Sunday, August 31, 2008

Olympic Chinglish hilarity

If you've been suffering, as I have, the local Chinese television coverage of these Olympic games, you will have seen the numerous ads for Tsingtao beer (the dominant Chinese brand, though I personally much prefer the local Yanjing product, brewed in the Shunyi suburb of north-eastern Beijing): the glamorous diving champion, Guo Jing Jing, and numerous others invite you to raise a bottle with them to toast the Olympics. There's a special website you can go to, to join in all the fun of this special Olympic promotion:

This site even has an English version. Well, a Chinglish version.

Honestly, you have to go and check this out. It's f***ing hilarious! Isn't it amazing that a multi-million dollar company that is actually making big efforts to market its beers overseas would not bother to employ any native speakers in polishing its online copy?? No, of course not - this is China.(Correction: There is in fact some decent English on the site [although occasionally prone to a certain floridness of style: check out the 'History of the Olympics' section!], but I fear not many people will drill down that far, since the titles and menus are so bad. I have to add this acknowledgement, since a friend of mine was involved in preparing some of this copy. I'm not sure if he ever got paid for his efforts, though.)

The opening banner (blink, and you can miss it; even if you don't miss it, you might have trouble believing it; I've had to click back on it several times to convince myself that this is really what it says....) is this quite incomprehensible slogan:
"Chinese have never condensation like this time."

Any offers, anyone? Any idea at all? Nope, it's got me stumped. (And I 'translate' this kind of guff for a living!)

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