China bans use of English — and Chinglish — in media

Taking a page from L’Académie française, China’s state press and publishing body has banned the use of foreign words and acronyms – especially English – in newspapers, periodicals, books, and on the Internet. The General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP) noted that the use of foreign languages, most notably the mix of English and ...

560074_chinglish2.jpg
560074_chinglish2.jpg

Taking a page from L'Académie française, China's state press and publishing body has banned the use of foreign words and acronyms - especially English - in newspapers, periodicals, books, and on the Internet.

The General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP) noted that the use of foreign languages, most notably the mix of English and Chinese known as Chinglish, has "seriously damaged the purity of the Chinese language and resulted in adverse social impacts to the harmonious and healthy cultural environment," according to the People's Daily.

While highly amusing to some, the Communist Party-run paper notes that "coined half-English, half-Chinese terms ... are intelligible to nobody." If words must be written in a foreign language, they must be accompanied by an explanation in Chinese.

Taking a page from L’Académie française, China’s state press and publishing body has banned the use of foreign words and acronyms – especially English – in newspapers, periodicals, books, and on the Internet.

The General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP) noted that the use of foreign languages, most notably the mix of English and Chinese known as Chinglish, has "seriously damaged the purity of the Chinese language and resulted in adverse social impacts to the harmonious and healthy cultural environment," according to the People’s Daily.

While highly amusing to some, the Communist Party-run paper notes that "coined half-English, half-Chinese terms … are intelligible to nobody." If words must be written in a foreign language, they must be accompanied by an explanation in Chinese.

Does this mean English speakers won’t continue to find "fried enema" on Chinese restaurant menus? We’ll just have to see how strictly this policy is actually enforced.

Suzanne Merkelson is an editorial assistant at Foreign Policy.

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