Foreign languages and proof reading

It has been speculated that one of the reasons for the abundance of Chinglish (Chinese-flavoured English) on public signs in China could be a lack of proof reading by someone with experience of the language.

It seems China is not the only place where this happens: the BBC writes about a bilingual road sign in Wales which ended up a victim of this phenomenon. This time, however, it was not just bad Welsh which ended up on the sign – it was the translator’s automatic email response saying he was out of the office.

Welsh is the mother tongue of Wales, although English is also an official language, and all road signs in the country are bilingual. Welsh was in decline until recently, but since the 1990s has staged a comeback. Young, modern-day Welsh speakers are comfortable switching between Welsh and English, and a rival to Chinglish is springing up. It is called Wenglish.