Danwei brings us pages from the “Old China” book by Graham Earnshaw, called Tales of Old Shanghai.
In the words and images that bring to life “the glorious past of China’s greatest city,” is this hilarious guide from Cathay Hotel magazine in 1932 that teaches tourists how to speak Pidgin English.
Pidgin English is a modified form of English developed as a trade language between the British and the Chinese during the 1800s.
While most of the hybrid language has faded away–after the Chinese realized it was the butt of many jokes for English speakers, they decided to learn standard English instead—some forms of Pidgin English have been adopted into colloquial English.
For instance: “Long time no see （好久不见）” and “no can do（不能做）”