Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Chinese 'classical poem' was brothel ad

Source: The Independent

A respected research institute wanted Chinese classical texts to adorn its journal, something beautiful and elegant, to illustrate a special report on China. Instead, it got a racy flyer extolling the lusty details of stripping housewives in a brothel.

Chinese characters look dramatic and beautiful, and have a powerful visual impact, but make sure you get the meaning of the characters straight before jumping right in.

There were red faces on the editorial board of one of Germany's top scientific institutions, the Max Planck Institute, after it ran the text of a handbill for a Macau strip club on the front page of its latest journal. Editors had hoped to find an elegant Chinese poem to grace the cover of a special issue, focusing on China, of the MaxPlanckForschung journal, but instead of poetry they ran a text effectively proclaiming "Hot Housewives in action!" on the front of the third-quarter edition. Their "enchanting and coquettish performance" was highly recommended.

This is unbelievable. There is a Chinese person in every city in the world I think.
Chinese people outnumber every other type of 'people' in the world. And this journal couldn't find ONE chinese person to proofread this?

Look around your office right now. Wherever you work, there is a person who can read Chinese no more than 20 metres from you.


Russ Nelson said...

Maybe they *did* get a Chinese-speaking person to review it, and that person had a sense of whimsey?

Anthony said...

I like the last comment in that article. "Another web-user wrote: "I recently met a German girl with a Chinese tattoo on her neck which in Chinese means 'prostitute'. I laughed so loud, I could hardly breathe.""

Anonymous said...

I saw this story and thought exactly the same thing as you did about finding people to proofread the Chinese... although I had a larger radius than 20 metres in not as multiculturally metropolis an area as some. I've done it before to share something in Chinese (I'm Vietnamese). Great job!

Degenerasian said...

Yeah it must be some joke. How would a non-Chinese person even find this poster to be begin with and even dare put something in a publication that he had no idea what it meant.

Just as I wouldn't publish a bunch of Egyptian hieroglyphics on this blog if I had no clue what it meant.