Anti’s Blog, the Beijing News – both toppled by the reforming CCP

I don’t want to spend a lot of time talking about China’s closure of Michael Anti’s blog on MSN Spaces. It makes me too sick, and it is New Year’s Eve. Letters from China has done an fine job covering the fall of the Beijing News, and he also links to some absolutely indispensable translations from ESWN. Those posts from Beijing News workers can literally make you cry.

In a thread below on the greatness of Chairman Mao, some commenters are insisting China’s media is improving and gaining new freedoms, and they hailed China’s toleration of bloggers critical of the government. I think today there’s precious little wind in their sails, except pure hot air.

China’s making progress in some ways, but in others it’s still in the dark ages, and is just as bad as any police state. You won’t see this when you travel there as a tourist. You won’t see it in the faces of the happy nouveau middle-class Beijingers window-shopping along Wangfujing. But it’s there beneath the surface, waiting to assert its muscle on those who have the temerity to ask questions or fight for greater rights.

Reading those ESWN translations, I felt what little hope I still held for the government slip away. It’s got no heart, no soul and no conscience. The people who wrote the words are so beautiful, and they deserve so much better.

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Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 41 Comments

Newspapers sold from one to another is common business deal. NBC is part of GE Company, and is rumored to be sold to another company. It is a good sign for the privitization of media, is that not what you want?

December 31, 2005 @ 3:09 pm | Comment

HongXing, did you purport to link the fall of Beijing News with “privatisation”? Perhaps you meant CCP-controlled Guangming Daily is a “private enterprise”?

December 31, 2005 @ 8:08 pm | Comment

HX, Happy New Year and, to borrow words from my beloved vice president, go fuck yourself. Did you read ESWN’s translations? Do you see this as a pure business deal and not as, at least partly, an exercise in media manipulation and censorship? But we know your answer in advance. To remind readers, Red Star is the bastard who circulated stories about Sun Zhigang visiting prostitutes the night he was murdered, trying to make it appear the police were somehow justified in beating him to a pulp and killing him. He’s bad news in every way, and every word he writes is BS. A true Party man.

December 31, 2005 @ 8:11 pm | Comment

The Fall Of The Beijing News

The rise of journalistic resistance Exce

December 31, 2005 @ 9:05 pm | Comment

You have cursed at me many times before, but I will not care about it. Of course this is a business deal, and I believe many such transfers of owners of newspapers and tv stations happen in America. Why are you not angry at them? Many newspapers in China are run as for profitable businesses, so the owners must also think about readership (this is no longer in the 1970′s China). So if their ratings are too low or something, they need to change strategies to boost their ratings. I think this is a good sign that the media industry in China have been more energetic and flowing. For example, when you live in any big cities in China, you can have on average 12-20 local newspapers (from big serious papers to small entertainment papers) and about 30-50 magazines. And they all have to compete with each other to gain new readers. So I think this makes the industry very dynamic and at the end the readers are the benefitters.

Of course the Chinese media still needs more investments and improvements, especially improving on their efforts to broadcast to the outside world. Right now, there are CCTV-English and China Radio International that are broadcasted in more than 30 countries in the world. But that is not enough compared to such big names like CNN and BBC. So I think in the internationalization of China’s media, there are more areas for improvements.

January 1, 2006 @ 12:14 am | Comment

Oh yes, the world needs more of CCTV!

Why, earlier today, CCTV announced that a recent “survey” found that today, the people of China are happier than ever! 2000 people replied to this scientific survey of Happiness! (No I’m not making this up. I don’t know how to make up shit like this.)

And we all need CCTV-9, so that we can learn better English. As we all know, Chinese scholars are excellent writers in English. As we all know, their writing is ee-yue-erly very good.

(“ee-yue-erly” = Chinglish for “usually”. They have studied the correct pronunciation. It is correct.)

Actually, today I made the mistake of turning on CCTV for the first time in months, and now I feel like my brains have been sucked out with a straw and replaced with sticky cellophane.
(And no I’m not hungover. I have a peculiar custom of staying sober on every New Year’s Eve, just to be different from the crowd. :-)

Watch out, BBC! CCTV is coming up on your tail!

January 1, 2006 @ 1:03 am | Comment

(Thudding music, and then):

This, is Dialogue! (on CCTV-9) Today our topic is: “Chinese Nobel Prize Laureates of the Future, and how hairy Foreigners interfere in China’s internal affairs by winning all of the Nobel Prizes.”

