Thursday, June 17, 2010

Good for laughs

When a people acquire a different language, they will inappropriately transfer features of their native tongue. Linguists call the phenomean interlanguage. The result can be pretty funny. Consider these texts of Chinese signs:

If you are stolen, call the police at once.


Please omnivorously put the waste in garbage can.

I challenge any English speaker who calls these examples "Chinglish" to learn Chinese. The natives find my attempted Chinese quite entertaining. Though I am understood in the dining hall, personnel find my communication hysterically funny. The food servers like me for the comic relief I provide.

On Dragon Boat Day, the cafeteria help did not allow Joe or me to pay for our food, gave us much larger portions than we had asked for, and then brought us more. We had to ask for a plastic bag to take the extra food home, and they didn't charge us 3 mao for the bag, which is the usual practice.

Photos: Student cafeteria and generous amounts of jaozi, a favorite holiday food.

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