(Words: about 300; Time: 4 minutes)
In Beijing, a campaign was recently launched, which focused on incorrect English usage. As a result, 1,000 mistakes were turned up by the locals. For example, “Welcome” was mistakenly used as “Welcome to come”.
Campaign organizers asked residents to look out for incorrect English in their local areas and send in examples. In one month about 400 residents spotted errors and reported them to the campaign organized by a local newspaper and Olympic worldwide partner Kodak.
“The activity was a good opportunity for locals to contribute to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games,” said Beijing resident Liu Jian, who pointed out 101 mistakes to the organizing committee. “At the same time, it also encouraged us to learn more and improve our English. I hope through our efforts Beijing will be a real metropolis (大都市) to receive foreigners during the 2008 Olympic Games.”
In fact, foreigners, living and working in Beijing, showed strong interest in the event. “There are many signs with English expressions all around the city, which show the city’s warm welcome to people all over the world,” said Josh Gordon, an American in Beijing.
According to the organizers, the errors found during the campaign will be sorted and submitted to the government departments concerned, which have been considering standardizing Chinese-English translations in the city. “We have gathered a group of experts from home and abroad to work on standardizing English expressions in almost all fields, including tourism, transportation and business,” said Liu Yang, director of the Beijing Speaks Foreign Languages Program Office.
Besides English expressions on road signs, broadcast announcements in taxis and the subway will also be improved and standardized. The standard of Beijing taxi drivers’ oral English is also being tackled through English programs on the radio and other training courses.
launch v. to start something, usually something big or important 发起
submit v. to give or offer something for a decision to be made by others 提交
True(T)or False (F):
1. Locals played a positive role in finding incorrect English usage.
2. Local newspapers and Kodak company started the campaign.
3. Beijing taxi drivers are spending most of their time learning English.
(Key: 1-3 TFF)