Friday, March 12, 2010

Not Quite Chinglish

The worst trend I have noticed over the last few years is the lack of appreciation for the editor and proofreader. I frequent freelance job boards and see a preponderance of job posts that pay less than minimum wage for editing, proofreading, and writing. These are no longer viewed as skilled positions. Businesses believe that anyone can do these jobs and are starting to outsource the work to non-native English speakers. These businesses end up with text that reads like gibberish.

The other day I started looking at the descriptive tags for wines in Jersey City. Here's one that I found:
Delicate notes of mature fruit and floral emerge, while the sapore is fresh thanks to one balanced acidity, very supported from one good wealth of body and structure. For its fragrance the wine is ready to the commercialization and to it since drinks the successive spring to the grape harvest.
 Does this make any sense to anyone? The copywriter for that winery should be ashamed and unemployed. And there were other tags and labels that were almost as disgraceful as that one.

1 comment:

Rebecca Laffar-Smith said...

*chuckles* I call that kind of writing ESL and it's adorable. A lot of the work I've done in the past came from English as a Second Language content that needed to be rewritten.

I've noticed one of the biggest downsides the global job markets have introduced is the abundance of this type of writing. It's fantastic that ESL people want to get involved in writing for the English language, but, just as we must take pains to learn grammar and spelling, it's important to learn the language.

I wouldn't consider writing in French, Spanish, Mandarin. Because I'm not fluent in any of those languages, so why are English companies hiring non-fluent ESL writers to produce non-fluent ESL writing for their English content?