Shanghai Wants to Ban English on Road Signs

By Lauren Hogan, August 26, 2016

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Are English road names necessary on traffic signs?

That's the latest question up for contest by the Shanghai Road Administration Bureau who have been ramping up efforts to improve traffic services around the city. 

Altered signs

Currently signs are in both Chinese and English (mostly Pinyin), which are considered by some, like the bureau's division chief Wang Weifeng, to be 'not quite useful'. Arguments for the deleted English are so that Chinese characters can be enlarged, thus making them more recognizable to drivers.

Some commenters at Shanghai Daily are not too happy with the proposal. Writes one:

"Removing pinyin from road signs would be a major step backwards for a city that is striving to be more international. If signs are only in Chinese, expats and tourists from other countries would likely get lost on a regular basis. This seems like a very poorly thought out idea."

The bureau is asking residents to put the question to the vote by August 30, when they'll make their final decision. The catch?

The poll is only in Chinese.

For those who are character-proficient and would like to vote, you can do so here

The irony is not lost... 

[Images via Flickr and Shanghai Daily]

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