On a recent trip to the gargantuan Suzhou Industrial Park, a beautiful region designed with Singapore as inspiration, I went into a popular supermarket, Hao You Duo (好又多), where I saw the strangest Chinglish I’ve seen so far. The store have numerous large posters hanging over the escalator ramps and other regions to celebrate the Chinese New Year and the Year of the Horse. The Chinese just says “wish you a great new year” and “lucky year of the horse.” Whoever entered the English translation was the laziest typist of all time. Looks like he or she set one hand down on the keyboard and just wiggled their fingers a few times on the same keys, over and over. Finished.
What amazes me is that this large supermarket chain spent a lot of money to produce these beautiful posters and then print, distribute, and hang hundreds of them (I presume these are all over their stores across China)–all without bothering to ask anyone with any English skills at all if the English was OK. In fact, every educated person in China at least understands the alphabet in order to use pinyin for typing email, and anyone who understands the alphabet ought to know that words generally need some kind of vowel, don’t they? No one noticed. No one cared. That is the secret to China’s most entertaining Chinglish.