Min-zhan Lu’s paper titled “From Silence to Words: Writing as Struggle” recounts the way the author was torn between two cultures linguistically, in her years of growing up in a semi post-capitalist, semi post-colonial China. English was seen and promoted as a language of…
As a student at high school where she had to work on composition exercises, this divide between the linguistic roles she had to take alternately had caused immense difficulty for her. She had to hide her readings and writing exercises for school from her family, and had to take ultimate care not to use the English language or its particular expressions of her home for her school exercises. In her opinion, this situation leads to a stifling experience when one is supposed to take writing as a mode of self expression. However, the conflicts in her day-to-day life could have also made her a perceptive writer. She feels the new generation of students, even if they are monolingual, face a similar problem when they have to differentiate the so-called ‘pure use of language with that of the real versions of language which they encounter outside the class. She feels the differences should be narrowed down from the very beginning in order help them use the language to the best of their advantage and make writing classes less stifling and prescriptive.
Andrew Jacob’s article ‘Shanghai is Trying to Untangle the Mangled English of Chinglish’ reveals the way English had been used in road signs, restaurant menus and utility centres. Some of the examples, like ‘”fried enema” for “fried sausage” and “Racist Park” for “Minorities Park”, would bring a smile to anyone who knows English. These maladaptations are found to be the result of the use of an unreliable computerized dictionary named Jinshan Ciba. People who have studied the issue had been of two opinions. Oliver Lutz Radtke feels that “[I]f you standardize all these signs, you not only take away the little giggle you get while strolling in the park but you lose a window into the Chinese mind”. He has produced a book which features Chinglish signs that ...
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