Archive for April 2nd, 2014

Chinese experiments with English

Posted in Blogs (Articles) on April 2nd, 2014 by Rajesh Kochhar – Be the first to comment

Rajesh Kochhar

Chinese no-smoking sign carried this phrase in English: No burning.

At the Zhongzhou airport a notice helpfully tells you how much time it would take you to the boarding gate at the far end; the notice board called it the ‘farest’ gate. You would of course know what it means.

If you are sending a letter in English to China or talking to somebody in English in China do not use idiomatic English.  Frame your sentence in a manner that Google can translate it without creating a scandal. Do not use prepositional phrases such as stand by, look up to , get by. Use a more concrete single verb.

Incidentally even semi-literate Whites can earn as much as 200 yuan an hour by teaching English in privately run English classes. The next generation of semi-literate whites will not have that opportunity.

 

The kingdom of the child

Posted in Blogs (Articles) on April 2nd, 2014 by Rajesh Kochhar – Be the first to comment

 

Rajesh Kochhar

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At a recently concluded international academic conference in Hefei in the Anhui province of China every body’s darling was the young son of a Chinese participant. A fellow participant from Europe later narrated this incident. When he took out a packet of biscuits from his bag the boy asked for it. Thinking that the boy wanted to eat the biscuits the man handed the packet over to the boy. But no, the boy opened the packet and returned it to the owner. The boy did not need the biscuits. He needed to demonstrate his skill in opening the packet.

I myself had a memorable experience in a tourist village called Huangcun. I said hello to a small boy whose mother goaded him to say hello in return. Since the boy was plump and bald I patted on his head and knocked on it. The boy’s response elicited laughter from every body within earshot. The mother explained to me that the boy said in Chinese: Grandpa.