Taipei invites public to join war on bad English

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Hope I'm not spelling any word wrong...

Postby ajklin » 09 Apr 2006, 05:29

Who decides if a spelling error is in fact an error? Who makes sure the wrong spelling gets corrected? Who will double check or proof read? Is any native English speaker necessarily qualified for the job? Don't we all see often the misspellings here in this forum by native speakers or even English teachers?
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Re: Hope I'm not spelling any word wrong...

Postby Bubba 2 Guns » 09 Apr 2006, 06:02

ajklin wrote:Who decides if a spelling error is in fact an error? Who makes sure the wrong spelling gets corrected? Who will double check or proof read? Is a native English speaker necessarily qualified for the job? Don't we all see very often the misspellings here in this forum by native speakers or even English teachers?


Who reads this shit nut-rag?
Bad spelling and grammar shouldn't be excused in any language in a professional setting. A forum is 'ass king fo bad spelli'n" This is first year pendantic overly sensitive newbies. Let our words run free!!!

Notice my hyphen between nut and rag.
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Re: Hope I'm not spelling any word wrong...

Postby Lord Lucan » 09 Apr 2006, 20:05

ajklin wrote:Who decides if a spelling error is in fact an error? Who makes sure the wrong spelling gets corrected? Who will double check or proof read? Is a native English speaker necessarily qualified for the job? Don't we all see very often the misspellings here in this forum by native speakers or even English teachers?


Hilarious! Priceless!
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Postby Alphonse » 23 Apr 2006, 18:34

jdsmith wrote:Why wouldn't the government just want to save the damn money and embarrassment by having a literate native English language speaking foreigner on staff when the signs and things were originally made??

I say leave the signs alone, but keeping writing them saying you saw yet another mucked up Engrish sign.


1.The government couldn't really find a "literate native English language speaking foreigner" as well as speaking/reading fluent Chinese so to help with the embarrassment. :D

2. Wrong spelling. It's "English", not Engrish. :wink:
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Postby jdsmith » 23 Apr 2006, 19:05

Alphonse wrote:
1.The government couldn't really find a "literate native English language speaking foreigner" as well as speaking/reading fluent Chinese so to help with the embarrassment. :D

2. Wrong spelling. It's "English", not Engrish. :wink:


1. That's crap. Did they try or did someone's kid's English tutor come in one day and do a quickie proofreading?

And since when does one need to read and speak Chinese fluently to write "Taipei City Welcomes You!" instead of "We wish you have a nice trip!"

2. I was joking...obviously.
Your warning level: [1]
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Postby Namahottie » 23 Apr 2006, 19:38

All bitching/ranting aside. I say if people wanted to really put to the test if this country is really up to the test of changing it's poor English, then let's take part in their 'contest' . Let's crash their servers with corrections, fax them to death, and mail them a mountain of stuff.

They will 'get' the message sooner or later.
@michellemalkin Just so we're perfectly fucking clear here: You're a crazy fucking shitwad. Enjoy your night. Read more at @MayorEmanuel
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Postby brianlkennedy » 24 Apr 2006, 06:21

Well, we could start with the contest rules located at.
http://www.bote.taipei.gov.tw/activity/ ... lan_en.asp

Item 10, the Big Prize section, presents a number of opportunities to win. It states:

"Awards:
A. The participant who correctly identify three errors passing procedure X will receive a knapsack.
B. The participant who disagrees with the content of official Department of Transportation translations and proposes recommendations for rectification will receive a hat of Traffic Engineering Office in cast that bilingual advisors' committee determines that both the original translation and the rectification recommendation are correct.
C. The participant who dose not meet award requirements (including those eliminated for identifying a duplicate error) will receive a gift on a first-come-first-served basis."


I hope to win "a hat of Traffic Engineering Office"; wearing it around town will no doubt get me on the cover of GQ.

Yours in murdering the Queens English,
Brian
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Postby Elegua » 24 Apr 2006, 11:04

jdsmith wrote:Why wouldn't the government just want to save the damn money and embarrassment by having a literate native English language speaking foreigner on staff when the signs and things were originally made??

I say leave the signs alone, but keeping writing them saying you saw yet another mucked up Engrish sign.


That would cost money - why do that when you can get it free by making it a public service contest?
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Re: Hope I'm not spelling any word wrong...

Postby stan » 24 Apr 2006, 11:18

ajklin wrote:Who decides if a spelling error is in fact an error? Who makes sure the wrong spelling gets corrected? Who will double check or proof read? Is any native English speaker necessarily qualified for the job? Don't we all see often the misspellings here in this forum by native speakers or even English teachers?


I would like to monitor the monitors of the monitors. :)
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Postby cranky laowai » 24 Apr 2006, 22:17

As many of you know, correct signage, esp. in terms of romanization, is something of a pet crusade of mine. I've recently been e-mailing and calling various departments about a small but important detail: missing apostrophes in the names of some MRT stations.

Certainly there are bigger problems with English and romanization than this; but I'm looking on this as a sort of test case to check the city gummit's sincerity in fixing demonstrable, systemic errors. After all, the correct versions aren't so different that this would lead to confusion. Also, they've got to change all the maps, etc., to include all the new stations soon to open, so why not fix some errors while they're at it? (I started writing people about this months ago, when there really would have been time to fix things on the new signage and maps.)

When I speak with the MRT people, however, they say that have to go by what the Taipei City Government tells them. (I believe them.) But when I speak with the city's bureau of transportation, I'm told to contact the MRT. And the department of education was involved in this, too. Everyone I've spoken with has been helpful and sympathetic; but that doesn't mean anything is going to change. Basically, no one seems to have the authority to do anything about this because bad romanization is a matter of policy, and just try getting something changed once the those in the system have a rule (or believe they have a rule) to follow.

After talking with people in lots of different departments, here's what I've gathered. Taipei gathered a group of "experts and authorities" on the topic and they decided not to follow the rules of Pinyin (quite likely because they didn't know them). I've tried to find out the identity of these people but couldn't get a clear answer. (Nobody asked me to come to any meetings on this.)

Someone recently reminded me that all this was much like the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark:

EATON: We have top men working on it right now.
INDY: Who?
EATON: Top ... men.
INDY: We may be able to help.
EATON: We appreciate that. And we won't hesitate to call on you.
MUSGROVE: (dismissing them) Thank you all. Thank you again.


As with so much in Taiwan, it looks like a "back door" is needed to get anything done beyond a superficial level. (Anybody here have good connections inside Taipei City Hall?) I'm still on the case, though sometimes I think I really need to get another hobby. :wall:
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