Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Failure of English

Most of the time, I am so grateful for the amount of English that is present in Taiwan. The government makes a huge effort to include English language directions, street signs and bus maps in an effort to be accommodating to the Anglo population. Similarly food items on a menu may come with a rough English translation but at the very least they come with a picture so one can kind of tell what the basic ingredients of a dish might be. And the plastic food for display industry is huge. Most restaurants have window displays that have life size glisteningly fresh looking plastic models of all that you might eat so your choice can be somewhat informed. The catch is you have to recognize a chicken testicle from a cannelini bean (one is bigger).

But sometimes the system breaks down in aural cognates and misspellings. To wit: the sign in our local gym reads. "Please arrive early for class so you can get your worms in." Okay...I can do that....I think.

I mean no mockery of these wonderful folks...just that mandarin is not the only tough language. Witness "aural" and "oral" or the classic "ghoti" or fish example.

These little oopses just add a certain humor to the day.

How many dual language signs in Sturgeon Bay or Green Bay with a large Latino population? Maybe we could do better for our fellow travelers?

We await the onslaught of swine flu. All members of TAS arrive to get there temp taken on their forehead daily and receive a colored dot to wear for the day. Somehow it never matchs any color you might wear.

Love to all