Our guests are Professor Li Ho-Er of the China Academy of Sluts and Sycophants, and a White guy whom we praise to his face while insulting him behind his back.

Q: Professor Ho Er, in your opinion, what you think is why for China no have so many Nobel Prize?

A. As we all know, science is good, science can be very convenient, it can make us happy, why China is not Nobel Prize at the time, it is very sad, many Westers and hegemoners since the 1840 of interference in China.

Q: Yes. So would you say, it is all America’s fault?

A: No. It mostly Japan fault. Hate Japan.

Q: And Mr White Guy, do you have anything to add to that?

A: (White Guy): “Am I on TV?”

Q:

January 1, 2006 @ 1:26 am | Comment

Hey one lunatic and a stupid Chinese TV station don’t give you enough excuse to insult all of China and the Chinese, OK?

January 1, 2006 @ 2:51 am | Comment

I think he’s making fun of CCTV, not all Chinese. CCTV is fair game. I think a lot of Chinese people share Ivan’s contempt for CCTV.

January 1, 2006 @ 2:54 am | Comment

Richard,

Ditto what you said.

Anyone can search ALL of my commenrts here, over the past year or so, and see that my main target is the Communist Party.

China is NOT the same thing as the Communist Party.

I will never insult China. But CCTV does not represent China. If anything, CCTV is a barbarian Russian-Communist imitation of China. CCTV makes fools of the Chinese people. The Communist Party makes fools China, and China deserves better.

January 1, 2006 @ 6:07 am | Comment

It’s no wonder Hongxing cannot distinguish a business deal between two companies and a takeover of a private media by a state-owned enterprise. In the world of CCTV, there is no private sector – only the “non-public” sector. That euphemism for the existence of capitalism in a country ruled by a Communist party always put a smile on my face.

Your satirical CCTV interview wasn’t that funny, Ivan. You can make fun of the content of CCTV, but don’t make fun of the English. All of the presenters are proficient in English,and most of the guests are well-spoken, too; some CCTV staff were born overseas. While the English is more than adequate, the practice of hiring amateurs with little or no media training or experience simply because they have native or native-like English means that CCTV is not even close to competing with CNN or the BBC or even Al-Jazeera as an international news organization.

January 1, 2006 @ 11:42 am | Comment

Ivan, what is wrong with speaking English with some accent? Language is simpy a tool for communicating, if that purpose is served, why do accents matter as long as they do not obstruct communicating? Many Westerns speak very poor Chinese, but that’s totally ok because they can communicate, and thats all it matters.

For example, do you think American accents of English is better or worse than British accents? How about Indian accents of English and Sinapore accents? Of course there’s no objective way to say what is better, it is just a habit of different regions. To insult people based on their pronounciations is too uncivil. I know too many foreigners who speak very bad Chinese, but I do not insult them at all.

January 1, 2006 @ 1:08 pm | Comment

Ivan wasn’t mocking pronunciation. His satire was full of syntax errors and awkward language. Like I said before, it was a poor satire because Chinese CCTV presenters have excellent English.

As for accepting poor Chinese from laowai, it depends on the context of communication. Chatting with a laowai in a bar is one thing. Listening to a laowai deliver the news in Chinese is another.

January 1, 2006 @ 3:55 pm | Comment

Sonagi,

You are full of shit. The English on CCTV is horrible. It is not just a matter of pronunciation. Their grammar sucks and they speak English at the level of 9 year old children.

CCTV is a fucking joke among all Anglophone expats. (Go look up the word.) The CCTV presenters just make fools of themselves in front of the world.

January 1, 2006 @ 4:40 pm | Comment

Ah, Richard, a suggestion: Somewhere you have a link to an article by a White Lady who worked for CCTV-9, exposing how corrupt and idiotic CCTV is.

I suggest that you should re-post a link to that article, here on this thread.

She wrote, among other things, about how the Chinese “experts” presume to “correct” the English grammar of the Western reporters, and of course the Chinese “experts” always just make the English worse.

It’s one of the many ridiculous lies of Communist China: As students they’re all told that their Chinese English teachers “write well” and that their only problem is “tone and pronunciation.”

But the Chinese write English like shit. Almost all of them write English like 9 year old children (or 6 years old in most cases, or worse.) They just lie and lie and lie, to themselves and to each other, about their level of education. Communist China is still a backward, barbarous country, where education is concerned.

But hey, if you’re a Communist Party Member, you DON’T NEED any REAL education! If you’re a Communist, you DON’T NEED to have any REAL talents! Just bend over and let the higher Party members fuck you up the ass, and your job will be secure.

