Toilet will replace W.C. (or water closet) and "Exit" signs will stop "Export"-ing people or showing them their "Way Out".
These are just a few of the inappropriate and embarrassing signs in English that will be changed to make life more convenient for foreigners in Beijing, especially those expected for the 2008 Olympics Games.
The city has embarked on an eight-month journey to rectify all misleading, and at times funny, signs in public places so that they are in place about a year before the Olympics.
Plus, it will ensure that all signs on roads and public places are in two languages, and the English translations follow a standard pattern. The municipal government's guide to standard English, published last December, will be used as reference.
"The guide is the first to set a local standard for English in China, and has translations for public signs," city vice-mayor Ji Lin said at a conference yesterday.
It is divided into six parts, including general rules, roads and communications, scenic spots, sports fields and stadiums, commerce and businesses, and medical services, and will help change the signs in museums, parks, theaters, subways, bus stops and terminals, railway stations, hospitals and commercial areas.
The government will assign 10 teams to execute the challenging job. And "we will check between October and December to see if the signs are right", Ji said.
The English on bilingual signs on roads in Beijing's eight downtown districts has already been changed, and the city also standardized the English translations of Chinese dishes.
(China Daily February 1, 2007)