Scholarship and education
Posted by Joel Martinsen on Wednesday, January 24, 2007 at 10:00 PM
The editors of Yaowen Jiaozi (咬文嚼字), the magazine of Mandarin misusage, have announced their picks for the most frequent Chinese language errors during 2006.
Television is the big loser this time round (this is by design; the magazine asked its readers to inspect a different station each month). According to editor-in-chief Hao Mingjian, tens of thousands of complaints were received from readers, out of which the editors determined that 3551 were genuine errors - an average of around 300 per station per month. The stations themselves only bear some of the blame, since many programs are not produced in-house.
Hao points his finger at uncultured TV program hosts who, more interested in entertaining viewers than in the correctness of their language, chatter on about things they know nothing about, misquoting poems, misusing expressions, mispronouncing words, and misidentifying literary characters.
Does this number mean anything? Who knows! But it's still fun to talk about. Here's the categorized list of top errors:
Also on the subject of errors, we bring this article to the attention of anyone who is planning on buying Wang Xiaobo novels this year. Beware the Yunnan People's Publishing House edition! The reviewer found 17 mistakes in the preface alone (the link has photos). Will things be better in 2007, a year in which GAPP plans to emphasize quality in publishing?
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