brooks461on October 31, 2009
Dennis wrote: "So does this mean we are all deformed because we would opt to use the western-style john?" (And I say ,"Not only that, but we're all MEN, too!")
(Crossing the street would be lethal anyway since nobody: cars, scooters, bicycles follow any system of traffic laws.)
Oh -- and the whole country is impossible for wheelchairs. Houses have high thresholds to indicate status. I never saw a curb cut. Restaurants seem to be on the second floor, with stairs only. Even in hotels, the elevator goes to the floor below, requiring the diner to climb dramatic stairs to the dining room.
The mauling of the English language appears to be universal in China signage. It's called "Chinglish." I have concluded that the government is too proud/arrogant to ask for a native English speaker to provide the colloquial English. Mostly, I consider it part of the entertainment. Imagine if we tried to make the Chinese characters on our signs.
What's more, there are 56 recognized minorities, and at least seven different dialects in China. Chinese dialects can often be wholly different words than the official Chinese language, which is actually Mandarin. Mandarin is used on TV and radio. In Hong Kong, they mostly speak Cantonese. They are different languages, but the written characters are the same, because they are meaning based, rather than sound based, as our language is. In fact, even school children can read documents that are hundreds of years old and from a different area of the country. Imagine us reading Chaucer in the original Middle English.
Still, the Naxi minority in Lijiang, for example, still uses pictographs as well as the official written language.
Gueston October 13, 2009
That is awful! Don't they have politically correct interpreters? c