Chinese experiments with English

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.


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