Communists. Liars and whores.

January 1, 2006 @ 4:59 pm | Comment

Ivan, you’re full of shit.

I do not care if expats like you claim that their English is childish. I have a graduate degree in applied linguistics and 14 years of experience evaluating the English proficiencies of Asian learners of English, and I stand by my professional opinion. Below I’ve provided some biographical data on some of the CCTV presenters whose English you describe as “horrible.”

James Chau was born and raised in London and attended Cambridge. If you merely heard his voice without seeing his face, you’d imagine a blond-haired, blue-eyed upper crust Brit. Biz China host Jacqueline Chen grew up in England and has a beautiful speaking voice. Culture Express host Cathleen Chang is a native Texan. Liu Fei Fei immigrated to the US as a child and graduated from Berkeley. Up Close host Eyee Hsu is a native Californian and a fellow Berkeley grad. Biz China’s Susan Li is a native Canadian who actually has broadcasting experience with the CBC. Chinese native Kate Kui attended university in Britain. She and fellow Chinese Liu Xin speak English like the Queen’s subjects.

There are a few presenters with awkward English like the lady who does Nature and Science, but they are the exception, not the rule. Even Monologue, er, I mean Dialogue host Yang Rui, who is despised by expats for his “China good, West bad” rants, has good English even if his journalism skills suck.

January 1, 2006 @ 6:28 pm | Comment

Hm. Has anyone else here noticed how, in recent weeks, the Communist Whores have been working extra hard to flood this site with their lies and propaganda and general spam?

It’s like they’ve been turning up the volume, to try to drown out any criticism of the Communists here.

January 1, 2006 @ 8:31 pm | Comment

Sonagi: How sad it is that your CCTV presenters have chosen to spout CCP propaganda and participate in the fleecing of the masses despite the upbringing and education they had. How the hell do they sleep at night?

January 1, 2006 @ 8:42 pm | Comment

Sure, there are some native speakers on CCTV who speak pretty well (despite the general idiocy of what they say). But when someone describes Yang Rui’s English as “good,” I’m left in shock. I switch Yang Rui on pretty often for a good laugh, and also to remind myself why i paid to have two satellites attached to my house. Yang Rui simply does not speak good English. I have to put forth quite a lot of effort to even understand what he is saying at times. And in the other shows after dialogue… like that guy on culture express who sounds like he has a loaf of bread stuck in his mouth when he talks. Sorry, no matter how you slice it, that’s just not good English, and most expats here view it as a joke.
Re: Ivan’s comment above about Chinese “experts” “correcting” the English grammar of the Western reporters… I have the “pleasure” of working as a Chinese-English translator here in Shanghai. Besides providing translations for a number of international clients, I also occassionally provide translations for some local clients. Strange Fact: the only people to ever “correct” my English has been the non-native local clients. According to my company’s policy, i have to take the time to respond to every idiotic criticism of my English, because after all, they’re the customers, right? At that point, some clients get it, and drop the entire thing. However, some other clients remain determined and provide a response which completely ignores any points I have made, meanwhile describing themselves as “experts” or “linguists,” and rattling off their C.V. as if that means that they suddenly speak better English than me. At that point, we take it to a third party, another native speaker, and compare the two versions to finally prove that my English grammar is correct. At that point, we usually get no response…..

January 1, 2006 @ 8:56 pm | Comment

Native speaker graduates of Berkeley and Cambridge speak “pretty well”? Excuse me? How would you rate your own English communication skills? I’m talking about language, not journalism. I’ve already complained about the poor presentation skills of the mostly amateur staff. I can’t stand Yang Rui, but I have no trouble understanding his English even if his point is illogical or irrelevant. Yes, he has an accent which is mostly evident in his sentence intonation. However, this does not interfere with comprehension. His guests have included native speakers of English from various professions and rarely have they asked for clarification of questions or comments, so obviously, these guests are able to understand his English without difficulty. Again, I am talking about language proficiency here, not media communication.

January 1, 2006 @ 9:19 pm | Comment

kevin, yes there are many people whose English is not adequate enough. But I believe we should all adopt an attitude of understanding and tolerance. Language is simply a tool used for communicating, and as long as it does not obstruct understanding, it does not matter too much.

