion are known in China as "yin-yang contracts". 

Although the Chinese government censored Cui's posts, in early June China's t…

Why Liberals Should Embrace Fair Trade, Debate Role Of Tariffs

On the latest episode of Last Week Tonight, comedian John Oliver made fun of Donald Trump's tariffs and mocked him for not understanding how free trade works.  
Oliver noted that tariffs are paid by importers and typically passed along to US consumers, leading to higher prices. Tariffs could cost the US hundreds of thousands of jobs, Oliver argued. 
Trade deficits "aren't actually always bad, and many economists believe, for very complex reasons involving savings rates and the dollar's special status as the world's reserve currency, that America's trade balance might be more or less where it should be," he said.
Oliver argued that "the overwhelming consensus among economists is that trade between countries generally speaking can create jobs, lower costs, and be a net benefit to both nations." 
But is John Oliver right?

We shall argue that although Trump's tariffs lack a clear strategy and are therefore not the right path for the US, tariffs…

Chinese Dissidents Found Shanghai Independence Party, Oppose Communist Rule

A group of Chinese dissidents has founded a new party that challenges the dictatorship of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and advocates Shanghai independence. 
Since Xi Jinping took office in 2012, the Chinese government has tightened its grip on civil society and the media, cracking down on free speech, hardening its stance towards Taiwan and launching an all-out assault on Uighur society. However, the Party's increasingly oppressive policies are causing a backlash. 
In the United States a group of Chinese dissidents have formed the Shanghai National Party (上海民族黨), also called Humindang (滬民黨), from the character Hu (滬), the short name for Shanghai. 
「上海民族黨」在紐約成立 反共並要求上海獨立 https://t.co/KQEzGIEDqgpic.twitter.com/IHOwIeuUKe — RFI 華語 - 法國國際廣播電台 (@RFI_TradCn) August 12, 2018

The party, registered on July 18 in New York, United States, promotes the overthrow of the Communist regime and the independence of Shanghai. The slogan of the party is: "Leave China, return to Europe, compreh…