Toilet will replace W.C. (or water closet) and "Exit" signs will stop
"Export"-ing people or showing them their "Way Out".
These are just a few of the inappropriate and embarrassing signs in English
that will be changed to make life more convenient for foreigners in Beijing,
especially those expected for the 2008 Olympics Games.
The city has embarked on a eight-month journey to rectify all misleading, and
at times funny, signs in public places so that they are in place about a year
before the Olympics.
Plus, it will ensure that all signs on roads and public places are in two
languages, and the English translations follow a standard pattern. The municipal
government's guide to standard English, published last December, will be used as
"The guide is the first to set a local standard for English in China, and has
translations for public signs," city vice-mayor Ji Lin said at a conference
It is divided into six parts, including general rules, roads and
communications, scenic spots, sports fields and stadiums, commerce and
businesses, and medical services, and will help change the signs in museums,
parks, theaters, subways, bus stops and terminals, railway stations, hospitals
and commercial areas.
The government will assign 10 teams to execute the challenging job. And "we
will check between October and December to see if the signs are right", Ji said.
The English on bilingual signs on roads in Beijing's eight downtown districts
has already been changed, and the city also standardized the English
translations of Chinese dishes.
(China Daily 02/01/2007 page4)