Friday, October 29, 2004

Taiwan should improve their English level

It is quite often seen a bit everywhere in Taiwan, a poor standard of the English language.
Although great efforts are visible among the young generations, we come across with innumerous careless mistakes, affecting the government (official reports), businesses, etc, etc.
This would not be a problem if Taiwan would only interact with it self, but we are in the 21st century and in a dynamic economy like Taiwan, an interaction with the world is unavoidable.
Another serious example is when the local post offices have street names lists with wrong spellings. When they receive a letter with the right spelling in English and as the majority of the post office employees can't speak English, they rely on their list to verify the correspondent Chinese name. Because their list does not contain the official English spelling, the letter is either returned to the sender as "Non-existing address" or is delivered in a wrong place.
I've been personally affected by this problem several times and had to take a photo of my street's plate name to bring to the post office, for them to understand the actual problem.

Check out an example of shop that has the intention to advertise their product: Instead of writing "Fruit Ice-cream", they write "Special Ice & Fruit Food". This is an example of a direct translation, which sometimes does not make any sense (not to mention the spelling error).

Another example published today in the Taipei Times (the main Taiwanese News Paper in English), they meant Kelly doesn't eat much of that crap:

phto: AP
At 53kg, something tells us Kelly Chen doesn't each much McDonald's.

PS. Nothing to do with the subject of this post, but I do not want to make any publicity to such company so here are the facts published in Taipei Times:

"Hong Kong singer/actress Kelly Chen (陳慧琳) was put in a tight spot last week when reporters began pressing her about her role as a spokeswoman for McDonald's with the documentary Supersize Me, which is set to be released in the city. Chen, who clocks in at 53kg, offered the stock response from the McDonald's camp that the fast food restaurant now offers low-calorie options, like salads, and that it's a great family locale. No one pointed out, though, that with salad dressing added, the salads are just as calorie-rich as a Big Mac."

Have a great Halloween weekend and avoid fast food!

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