I'm on record as thinking it Colonel Blimpish for native speakers of English to make fun of other people's mistakes in our language -- above all when we're doing it on their soil, and when our command of their language is less than total. Odds are any college-educated Chinese person I meet will be much better in English than I am in Chinese. After all, English was one of their mandatory subjects through school and in their college-entrance exams. Not quite the same for me with Chinese. (But let's try some French! Or Latin! Or Esperanto! Or Japanese!) So not once in talking with such a person have I been other than grateful for such English as they know.
On the other hand, I repeatedly marvel at the blitheness with which Chinese organizations put things in English designed for foreign readers without having even a minimally-literate native speaker give it a quick look. (Background again here and more broadly here.)
Today's case study: promotional map, conveniently in English for foreign investors and tourists, which I just received from a fancy Chinese resort I won't otherwise identify:
Sigh. My kingdom for an "e."
Update: George Bradt of Shanghai reports that the city's hockey rink has ramp marked "Sloppy Passage," for the convenience of wheelchair-bound patrons. Update #2: Via Micah Sittig, photo of the ramp, with its full name "Disabled Sloppy Passage," here.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.