Another milestone for German Sinology

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Another milestone for German Sinology

Postby Screaming Jesus » 11 Dec 2008, 09:11

Namely, hooker ads on the cover of the Max Planck Institut's journal:

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-enter ... 58031.html

I sure would like to know who their expert consultant was. (Was he unqualified, or was he evil?)
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Re: Another milestone for German Sinology

Postby Huang Guang Chen » 11 Dec 2008, 09:40

Excellent! My neighbour, a German Sinologist, as it happens, has sent the cover art to his colleagues and friends as a Christmas card! Much mirth in the Chinese speaking German world.

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Re: Another milestone for German Sinology

Postby elektronisk » 11 Dec 2008, 10:28

One wrote, "Next time, please find a smart Chinese graduate to check your translation"


:roflmao:
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Re: Another milestone for German Sinology

Postby Tempo Gain » 11 Dec 2008, 11:47

"To our sincere regret ... it has now emerged that the text contains deeper levels of meaning, which are not immediately accessible to a non-native speaker,"


Is this a pun?
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Re: Another milestone for German Sinology

Postby sjcma » 11 Dec 2008, 12:16

Image
German sinologist eh? A sinologist that can't recognize the two very distinguishable roman characters (KK) and thought this was "classical" Chinese? Indeed, there is no sinologist. Someone had to be blamed and it sure ain't gonna be us (the editors).

Tempo Gain, it's not a pun. The editors' apology is puzzling. There's no "deeper levels of meaning"; they're just trying to cover their ass. It's an ad for a brothel, the meaning is quite clear.
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Re: Another milestone for German Sinology

Postby Feiren » 11 Dec 2008, 12:24

I had some trouble reading the font, and the China Times felt it necessary to print a transcription. Perhaps even some native-speaker readers might have missed this?
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Re: Another milestone for German Sinology

Postby sjcma » 11 Dec 2008, 12:43

I'm not great at reading Chinese cursive script, but this is very legible handwriting. It's obvious that the ad is from either Hong Kong or Macau as it refers to "beauties from the north" (北方佳麗) and my guess is that this establishment is trying to sound just a bit more classy than your other run-of-the-mill brothels by not only handwriting the ad with brush, but also using four character structures throughout much of it without punctuation. I doubt a native-speaker with decent levels of education would be so confused as to miss the two K's.
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Re: Another milestone for German Sinology

Postby cranky laowai » 11 Dec 2008, 13:39

There's lots more on this, along with a much larger and clearer image, over at Language Log.
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Re: Another milestone for German Sinology

Postby sjcma » 11 Dec 2008, 14:03

I just looked at the larger version. They've even truncated the top of the two characters on the upper left hand side (風 and 身). Who cares about a missing stroke here and there when the content is so exciting. :moon:
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Eminent German scientific journal gets hit for sex

Postby Chewycorns » 14 Dec 2008, 10:24

:lol: It's all in the name of science: Weird Science.

Image

Seriously though, if this had been an American magazine, the Europeans would be laughing at the mistake and would be making "Red State" stereotype jokes, no? However, it seems that Europeans are quite unsophisticated these days. When Chirac was in power, one of his ministers couldn't get basic World War II European history facts correct. Now the most prestigious journal can't even double check a translation for a cover story?

No wonder US educational institutions attract more international students these days. :bravo:

Sydney Morning Herald wrote:One of Europe's most prestigious scientific research institutes has had to issue an apology after discovering that the calligraphy used on the cover of its flagship magazine to illustrate a special China edition was in fact an ad for a Hong Kong strip joint.

The institute hastily replaced the cover - which advertises "hot, young housewives" :lol: :lol: - from the online and English edition of the publication, Max Planck Research, but not before the German language version of the periodical had been dispatched to subscribers.

The calligraphy, which was vetted by a sinologist before publication, was believed to have "depicted classical Chinese characters in a non-controversial context".

Instead, the text was identified by many Chinese internet users as similar to wall posters found in the red light district of Mongkok in Hong Kong which spruik strip clubs and brothels.

The exact translation is open to interpretation.

According to the general translation, the text begins: "We spend a lot of money to have [girls] to be in house during daytime.

"Our mama sans, Ga Mei and KK, present you with young and beautiful girls. Stylish and good mannered beauties from the North [of China]. Sexy and hot, young housewives. Flirty and enchanting, available today."

A Taiwanese reader on the University of Pennsylvania's Language Log blog provided a more formal translation:

"With high salary, we have sincerely employed [lots of strippers/girls] to stay in our daytime show.

"Jiamei as the director, she will personally lead young girls who are as pretty as jade.

"[We have] beauties from the north who appear in all their glory with thousands of deportments.

"[We have] young housewives who have hot body that will stir up your [sexual] fire.

"They are sexy, horny and enchanting. The performance will begin in few days!"

In its apology, the institute - which is named after the German physicist credited as the founder of quantum theory - said the Chinese text "had been chosen by our editorial office in order to symbolically illustrate the magazine's focus on China".

"Unfortunately, it has now transpired that this text contains inappropriate content of a suggestive nature," the apology states.

"To our sincere regret, however, it has now emerged that the text contains deeper levels of meaning, which are not immediately accessible to a non-native speaker."

The replacement calligraphy on the cover refers to a book written by the 16th century Swiss Jesuit, Johannes Schreck, titled Illustrated Explanations of Strange Devices.



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http://www.smh.com.au/news/home/technol ... 98876.html
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