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Clear instructions from China

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Lons

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Had a tyre gauge delivered today as my good one doesn't go to the 5.5mb I need for motorhome, it's good job instructions for use aren't needed.

I have a mental picture of the marketing dept of the manufacturer (AKA the canteen), Boss says in Chinese of course "anyone speak English" and a hand goes up from the new kid in the corner wanting to impress, "translate this then". When finished he says "bloody good job Chung, you sure you Chinese not English?"

I've highlighted the operation steps bit, presumably you "cover mouth" so no one can see you laughing. #-o
 

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Woody2Shoes

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I'd be surprised if there isn't already some institution or other offering degrees in Chinglish.

Just one more, from gazillions of examples:
 

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SammyQ

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My old Latin master recounted this to me many years ago.

Downtown Kowloon, taking in the sights. Sign on the wall of a building:
"Ground floor, English teached here"
"First floor, better English teached upstairs"
:?
Sam
 

Keith 66

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A couple of years ago i bought a plastic welding gun, the intruction book was so bad it is wonderful, such gems as "For melting the hot plasiky materiel", "Do not use in water as electrikery death may result!".
But the biscuit must be taken by the writers of the manual for RD Works, its a generic Laser cutter software that comes bundled with most chinese laser cutters. It is the clunkiest most arcane piece of software ever & the manual is just utterly unintelligible.
 

Blockplane

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I wonder if Chinese speakers feel the same way about instruction sheets translated from European languages?
 

Trainee neophyte

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From Bill Bryson's "Mother Tongue":
When a passenger of the foot heave in sight, tootle the horn. Trumpet at him melodiously at first, but if he still obstacles your passage, then tootle him with vigor.
 

t8hants

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"Your location/sea/island/area of strategic interest, is mentioned in ancient Chinese writings and we claim them back for the CCP'.
 

woodhutt

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One of my favourites was a business sign in Hong Kong advertising 'The Wilful Shipping Co.'
(Motto: "We don't care where you want your goods shipped. We'll send them where we want them to go.")

Oh yes, and the "Agro Bank" in KL. (Just don't ask for an overdraft.)
Pete
 

Garno

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gregmcateer":3bnsgvk3 said:
Blockplane":3bnsgvk3 said:
I wonder if Chinese speakers feel the same way about instruction sheets translated from European languages?
We make things in Europe?
And export them to China!?!
Chips :D
 

Trevanion

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gregmcateer":10ke0zsm said:
We make things in Europe?
And export them to China!?!
Well... They've got to buy at least one genuine article to copy from before they start churning out knock-offs of the product.
 

John Brown

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woodhutt":2vizbdz9 said:
One of my favourites was a business sign in Hong Kong advertising 'The Wilful Shipping Co.'
(Motto: "We don't care where you want your goods shipped. We'll send them where we want them to go.")

Oh yes, and the "Agro Bank" in KL. (Just don't ask for an overdraft.)
Pete
It's hardly their fault if we chose to use "agro" (in a field?), as an abbreviation for aggravation.
 

woodhutt

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John Brown":1m37i2yk said:
It's hardly their fault if we chose to use "agro" (in a field?), as an abbreviation for aggravation.
I was not trying to 'fault' anyone. Many humorous incidents arise from words having different connotations in different languages.
Perhaps your sense of humour is lying mouldering... :)
 

John Brown

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Thanks. That brings back all the painful memories of being six years old, and having other six year olds sing "John Brown's body" to me all the time. 61 years later, and I find myself once more explaining that I am not the celebrated abolitionist.
 

Lons

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John Brown":brrl6ph4 said:
It's hardly their fault if we chose to use "agro" (in a field?), as an abbreviation for aggravation.
We could really stuff up their translations if we started using UK regional dialogue or text speak in the instructions. :wink:
e.g

* Mak soower yi read the buke afore playin with this.
* Divin't give this stuff ti the littleuns or they cud end up deed.
* Gan ootside ti use this, divin't play with it in the hoose or ya dad'll give yi a wack.
* Git the baal of string an chuck it alang the groond ti unwind it but mak soower ya divin't trip ower it 'cos yill hort yorsell.


Reading that back it make less sense than chinglish. #-o
 

John Brown

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Actually, if I can take time off from feigning offence at somewhat unoriginal allusions to my name, I find bad translations as funny as the next man. Indeed, I have written a few sets of "Chinglish" instructions in my time, to accompany jokey electronic gadgets made for gifts to friends.
You have to admire the confidence of the translators. The puzzling thing is that, although most of us don't speak Chinese, running the translation past a native English speaker would probably catch most of the errors.
The other thing that surprises me, although I expect it shouldn't, is how many UK based resellers of Chinese products, make no attempt at rewriting item descriptions.
 
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