This is a continuation from my first Receipts post… I’m not obsessed with receipts, but they do make me think!

I got this from a Chinese restaurant (highly-recommend), where the wait staff and customers are often Chinese-speaking so it was not surprising that the receipt was bilingual in both Chinese and English.  The interesting observation was to see what was in just English and what was in both languages.  I tried to see everything in English on this receipt as if it were in a language I couldn’t understand, and the Chinese text as the only text I could understand.  Numbers are language-agnostic –how great!  (The context and use of numbers is culture-specific, though.)

  • Sub-total/tax/total are only in English, which is understandable –especially because Total is bolded and the largest numbers at the bottom of the receipt.  All those cues are universally understood to mean <<Pay this Total>>.
  • “Order Changed” is only in English, with a black highlight –not sure if that is because this is an edge case (and they did not account for a Chinese translation) or because black highlighted text indicates a minor, irrelevant change to an order (and not worth translating).
blog-receipt-bilingual.JPG
Bilingual receipt, in Chinese & English
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