While waiting for my mini bus today, an advertisement caught my eye. It was one targeted at parents on the mission for a good school for their young ones. However, the slogan had me laughing.
It goes "We help you uncover the hidden bright side of your child."
I was laughing because I didnt know if the school even realise how far out their slogan meant, or the other interpretation of their phrase.. Are they are targeting at "pessimistic parents" or "moody children". I have never seen the phrase "bright side" being used this way before before, except in Hong Kong.
Traditionally, "bright side" means something like silver lining in moments when someone feels down, such as the phrase look on the bright side. This media person in HK obviously just assumed that because "bright " means intelligent, it is ok to just link "side" with it and it meant the same thing.
I know the school was trying to communicate that they will help unearth the hidden potential or hone the brillance of one's child. Yet, I find it rather amusing when they just decide to use such unwise translation without actually consulting someone who might be more fluent in the language.
When I shared this sighting in facebook, my HK friend told me about her English teacher back in secondary school who had a PHD. She taught them to say "NO EYE SEE", which is a direct translation from cantonese "無眼看". I was totally mortified at her disclosure! Poor Hong Kong students in public schools! How appalling is it to have incompetent teachers teaching "Chinglish" crap to students!