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Beijing to Standardize Use of English on Public Signs
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A drive to standardize the use of English on public signs will force Beijing's hotels, shops and government buildings to clean up their awful English by the end of next year.


Translation standards for public signs at hotels, shopping malls, tourist spots, bus or subway stations, hospitals, museums, and sports venues will be released by the end of this year, the government said.


Businesses and government departments then will be given almost a year to correct language errors on public signs, sources with the foreign affairs office of Beijing municipal government said.


Earlier this year, the office established translation standards for road signs.


The drive is to prepare Beijing for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games by creating a better language learning environment, and more importantly, enhancing the nation's international image, officials involved in the drive said.



Even in the nation's capital, "Chinglish" or English with Chinese characteristics, is prevalent in public places and has misled many foreigners. For example, hotels use "scatter" for "evacuate" in their emergency information. The Park of Ethnic Minorities was identified as the "Racist Park".


In August, the city's tourism bureau issued a regulation requiring correct English signs as one of the main criteria unrated hotels must meet in order to become official accommodation providers.





(Xinhua News Agency October 15, 2006)


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