From the way you described your story, it is not too hard to detect a bias and a emotion of dislike to Mainlanders. And you are letting bias and dislike affecting your attitudes. Sure, they may make some mistakes in English, and some people may not behave as professionally as you like. But it is meaningless to say “this is the characteristics of Mainlanders”. I believe in English this is called “sterotypes”. In America, everyone is told not to stereotype other races. But many of you are stereotyping Mainlanders in very implicit and subtle ways such as “When I do business with Mainlanders….”, “We all experienced this and that with Mainlanders”, “All CCTV reporters are bad and evil.” etc etc.

Ivan, if you call me names, I will not care too much. But what did Sonagi do? He simply was disagreeing on a detail that the general level of English of CCTV is pretty good given it’s not a English-based TV station. But your response is that he’s a “full of shit” and he is a “Whore”.

Richard, to be fair, don’t you think Ivan is behaving too inappropriately with those comments?

How sad it is that your CCTV presenters have chosen to spout CCP propaganda and participate in the fleecing of the masses despite the upbringing and education they had. How the hell do they sleep at night?

This was a discussion on the English of CCTV presenters, and nothing about their morals or why they work for CCTV. Sonagi never said he/she loves what the CCTV does.

How do “how the hell they sleep at night” have any relation to whether their English is good? Oftentimes “communist party whores” are accuse d of changing the subject. Is this not a case of changing the subject?

January 1, 2006 @ 9:22 pm | Comment

Ha! Speak of the Devil and he appears!

I mentioned “Communist Whore” and the biggest one of all, HongXing, appears – bent over with his ass ready to receive whatever the Party wants to insert into him…

January 1, 2006 @ 10:10 pm | Comment

…kind of like “Mister Slave” from South Park….

January 1, 2006 @ 10:11 pm | Comment

Ivan, would you go back and reread your most recent messages? Your words are your face on this blog.

January 1, 2006 @ 10:17 pm | Comment

yay for CCTV bashing!! I remember this summer when Hunan TV had so much success with Super Girls and CCTV did their best to bash the show by showing interviews of people saying how bad it was for society, bla bla bla, and then tried to produce their own version of the show that fell right on its face.

And then during the big anti-japan propaganda push all that was on tv to watch were korean soaps, because every other channel was a documentary about the war or a ‘television drama’ about sticking it to the japs. i think the newspaper thing here is the same, when every other one is saying the EXACT SAME THINGS, and the one with some refreshing content gets shut down, what are you left with? I think Hunan TV’s victory over CCTV was a step forward, but here’s one step right back again.

January 1, 2006 @ 10:40 pm | Comment

Oh, and Hong Xing, if you look at kevin’s comments he was very careful NOT to stereotype, as he said the only people to do something were …, and not ALL … do this.

January 1, 2006 @ 10:52 pm | Comment

Ok, “pretty well” is an understatement. I guess “just fine” would be most appropriate.
However, I still stand by my comments about Yang Rui. He’s not always easy to follow, and certainly does not live up to the standards that should be required for someone with a national-level TV show on every single night! I think the girl with the wierd mouth that stands in for him sometimes does a better job than he does. There, I said something kind of nice, didn’t I?
Here’s my golden rule: native speakers speak “just fine.” And it’s hard for non-native speakers to attain the level of a native speaker. I don’t want to host a national-level Chinese-language show, and if a native speaker told me I was saying something in an incorrect or incomprehensible manner, well, I would tend to believe them.
As for Hongxing, well, of course I knew that he would stand up for people expressing ill-informed opinions (about English), as that seems to be his area of expertise (about a range of topics).
The international standard for the translation industry is that translators translate into their native language only. Their translations should then be reviewed by a fellow native speaker, and are then complete. The only major economy in the world in which large translation agencies do not abide by this principle, and where customers are generally unaware of this principle, is China (mainland). So, if you need a Chinese-language solution, I would recommend looking for a Taiwanese (that’s me) or Hong Kong-ese company, as we are the ones trying to introduce this principle and the accompanying knowledge into the greater China market.
According to Hongxing’s logic, I assume he is now ready to hire me as his Chinese-language editor. Come on, don’t be biased and stereotype me! How much will you pay?

January 1, 2006 @ 10:54 pm | Comment

Anyway, to get back onto the original topic: I was disappointed that I could never pick up the Beijing News here in Shanghai. In contrast to Guangzhou and Beijing, it’s been quite a few years since I’ve heard of any local media with balls available in Shanghai. I wonder why? And does anybody have any recommendations?

