China’s English is about to get better

Although we take great amusement in the mistranslation of public signs from Chinese to English “Please wait outside a noodle” “Watch your hand”, this now might be a ‘thing of the past’.

The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, and the Standardisation Administration in China has issued a ‘standard for translation’ in the public service sector, in a bid to polish its prose.

The ‘standard for translation’ features more than 3,500 stock translations covering 13 areas, including transport, culture and health care, to take effect from December 1.
“China is growing and more foreigners are coming here,” said Wu Yong, Head of the Liaoning office of China Daily. “With more foreign trade and a larger number of tourists, we definitely need to up the ante with our translations.” He supports the new standard. “It is a good thing,” he said. “The next step will be how to ensure the standard is applied and maintained.” (Source:

An interesting article and it’s good to read that the Chinese are taking a professional approach to the translation of signs in public places i.e. railway stations etc.
We should remember as well that the reverse situation can also be a cause for amusement for the Chinese. This can be the case where UK businesses use machine translation to translate English to Chinese.

I want to know more about Chinese translations. Please contact me