I just discovered quite possibly the strangest corner of the People’s Daily website, the “tips” section. This was apparently launched at the end of May and includes such helpful hints as “Toothpaste treats athlete’s foot,” “Noodle cooking water can soften rag (for those of you who have been fighting the dreaded curse of hard rags),” and “Tips for solving agglomerated sugar.” I can’t quite figure out why the heck these are taking up space on such an official website, and why the explanations are the worst translations I’ve seen from PD. On the upside, they are good for a laugh.
For example, this is one complete article (Making soup efficient in summer):
“People sweat a lot and drink a lot in summer, so we always make green bean soup. Maybe we can just fill the kettle with water in advance, and then place it under the sunlight to heat water and release the harmful gases.”
If the logic of- summer makes us sweat and drink a lot, so we need the awesome power of green bean soup- doesn’t phase you, it may be time to take a vacation from China. English teachers also noticed the completely unnecessary use of “maybe.”Furthermore it leaves us pondering a much bigger question – What harmful gases are in Chinese green beans? With all the food scandals, can we really rule anything out?
Here’s another one (Green tea’s effect of anti-sunburn):
“In summer, we can’t avoid to get sunlight through our daily commutes. It could be better to wipe strong tea on face and hands to prevent sunburns. Maybe Tea Polyphones take effects.”
And the editors have the nerve to wonder “Why does unscientific rumor still emerge? (sic)”
To be fair these aren’t entirely different from other advice columns we might have in small town newspapers in the US, but they do give an incredibly interesting glimpse of “common knowledge” in China.