January 1, 2006 @ 11:20 pm | Comment

“Ill-informed opinions (about English)?” I hope you’re not referring to me. I am a native speaker of English with a graduate degree in applied linguistics and extensive editing experience and translation experience (Korean into English). Disagree with me, but don’t call me “ill-informed.” At least, you’re not accusing me of receiving anal sex, like fellow PDer Ivan. All this business about unprofessional translating is not news to me – I experienced it in Korea, but it is a separate issue.

I will say that some of the broadcasters, including Yang Rui, do not have native-like proficiency in English, and their English skills (nevermind journalism skills) would never get them a desk at CNN.

Yang Rui’s stand-in, the cosmetic surgery victim with the funny mouth has got even funnier eyelids that blink constantly, maybe because of the fake eyelashes and heavy makeup?

January 1, 2006 @ 11:38 pm | Comment

It should be clear that I was not referring to you when I said “ill-informed.”

January 1, 2006 @ 11:40 pm | Comment

On CCTV9:

I have watched CCTV9. And I have to say that their english is pretty bad. I have so many mainland chinese friends (who have been here in the US for less than 5 years) that have far superior english compared to even the anchors I’ve seen on CCTV9. You would think that the CPP would try to get good english speakers to spew the government controlled media.

Just looking at incentives, people with that level of skill simply do not want those jobs. So they have to go to the next tier of pro CCP candidates. According to Wikipedia, for example, the highest talented reporters in China end up doing investigations for private government reports. If I studied (real) journalism, I would not want to work as a journalist that could only do what the Chinese Communist, US Republican or Democratic party dictates. But of course, I don’t remember the last time a US newspaper was shut down by the government since it didn’t support the war in Iraq.

China vs CCP:

If you’re from China, from your perspective on the people’s thoughts, do you actually see the CCP and China as being different entities? Do you feel that China’s success is based solely on the success of the CCP? Are you confused by the question? I’d like to know.

January 2, 2006 @ 2:25 am | Comment

BTW, I’m Chinese, and I love China, just in case anyone (HX?) thinks I’m a mainland basher.

I fact, I would argue that anyone that bashes CCP or how things have been in China care for China a great deal. The ones that don’t care are the Chinese here in the US that prefer to never talk about China and the fact they’re from there.

January 2, 2006 @ 2:34 am | Comment

“The ones that don’t care are the Chinese here in the US that prefer to never talk about China and the fact they’re from there”

These people you are referring to probably consider themselves as simply American. You don’t get to decide if they are Chinese or American, they do.

January 2, 2006 @ 3:49 am | Comment

CCTV really is awful. Even the native English speakers on CCTV 9 are crap – they’re obviously ex-English teachers/washed out journalists from their home countries that found a cushy job in China. The Australian/South African anchor can’t string a coherant sentance together – God, I’d do it for free to get him off the news.

And this was the opinion of my ex-girlfriend. She finds the whole thing (all channels) just recycled propaganda.

“And today our glorious leader went to a summit where they were the centre of attention and the other delegates kowtowed to him three times in gratitude for him bestowing them with words of kindness.”

Then again perhaps that’s because she spent nearly two years in the UK and saw what real television was all about – BBC News, Newsnight, Question Time, etc. She loved that – ergo the alternative in China is rather weak in comparison.

There’s one person with good, clear English – the young-looking chap that does BizChina and obviously went to school overseas or is from HK. A nice English accent :)

January 2, 2006 @ 12:22 pm | Comment

“Hey one lunatic and a stupid Chinese TV station don’t give you enough excuse to insult all of China and the Chinese, OK”
To defend Ivan, it is the ONLY TV station in a country of 1.3 billion that promotes China to foreigners. If THAT is so terrible (and it is; I don’t even have a TV connection as Chinese TV is worthless and unprofessional besides a tool for gov’t propaganda), what’s the use of hunting down elusive quality?
As for that CCP-stooge Hong Xing- to compare the transfer of newspapers in America (not subject to censorship but only to the market- report what the PEOPLE want and ned to read) with that of China where reporters are beaten and sent to gaol for reporting truth is obscene. You continue to give a bad name to your country when you illustrate your poverty of education and contempt for logic to those who have graduated from abroad.

January 2, 2006 @ 5:55 pm | Comment

Hey, I’m not jumping into the fray here, I’m just sharing an anecdote -

I was watching an Ice Hockey game the other day and it was an US televised game and I noticed that the commentators were using a hybrid grammar. They were basically using the Present Perfect (I have eaten my shorts…) with the Simple Past tense as opposed to the Past Participle (He has ate his shorts).

