Do you speak Chinglish?

March 25, 2015 1:06 pm

If you conduct business or you are responsible for establishing and maintaining international contacts, you cannot avoid communicating in English, which is used globally. Unfortunately, it is easier said than done – especially if you attempt to follow the grammar structures, pronunciation, alphabet which are at opposite poles to your mother tongue. To come straight to the point, people of various cultures often have difficulties understanding each other and the same concerns language indirectly. It’s not a piece of cake to acquire English and the tremendous number of funny and deceptive translations that you can find on the Internet shows well the difficulty.


What is more, some information could be regarded as really offensive, even an appetizing image with a poor translation can fill foreigners with disgust. For instance, who wants to eat a grilled chicken ass?


Try to understand a fusion of English and Chinese:

This kind of mistakes we can observe not only in Chinglish but also in mistranslations from other languages into English. They occur on a regular basis for several main reasons: 1) since English has become a kind of an international language and a lot of people think they speak it well enough to translate a simple statement; 2) many people underestimate the work of a professional translator, who, in such cases would do the necessary background research before translating; 3) many employers don’t want to spend extra money for professional translation for “simple” things like signs, packaging, menus etc.


By no means, mistakes like these, although it is tempting to laugh and mock about them, should make us underestimate the efforts millions of Chinese make to learn English. If you want to laugh at them, first think about how many words you can say in Chinese …

Just to know

According to urban dictionary, “Chinglish is broken English produced by people whose mother tongue is Chinese”.


Urban dictionary

Sampling of Chinglish

Chinese language blog

Hilarious examples of signs lost in translation

17 of the best Menu Chinglish Examples

Funny examples of Chinglish from China

Funny Chinglish

Written by Aleksandra Święcicka. Journalist, web editor and social media expert. Communication Trainee at TermCoord


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