Long Time No See

I learn from Clara (excellent translator for the day) that Chinglish is a serious discussion point in Shanghai, not so much a cause for embarrassment or criticism. I thought it might be a sensitive issue.

There is also Advanced Chinglish. Long Time No See has to be Very Advanced Chinglish as we don’t even recognise its Chinese origins.

So the linguistic movement is to acknowledge its place as a cultural phenomenon and not require perfect translation. Better City, Better Life is everywhere as the slogan for Expo 2010 and it may be perfect, but is it? While the Botanic Gardens’ new signage is clearly Advanced Chinglish but seeming not so to the excellent English speaker who is Chinese “I thought it was perfect”: care for plant, care for future. Finally we gain access to the closed area of the Gardens and meet with Ms Xiu. A surprise visit.

And isn’t Long Time No See about as perfectly expressive as it’s possible to be in English, without spelling it out?

care for plant

1 comment to Long Time No See

  • T C Kelly

    hello richard,
    it is lovely to dip into your chinese world and love the variety of your perspectives from Working Surfaces which reminds me the film Cafe Lumiere with its simplicity, a sense of your province and a replica of the vastness of Shanghai, an appreciation of the company lunch and the dripping duck….well done, slither that fat, the I Ching nice, suggest your read it early and see how the day pans out in relation to it or against it. Bravo. Tom

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