Our members are travelling (or sick)
Our Old China Hands lunch 5 January saw a turnout of 28, not bad as many were still on holiday travel, USA, Europe, Philippines… And three were sick. Yeah I am still stuck in Beijing. Happy 2024 to all!
We had a guest of honor, our (new) Belgian ambassador who finally made it.
Together with Allan I informed our friends about the unfortunate situation of Peter Hogg who had a very bad fall and is still in intensive care. We hope he can recover, his family has arrived in Beijing to take care of him.
All pretty happy with the great lunch, well except one who shocked others with his negative comments… Oh well.
The dessert was “île flotante”, a very classic French dessert. A floating island or île flottante consists of meringue floating on crème anglaise (a vanilla custard). The meringue used is baked in a bain-marie. It may be served at room temperature or chilled.
Mr. Trains is now also Mr. Chinglish
David Feng continues with his train reporting and has started a Substack Newsletter about trains.
He has recently joined a team of experts in Beijing tasked with standardizing foreign-language (especially English) signage and drafting and implementing translation norms, as well as getting rid of Chinglish — a committee he calls tongue-in-cheek the “Chinglish committee”.
This committee of experts, part of City Hall’s Foreign Affairs office, deliberates and approves guidelines and norms regarding translation in standardized signage, and acts as a higher authority to determining “what’s right” versus “what’s wrong” when it comes to translations. The panel of experts drafted China’s first local norms on bilingual (English and Chinese) signage in 2006, and has just completed a review of these norms, updating and refining standards.
Now being transformed as a “think tank” of top language experts in Beijing, membership is exclusive to, and consists of, the best-in-class of language professionals. Well-known Mark Levine and Michael Crook are also members.
David records 20+ years of commitment to identifying and rooting out Chinglish (e.g. his Everyday Rail English campaign) and is kind of a real polyglot.
The organization: Experts from the Beijing Municipal Government’s Foreign Affairs Office’s Translation Review Expert Database. In Chinese called 北京市政府外办重点语种译审专家库专家.
Our next lunch is planned for 2 February, ahead of Chinese New Year. Renaat will make “Galette des Rois”. The Belgian Embassy already celebrated Galette des Rois.
Morel’s will be closed from 5 to 12 February, opening on Valentine Day 14 February.