文章标签:Chinglish  中式英语  

The new Broadway comedy 'Chinglish' explores the language barriers that a U.S. businessman tries to overcome as he looks to secure a lucrative contract in China for his sign-making firm.


Performed in English and Mandarin with supertitles, the play grew out of the experiences that Tony award-winning playwright David Henry Hwang had on business trips to China. On one visit to Shanghai in 2005, Mr. Hwang was taken to a brand new arts center 'where everything was perfect, except for the badly translated signs,' Mr. Hwang said. 'I think that was where I first saw 'Deformed Man's Toilet' for 'Handicapped Restrooms.''

这部舞台喜剧采用了英语和普通话两种语言,还配上了屏幕唱词,剧情来自托尼奖得主、剧作家黄哲伦(David Henry Hwang)在中国出差时的亲身经历。黄哲伦曾于2005年到访上海,他被带到一个全新的艺术中心,那里一切都很完美,只是标牌的英文翻译很糟糕。黄哲伦说,在那里我第一次看到"残疾人洗手间"被翻译成了"畸形人厕所"。

Last summer, Mr. Hwang (who won his Tony for 'M. Butterfly') traveled to Guiyang on a research trip for 'Chinglish' with director Leigh Silverman and producers Jeffrey Richards and Jerry Frankel. They were hosted for a banquet by government officials, and on the menu was 'wood frog fallopian tubes.' 'It turned out to be some sort of vegetable preparation,' said Mr. Hwang.

去年夏天,黄哲伦(因《蝴蝶君》(M. Butterfly)一剧获得托尼奖)为《中式英语》与导演雷•西尔弗曼(Leigh Silverman)和制作人杰弗里•理查兹(Jeffrey Richards)去贵阳采风期间受到政府官员设宴款待。菜单上有一道菜叫"木蛙输卵管",结果却是一种蔬菜,黄哲伦说。

To market 'Chinglish,' which begins performances this week at the Longacre Theatre in New York and officially opens Oct. 27, the producers worked with Omnicom Group Inc.'s Serino/Coyne LLC, an advertisingagency specializing in Broadway productions. The marketing team included both English and Mandarin speakers, and emphasized wordplay in the campaign. 'Emancipated Cow Juice'? That would be Chinglish for fat-free milk, as one ad says.

《中式英语》本周在纽约朗埃克剧院(Longacre Theatre)开始上演,10月27日正式公演。为了宣传这部剧,制作人员和专为百老汇作品做广告宣传的宏盟集团(Omnicom Group Inc.)的Serino/Coyne LLC公司合作,营销团队有人讲英语,有人操中文,并且在推广时玩了一点文字游戏。一则广告说道:被解放的牛乳(Emancipated Cow Juice)?那是无脂牛奶的中式英译。

Some of the phrases in the ads are from the play, some are from actual signs in China, and some were invented during brainstorming sessions, according to Tom Callahan, executivecreativedirector at Serino/Coyne. 'Just to get people to spend some time with the ads is the goal,' Mr. Callahan said.

Serino/Coyne公司的创意总监汤姆•卡拉汉(Tom Callahan)表示,有些广告语出自该剧的台词,有些来自中国的真实标志牌,有些则是讨论会上的突发奇想。卡拉汉说:我们的目标是让人们花点时间多看看广告。

While the marketing effort focuses on wordplay, 'Chinglish' raises deeper questions of doing business in China. 'Language is the most superficial level, though it can lead to some sticky situations, particularly when Americans speak with someone whose knowledge of English is limited, or if they go into meetings without their own translator,' Mr. Hwang said. 'As our play tries to show, however, even when you literally understand the words, sometimes you might as well be speaking a different language, because underlyingcultural assumptions and practices may vary dramatically between the two cultures.'


Barbara Chai

文章标签:中式英语  Chinglish