I’m not saying all Americans make mistakes and I’m not saying CCTV is good, what I am saying is that English is the Internet of languages and people will do what they will with it… That might be the cost of internalisation (to such a degree) of a language.

Another thing I noticed was in a French (from France as opposed to from Quebec) Ice Hockey match where they were constantly using a bastardized version of English to describe “le puck” as opposed to what it should be called, “la rondelle” or “le disque”… I’m just saying that language is a beautiful thing that changes all the time and that it might be harder to judge the good and the bad than just a few of us on a blog blasting one t.v. channel based in China.

All tha thaving been said, I appreciate the reading, though a lot of it may have hit a few sensitive spots for me based on the deep respect I have in regards to Chinese people learning such a foreign language. I’ve been battling with Chinese for about three years and am still far from being the victor.

Call it compassion!!

Happy New Year!!!

P.s. I realize that these are not great reasons to let anybody who can speak a minimum of English do a t.v. show…

January 2, 2006 @ 10:02 pm | Comment

I think y’all are too hard on Yang Rui. The man cranks out hours and hours of interviews in a foreign language. Give it up for the hardest working man at CCTV9.

Hongxing, you almost sounded like a reasonable man with your first paragraph about language being about communicating. I had alot of students who obsessed about pronunciation, which accent to cultivate, etc. These were kids who were in all probability never going to leave Xinjiang, much less China, and already had perfectly comprehensible accents (although my ear got more and more attuned each year), and I told them the same thing.

Unfortunately, Hongxing, you then went on to say you could “detect” bias in Kevin’s statement. Sorry, but I detect no bias. I do, however, completely sympathize with being a native speaker and having a non-native speaker insist on correcting your English. That’s just plain rude. I have never pointedly corrected a Chinese persons Chinese. If I think it sounds funny, I ask something like “how does that go again?”, note their answer and drop it. I’ve had Chinese parents correct my English through the translation of another Chinese person – because they don’t know enough English to form a sentence to correct me with, but goddammit they know one word and I didn’t use it in either of the two forms they know from their middle school lessons 10 years ago.

Back to CCTV9, the worst English I ever heard on it was an African-American sportscaster they had for only a few months. He had a clear Midwestern kinda speaking voice and clearly had native fluency, but he could not speak in front of a camera to save his life. Breath pauses at the wrong times, screwed up inflections and pure misfired attempts at ESPN-style riffing just made him a catastrophe. He was gone in no time. Can’t remember his name though.

Finally, CCTV9 has to figure out what its for. Is it destined for overseas consumption? In that case, CCTV9 should take a page from Al Hurra, the US Arabic propaganda network: hire all native speakers for on camera. And hire locals from your target audience to advise you on how to write the (fake) propaganda. Since CCTV9 Spanish and French, at least theoretically, now exist (although I’m not clear on where or when they actually broadcast), it seems overseas agitprop is the goal of CCTV9.

Otherwise, if CCTV9 is more for domestic English practice, then keep all Chinese faces.

January 3, 2006 @ 2:47 am | Comment

Just a thought, I’m a native english speaker (and ethnically English), so I (should) know what english sounds like. Am I the only person who thinks that other than the occasional r or v pronounced wrong, the vast majority of the English on CCTV is pretty damn good? Maybe not BBC presenter standard but very near? The style of language is newscasterish (if that’s even a word?) but perfectly competant.

There may be the odd dodgy presenter but most of them have better English than me, and Enlish has been my first language for the last 23 years…

January 3, 2006 @ 7:26 am | Comment

“Confused Englishman”:

I don’t believe you. No “ethnically” English person would call himself “ethnically English.” The term sounds ridiculous to those of us (er, such as I) who ARE of English ancestry but born outside of England.
(Good God, just imagine a Scottish -born person saying “I’m ethnically English.” HAHAHAHA!)

If you had some ancestors from England, you say “my grandfather was English”, or words like that. “English” is not considered an “ethnic” identity – for complex historical reasons, perhaps irrational, but there you go.

Also, you don’t write like a native Anglophone.

You’re Chinese.

January 3, 2006 @ 7:43 pm | Comment

I haven’t worked as a translator before, so I don’t know what it’s like to have my English corrected by someone who isn’t a native speaker of English. However, grammar has never been my strong suit, and my parents, who learned English in Taiwan, often can tell when I have made a mistake. Therefore, you can’t discount a non-native speaker’s suggestions or questions–but I can imagine, in Kevin’s situation, how sometimes that could be annoying. I guess it depends on how it’s phrased or said.

July 8, 2006 @ 6:30 am | Comment

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