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Stop using English phrases, govt tells Chinese TV stations

[ 2010-04-07 13:26]     字号 [] [] []  
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TV viewers may no longer be able to hear English abbreviations, like "NBA" (National Basketball Association), from mainland broadcasters.

China Central Television (CCTV) and Beijing Television (BTV) confirmed to China Daily on Tuesday that they had received a notice from a related government department, asking them to avoid using certain English abbreviations in Chinese programs.

The channels, however, did not reveal exactly how many English abbreviations are listed in the notice.

The Hangzhou-based Today Morning Express reported on Tuesday that a number of provincial television stations have also received the notice.

Broadcasters and journalists have been asked to provide Chinese explanations for unavoidable English abbreviations in their programs, the report said.

The notice not only limits the use of English abbreviations in sports news, but also in economic and political news. Abbreviations such as "GDP" (gross domestic product), "WTO" (World Trade Organization) and "CPI" (consumer price index) will also be substituted with their Chinese pronunciations, it said.

The country's top watchdog on television and radio, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, refused to comment.

The move comes after a growing number of national legislators and political advisors called for preventive measures to preserve the purity of the Chinese language.

"If we don't pay attention and don't take measures to stop mixing Chinese with English, the Chinese language won't remain pure in a couple of years," said Huang Youyi, editor-in-chief of the China International Publishing Group and secretary-general of the Translators' Association of China.

The restricted use of English abbreviations on Chinese television programs has provoked a debate among scholars.

"It makes no sense to introduce a regulation to prevent the use of English in the Chinese language in the face of globalization," Liu Yaoying, a professor at the Communication University of China, said on Tuesday. "It is cultural conservatism."

"If Western countries can accept some Chinglish words, why can't the Chinese language be mixed with English?"

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Stop using English phrases, govt tells Chinese TV stations

About the broadcaster:

Stop using English phrases, govt tells Chinese TV stations

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.