Thursday, April 12, 2007

China Sounds Like A Nice Enough Place

After reading a story by the Associated Press, it sounds like China is taking steps to ensure that they put on a good and proper Summer Olympics next year. The story says that Olympic organizers there want to ban bad manners, spitting, run-down housing and nonsense English. If they successfully implement these bans and the International Olympic Committee ever adopts them, Los Angeles can kiss their chance at the 2016 Games good bye. Parts of L.A. excel in every one of those categories!

The story says that the newest ban is the crack down (is it me or do the words crack down and China make anyone else thing of Tiananmen Square) on badly worded English. China fears that people or signs that butcher our language could be an embarrassment for them. There are currently English worded signs in Beijing that make no sense to anyone, with the possible exception of Yoda or Sylvester Stallone, and the country hopes to work on getting that stopped and will even have a phone line for people to call if they spot poorly translated signs. Taxi drivers in Beijing are being required to pass English tests so that they can keep their licenses. I wonder if the phrases “So, where ya from,” “Yo, the meter is running” and “Hey, anyone call a taxi,” will be covered on the test.

I don’t know about you but it seems awfully nice of China to want to be so accommodating next summer to those who speak the English language. While I don’t keep myself too current on world affairs (or men’s fashion or the works of P. Diddy for that matter) and can’t recall actually studying in school, I always thought we never got along with China. Well, relations must not be too bad now. They are focusing on the use of correct English in Beijing and they keep sending our zoos Pandas, so things must be going pretty well. I guess they can take France’s place at our next world diplomacy slumber party. “I have like an announcement every one, we’re letting like China join our like clique. Like is that OK?”

Perhaps we should be concerned about the rest of the bans being put in place for the 2008 games. Think about it, no spitting and no bad manners. How’s that going to affect us Americans in Beijing? And I’m just talking about the athletes. How are our gymnasts, swimmers and equestrian competitors supposed to vent when they lose without bad manners? Can you imagine an American Olympic baseball team that takes the field and does not spit? Well, that’s like having an Olympic games without suspending an American or Canadian runner for failing a steroid test or an Eastern European judge who gives high marks to anyone from the west. Darn it, the whole thing just violates the spirit of the Olympic tradition.

I applaud China for going to the lengths they appear to be going, but let’s hope that the games aren’t too polite. Why it wouldn’t feel right traveling to another country and not getting lost because you can’t understand the signs or anyone you ask for directions. For me, the best part of the Olympics has always been the chance that I might see two athletes from different countries cause an international incident that sets the rest of the world on edge. Am I going to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing you ask? No, my passport was just revoked for some reason…I'm sure it had nothing to do with me submitting "Goodness, Gracious, Great Wall of China" as the 2008 Summer Games theme song.

12 comments:

~*SilverNeurotic*~ said...

I'm sure that the Chinese won't be enforcing the rules in the Olympic Village, so there's hope yet!

Odat said...

lol...I like the song!

But what a crock...about China hosting the Olympics....Now there's a country that give me a warm fuzzy feeling!
Peace

mist1 said...

I know a guy that does a one-man reenactment of Tiananmen Square. He stands in front of a Hummer and throws his hands dramatically in the air...

You have to be there. It's really something.

Violet said...

If they can actually enforce the spitting ban, that in itself could be miraculous. But I hope it doesn't lead to a massive increase in their prison population or stock of live organs.

captain corky said...

"Think about it, no spitting and no bad manners"

Without spitting or bad manners I don't know who I am.

Terri said...

Check out this website my brother directed me too; its hilarious and underlines the Asian English translation problem!

http://www.engrish.com/category_index.php?category=CHINGLISH

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

You should be given the key to Beijing for your wonderful song suggestion. lol.

Becky L said...

i'm pretty sure that China and the US have been 'getting along' for a little while now. Probably for economical reasons... 'you buy our stuff, we'll buy your stuff' kind of thing. I dunno, thats just a guess.

abbagirl74 said...

If only the U.S. cared as much.

Patti said...

I like your submission for the Olympics' theme song. Very clever.
Sorry to hear about your passport...

heartinsanfrancisco said...

There must be places online where you can buy another passport. From any country you like. It's not a big deal.

I wonder how "YO" translates into Chinese, now that you bring it up.

My Primary Care doctor is Chinese. He teaches me dirty words whenever I visit him. I must manufacture an illness so I can get his take on all this.

Erica AP said...

I tried to see the pandas at the SD Zoo but the line was so long, I cursed the Chinese for giving them to us... Haha... Not really - I just went to the giraffe section instead.