Ahead of the G20 summit in September, the Hangzhou government has published a booklet helping locals “wai-kan-mu” (welcome) foreign visitors to their fair city in English.
The “English made easy” booklet includes 100 English phrases and sentences along with pronunciation guides that sound a bit… incomprehensible. Chinese words accompanying each phrase attempt to imitate the sound of the original English. For instance, “Welcome to Hangzhou” becomes “wāi-kàn-mù tǔ Háng Zhōu” in pinyin.
Of course, the selected phrases are designed to portray Hangzhou in a good light. They include:
“Hangzhou, the most beautiful city in China.” (Hangzhou, mou-si-te, bu-you-te-fu-si-ti yin qian-a.)
“Hangzhou, a paradise on Earth.” (Hangzhou, a pai-ai-na-da-si an e-si.)
The guide even tells you how to introduce foreigners to the all of the famous “Ten Scenes of West Lake”:
On Weibo, Chinese netizens couldn’t help but poke fun at the guidebook with some Chinese-style English of their own. One said, “yinquesiding,” likely meaning “interesting.” Others have said that they are not trying to teach locals the language of English, but the language of aliens.
Hopefully, the People’s Liberation Army uses the same method for its English language guide, which helps soldiers say things like: “You are defeated!” and “Oh, so many weapons. Great!”
By Amy Yang
[Images via CCTV News]