In the U.S., we often make reference to Spanglish – the melding of Spanish and English that takes place in areas with strong Spanish-speaking communities interacting with the English-speaking community. Somehow, we find a way to communicate, even if it doesn’t conform to grammar rules from either language. And especially when the sounds are pleasant, humorous, or present a double entendre for the punster’s pleasure.
In Taiwan, where they speak Mandarin Chinese, I learned that there is a slight amount of “Chinglish” that occurs. Of course, Chinese being the base language, it really isn’t the same blending that I associate with Spanglish. Plus, I don’t speak of lick of Chinese, Mandarin or otherwise, so I can only call the interesting display of English translation “Chinglish.” However, I did see clothing with English and pinyin mixed on t-shirts.
The English influence comes as much from Western commercial products and media as much as any presence of an English-speaking community (if not more). Surprising translations are rampant in signage, clothing design, and menu translations. For these purposes, communication is dependent on the creativity of the mind reading along.
However, there are also times when the Taiwanese got right to the point.
Um. Yea. It really says that.
I guess they got tired of cleaning up human feces. I would tire of that, too.
Other instances of Chinglish occur in restaurant signage and design. For instance, while visiting Lyudao (Chinese approximation), or Green Island (English), we found this Greek-themed restaurant featuring the most extensive tea list I saw in Taiwan (which is really saying something) as well as a small menu of fried items (fish balls and sweet potatoes, which are among the most popular Taiwanese fried foods, were on the menu).
The food was good, the tea was good, the decor was stellar. This is sort of how it is on Green Island. The people are nice, the island facilities and activities are great, but not much can beat the natural beauty of the island. Crags, goats, crashing waves, hidden coves, a lighthouse and peace memorial, natural saltwater hot springs, snorkel coves, what more could you ask for?
What you say?
You want a “Little Great Wall of China”???
Oh, well. That ain’t no thang. Lyudao has a Little Great Wall of China, too.
There’s so much more to Lyudao…you’ll have to tune in tomorrow for the BEST lunch I’ve had in several months, along with a smattering of beautiful photos of Lyudao’s coastline, foliage, and a few more wacky faces from my cousin Maddie and me.