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May 7, 2010

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'Luxury to Ma'? Signs point to confusion in Luxun Park

WANT a ride on a "Luxury to Ma"?

How about a spin on a "Fengfei Biao chair"?

And don't forget to "point ching" when buying your ticket.


The English-language signs in Luxun Park in Hongkou District are a mixture of Chinglish, grammatical mistakes and Chinese pinyin, none of it making much sense.

"Foreigners would even doubt whether it's English or some other languages," said visitor Chen Fan.

But now the signs are getting an overhaul. New signs, presumably more intelligible, will be up by the end of the month.

The main offenders have been the signs for the park's fun rides. For example, "merry-go-round" was translated as "Luxury to Ma." "Hurricane flying chairs" came out as "Fengfei Biao chair."

When the park wanted to remind guests to "Count out the change at the ticket office," it said "Point ching" the money instead.

Most of their foreign guests were tour groups from Japan and South Korea, so park officials hadn't been aware of the problems.

Officials said very few Westerners visited the park; those who did visit were students and teachers at nearby universities, and most of them knew Chinese.

"We've never received any complaint from foreigners on the poor English, because tour groups have tour guides and they don't need to read English signs," said Wu Gang, director of the park.

"In fact, I even don't think English signs for the amusement area in our park is necessary at all," Wu said.

Park managers said the English signs were set up to satisfy authorities' inspection. It trusted an ad company four to five years ago to do the work. The company consulted college students as well as an online translation program.

"We hope this time the problems can be solved," Wu said.


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