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Tuesday, 7 February 2006
Chinglish
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A little gem from The Sunday Times:

CHAMPIONS of the English language are about to mark a momentous point in its 1,500-year history — the creation of its one millionth word.

The growing use of Chinglish (Chinese-English) and dozens of other ethnic hybrids has pushed the number of words in the language to 986,120, according to Paul Payack, a Harvard-educated linguist monitoring its growth.

Chinglish terms include “drinktea”, meaning closed, derived from the Mandarin Chinese for resting; and its opposite, “torunbusiness”, meaning open, from the Mandarin word for operating.

While some are amusing to the British ear, others are abrasive. Public toilets for disabled people in Beijing are marked “deformedman” and in Hong Kong “kweerboy” denotes a homosexual....

“Global English is no longer just dominated by either British English or American, but is running free and developing uniquely regional forms,” ....

Chinglish and up to 60 cousins such as Spanglish (Spanish-English), Japlish (Japanese-English) and Hinglish (Hindi-English) owe their rise largely to the internet.

Here are a few more examples of Chinglish:

Interwang - internet (wang means fishing net)

Hun boa ba - hamburger

Greenfud - organic food

Engineroom - important person

Slipperycrafty - treacherously icy road

Welcomeagain - thank you

These are all funny, but the funniest is "engineroom" for important person. Strangely mechanistic, while "slipperycrafty", to denote an icy road, is strangely anthropomorpic.

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Posted on 02/07/2006 12:33 PM by Mary Jackson
Comments
7 Feb 2006
Rebecca Bynum
Welcomeagain must be a combination of welcome and come again, which used to be a common way for a tradesperson to say goodby to a customer. How they get thank you out of it, I don't know.