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Learn Chinese in China


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My first reaction to this sign (which is on a machine that lets you put money on your Seoul subway card, no transfer of electricity is involved) is that it was a mistranslation. But then I thought maybe it's a normal usage that I don't know about, perhaps in Japanese?



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Denshi Jisho translates 充電器 as "(battery) charger" as well, similar to what I would expect the Chinese translation to be. Doing a Google image search on "充電器 +site:.jp" brings up only pictures of battery chargers. So I'm starting to wonder if this is a mistranslation as well?

[How long will you be in Korea?]

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Looks quite clearly like a mistranslation to me. I have the impression I saw the English term "recharge" used in Hong Kong to refer to adding value to the Octopus cards there, but I might be wrong. In Singapore we say "top up" and the machines are labelled, in an oddly Engrishy fashion, "Add Value Machines".

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The Japanese standard 器 doesn't have a dot.

Which must also be a mistake, as the third language on the left side (after Korean and English) is clearly Japanese, not Chinese.

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The Japanese standard also doesn't have two dots on 辶 (it would be 交通 and 充電器... and I hope that displays right). It's been a while since I've been on a train in Japan, and I never had a pre-paid card, so I don't know about the usage, but I did learn a new word: 指南. Interesting... This does remind me of seeing some tea that came from Taiwan that was supposed to be for Japanese consumers -- the Japanese was written with Taiwanese 繁體字. I thought it was pretty cool. Anyway, this would probably be a case of that, since Korea never simplified the characters like China and Japan did.

I did do a search for Suica and 充電器 on Google (Suica is a pre-paid card for the public transportation in Tokyo), but it seems that they much prefer the word チャージ (chaaji) for putting more money on it, which just comes from the English "charge". So it's a bit of a mystery, I suppose, although it's probably just a translation mistake if it's a mistake at all.

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