One rule for them...
Time and money

The Southern China

I try to avoid making fun of the mangled English that is common in Hong Kong (glass houses and all that).

However, when large companies choose to place advertisements in Tai Po's leading English language newspaper, surely they could spend a little time or a few dollars on getting it right.  The sub-heading to the so-called "Sponsored Feature" describes Mangrove West Coast in Shenzen as

"The most prestigious community in the Southern China". 

Obviously you don't need the second "the" in that sentence.  Plus, I am intrigued to know how a developer can create a "community", but that's marketing people for you.  Later on we learn (deep breath) that they

"have teamed up professionals from all the world to collaborate on this most prestigious community in the Southern China characterized by central location and an irrrestible charm of a seaside township".

It's a pity they didn't manage to team up with someone who can write good English.


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"Seasons, can only make us more charming."

Florid sign on the building site of Liu Chong Hing Bank in Des Vouex Road

Faintly disturbing sentiment that one.

Nightly, awake I lie and exciting life. More.


but that's part of the charming seaside demeanor they wish to exhibit in the yes, they do.

Xi Hu

How well can you write in Chinese? In case you forgot, you are on Chinese soil. The way things have been going, your grandchildren probably will be able to command the Chinese language much better than you can. And chances are, they will be less arrogant.


Yes, that's the 'glass house' I was talking about.

The point is that this is a large company placing an advertisement in an English language newspaper. It really wouldn't have required much effort to get it checked for obvious mistakes.

Xi Hu

You should be grateful that we have the advertisement
in some form of English for your convenience. I hardly
see any bilingual advertisements in your homeland at
all. Soon(probably not in our lifetimes), we may not
even have to bother.

To quote Bob Dylan, "For the times they are a-changin'".

Xi Hu.


It's not for my convenience, it's because they want to sell me something!!

Xi Hu


Speaking of "Glass house" and "bad English", these two chaps
before me, Gunlaw and Putin can hardly be described as "a good
writer of English". They have a good excuse, if English is not
their mother tongue or they are one notch above being illiterate.
And I don't see you make any comment about their English.

Look at their punctuations, their sentence structures(if you can
call it a sentence), and their grammar. OK, granted, they're not
a "large company". But they do need a translator. ;-)

Xi Hu.


So do I, sometimes!


Xi Hu,
I think the "chaps" before you were merely entering into the spirit of the post.
Chris's point was that, if you advertize in a wat that is aimed at english speakers, it would be wise, if you expected to be taken at all seriously, to get it right.
Non Chinese companies advertising in China dont mangle the chinese language so why should you leap to the defense of a company that makes an ass of its self with its use of english?
As for arrogance, comments like "In case you forgot, you are on Chinese soil" and "You should be grateful" reek of it.


I was sitting in a double decker folding my brolly, when we were almost run off Pokfulam Road by a truck emblazoned with the logo, "Fook Hit Transportation Company". I asked myself was this a post colonial message from the masses or just another chance encounter with Chinese business practices?
The Filipino woman squawking down her mobile phone next to me, missed the whole thing. Perhaps on rfeflection, that was for the best.

Xi Hu


Let me change my writing style a bit here. I think this ungrateful
dude, Patch maybe a Yank by the way he sounded. This is going to
be my last post on this thread. I know it so well from my past
experiences that the kind of attitude this guy has can only be
changed with the passage of time. It'll take a generation or two.
I can see it changing already since 1997. I don't want to waste my
time and yours to involve in a shouting match and duking out with
him here.

I know his type well, I encounter with people like him on occasions.
When they don't like the things they hear, they usually start with
nitpicking. When the truth hurts, they'll not think twice before
they stoop down and resort to name calling.

You didn't do any of that. You have been a worthy sparring partner.
Enjoy the rest of your stay with us.


Xi Hu.


You dont know my type at all.
Your reason for bailing out is simple. Every accusation you make, you are guilty of yourself.Name-calling, Arrogance, Nitpicking: to list a few.

It was a simple point. If you use English in an advert, get it right. If you use Chinese in an advert, get it right. If for no other reason, than respect to the language and those who speak it.
It is not about being "grateful" to live in a foreign land.

You have been challenged, you have been exposed and now,rather than explain yourself, you slink off, throwing bile as you leave.


I am a local, so I claim to hear or read more 'mangled' English than the average Gweilo. Yes, if you do it, do it right. I am not sympathetic if a local is made fun of because of his mangled English because more often than not he asks for it in the first place. This can only be understood if one does understand the mentality of the locals on the English language. With respect, I have yet to encounter a Gweilo who really does. Whether the mangling is done on Chinese soil or not does not matter. The locals mangle it now, and will continue to, just as they do to their own language, again because of this mentality. Trouble is, it is incomprehensible to most Gweilos.


I'm from HK now studying in the US and I hv to agree with Chris here - they are trying to sell to him, therefore them should try to do it well.

For example, on the Houston Rockets website, they now have a traditional and simiplified Chinese version because they know a large part of the audiences will be Chinese, trying to read about Yao related news. And they do it properly, they pay serious bucks to make sure the website is translated correctly and is done right.

The bottomline is, if you're not trying to sell foreign HKers anything, screw them, you can stick with your mangling English; but if you're trying to make money off them, you better make it sound right.

> I am not sympathetic if a local is made fun of because of his mangled English because > more often than not he asks for it in the first place. This can only be understood if > one does understand the mentality of the locals on the English language. With respect, I > have yet to encounter a Gweilo who really does.

Ken, this is an intriguing comment. Can you explain what you mean by 'the mentality of the locals on the English Language'?

I know, for example, that some people with a high level of education *believe* that they speak better English than someone with less education but who speaks English all the time with native speakers.

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