Wrongly-translated English signs in China courthouse mocked online

Wrongly-translated English signs in China courthouse mocked online
A wrongly-translated signage at the court.
PHOTO: Sina Weibo

A district court in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, is garnering rather unwanted attention online for inaccurate English translations of some of its departmental signage.

Photos of signs at the Shenzhen Longgang District People's Court were widely shared over social media during the past two days.

A sign designating a section catering to small claims court cases that typically see rapid resolutions, or a "fast-track ruling area" (su cai qu in Chinese), was literally translated into English as "speed cutting area".

Photo: Sina Weibo

"Administrative tribunal" (xing zheng ting) was translated as "hang zheng ting", which not only uses the wrong Pinyin, but also fails to provide any English translation whatsoever.

Photo: Sina Weibo

Mockery of the clumsy translations reverberated in chat rooms, with netizens saying such an important and official entity has no business making such sloppy mistakes.

"If a misused word appears in a summons, the court clerk who writes the summons will be censured. Accordingly, if a translation error is made in court signage, shouldn't the person responsible also be censured?" a netizen on China's Twitter-like microblogging site Weibo asked.

In response to the online chatter, the court said the English translations in question were made by an advertising company commissioned by the court to make signboards for all its departments.

"We immediately contacted the advertising company to deal with the issue on Monday morning after discovering that some names of our departments were incorrectly translated," the court said in a statement published on its official Weibo account on Monday.

The advertising company withdrew incorrectly-translated signs needing corrections that very afternoon, it said.

The court said it will learn from the affair and strengthen quality control to avoid similar issues from happening.

Purchase this article for republication.



Your daily good stuff - AsiaOne stories delivered straight to your inbox
By signing up, you agree to our Privacy policy and Terms and Conditions.