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Shenzhen's Hilarious Mispronunciation Of Bus Stop Names! [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2019-5-11 11:30:39 |Display all floors
This post was edited by pnp at 2019-5-13 12:49

Shenzhen's public buses are operated by a State-owned enterprise, which runs the Eastern Bus Company and the Western Bus Company.  It is the practice for them to make public announcements of approaching bus stops along the routes, both in Chinese and English.  Lately, they hired a foreigner to make English bus stop announcements, obviously thinking that a foreign voice with a foreign accent would boost its image,  and that's where the problem started.  Foreigners, other the few who have received  Chinese education, generally can't pronounce Chinese place names or Chinese peoples' names correctly!  Can't blame them though;  Chinese pronunciation is very complex, a dicey area which foreigners should never venture into unless they are educated in Chinese and are fluent in 'Putonghua', which has four different tones, each representing a different meaning, depending on the tone.  This is exactly the trap that this foreign announcer fell into!  Besides errors of tone, she committed some other more serious errors which are downright errors of pronunciation, not just tonal errors!  She must have been given a list of  bus stop names in hanyu pinyin and left on her own to do the announcements, without any training or warning that those are not English words;  and she messed it all up!!   The result is a very weird, out-of-this-world, string of announcements along the bus routes, completely at odds with the Chinese announcements which precede hers!  Shenzhen is a cosmopolitan city with many foreigners who depend on clear, correct bus stop announcements to get to their destinations.  There is no room for errors!  Shenzhen claims to be a smart, advanced, innovative city,  being the first city in China to be opened up for free trade!  When it can't even get a simple matter as bus stop announcements in English correct,  its claim must sound a bit hollow!



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Post time 2019-5-13 12:54:24 |Display all floors
This post was edited by pnp at 2019-5-13 15:35

Bus commuters must never be put through the torture of having to listen to erroneous announcements day in and day out, on the outward trip as well as the return trip!  Failure to rectify the errors would give foreigners a very poor impression of Shenzhen!

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Post time 2019-5-13 14:45:50 |Display all floors
This post was edited by pnp at 2019-5-13 14:48

The biggest mistake Chinese individuals and companies make is to assume that foreigners can never be wrong in making public announcements.  This case clearly proves them wrong; they overlook the fact that foreigners, while being native English speakers, are not native Chinese speakers and they often fall flat when given assigments involving pronouncing Chinese names, bringing embarassment to themselves and to the companies that hire them!

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Post time 2019-5-13 15:42:07 |Display all floors
This announcement through the bus PA(Public Announcement) system gives commuters a good laugh! The Chinese announcement is perfect, " Da4 Po1 Tou2 Cun1" with numerals representing the tones.  The foreigner's announcement is a disastrous, "Da3 Pa4 Tou2 Cun2"!  It is obvious that the bus company had not bothered to ascertain the correctness of this announcement before going on air!  What a shame!

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Post time 2019-5-13 15:47:18 |Display all floors
This post was edited by pnp at 2019-5-13 15:52

Let this case be a wake up call to all Chinese companies and organisations intending to make use of foreigners to do public announcements!  The Chinese bosses must check their work thoroughly before going on air, lest they look foolish when the inevitable mispronunciation occurs, and it is too late to pull back!  A foreign voice and a foreign accent is not always the best choice where Chinese names are involved because most foreigners are apt to make mistakes with Chinese names!

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Post time 2019-5-13 16:46:24 |Display all floors
pnp Post time: 2019-5-13 15:42
This announcement through the bus PA(Public Announcement) system gives commuters a good laugh! The C ...

re:  The foreigner's announcement is a disastrous,

  In my opinion, them foreigners doing it purposely to get a reaction like we do right now...

    After all, nothing wrong with the Chinese side...

In my opinion, do like they do in the US, UK, Australia and other Counties with a large Chinese population...
    Announcement will be made only in English...   Having problems with the language, bad luck...

    Why should China bother with it and being tricked like this...

   

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Post time 2019-5-13 20:49:15 |Display all floors
The first time I went to Germany, I took a train ride from Bremen to Frankfurt, and the conductor's announcements that was made in rapid-fire, heavily-accented English sent me into trepidation. Lucky me I didn't get off at the wrong station.
Believe it or not, it's true.

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