So Many Typos in Shanghai Metro – Part II

I didn’t expect so many comments after I posted the article: ShanghaiWiki.MetroTypos Created. There are 24 comments already when I created this page. This is rare on my recent entries (the last one with so many comments is about the birthday) I feel I have to do something to correct it as so many people are so concerned about it.

Find Out a Person to Talk to

Yesterday night, when I passed by the Xujiahui Metro Station again (as you may know, I rediculously pack my car at Xujiahui and ride the Metro to work), I visited the main control room of the Metro Station. It was a big room with huge glasses, through which I could see three persons operating the monitoring system and watching the dashboard. It was also the center of the in-station broadcasting system.

The Lady

I gave one of the lady inside the room a sign that I wanted to talk with her and entered the working area. At the door of the glass control center, the lady gave me a warm receiption.

I told her that I have some suggestions to the guide boards they just installed. She seemed happy that she finally gathered some feedback regarding the system. She turned to a serious look when I told her that there were many typos (or better called misspellings as some readers suggested) on the boards. She said: “Really? We didn’t know that.”

The Tour

In the next ten minutes, I led her a tour of the whole Metro Station, visiting some of the boards with serious mistakes. We even entered into the platform level to see the errors in the waiting area. I thought how nice it will be if I can enter this area without a metro ticket everyday!

After the tour, the lady agreed “Yes. It is a shame that we have these hang up in our stations.” I learnt the signs were created by a advertisement company, which is not controlled by the Metro. “We are going to deploy the same boards to all Metro Stations in Shanghai very soon, but now it seems we have to stop it ASAP.”

We can Help

Finally, when I left my contact information with her, I learnt she was the person in charge of the Whole Xujiahui Station. I talked to the right person. She said she would report it to the company to find a solution. I told her that if she needs any help, I have a list of the errors and suggested correction. “I have some friends who are either native English speakers or have very good sense of Engliish. Let me know if you need to reach them and get proof reading help!” I added.

The Wiki

Returning to home, I quickly setup the ShanghaiWiki.ShanghaiMetro to enable people to add comments and select the best translations for Shanghai Metro. Now everyone, including you, can edit the page to provide suggestions. Up to now, Gary, Qingsi Zhu, Angela and I parcipated and revised the page for some time already.

I was the Second Person to Report

BTW, it is interesting to note, according to the lady, that one passenger has every reported one typo to them during the one month of trail run of the signs. The rest of the passengers were either too busy to notice the problem or didn’t take actions to correct it.

The Devil’s in the Details

This morning, before I get on board of a Metro to Huangpi South Road Station, I started to see problems of Chinese sentences on the boards. I completely agree with what JL and JH said, it is not lack of expertise, it is lack of attention to details.

I’d like to thank Miss Hu for her professional handling of my report and I will keep track of the progress of the story. I believe there will be a Part III for this story. If you would like to get involved, start to contribute your suggestions to the board at ShanghaiWiki.MetroTypos now.

3 thoughts on “So Many Typos in Shanghai Metro – Part II

  1. Advertising companies have copywriters and proofreaders on staff as well as designers: it’s ridiculous that the signs weren’t checked.

    I’m hoping to visit Shanghai early next year, so I’m glad there are signs and information in English (even if all the English isn’t correct). It makes Shanghai much more accessible.

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