Notice concerning the Standardized Use of the National Common Spoken and Written Language in Radio and Television Programmes and Advertising”

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In recent years, all levels’ radio and television organs earnestly cleaned up and rectified the phenomenon of non-standard language being used on radio and television, according to the requirements of the “Notice concerning Standardizing Language Used in Radio and Television Programmes and Spreading Putonghua”, and they have obtained clear results, phenomena such as the sedulous imitation of pronunciation with local characteristics, the indiscriminate use of foreign words and online jargon, etc., has been contained. But recently, we have heard reactions from audiences claiming that some radio and television programmes and advertising still contain problems of non-standard language and writing, such as wilful distortions and the messy use of proverbs, “the acme of perfection” was turned into “Shanxi is good and beautiful” [a play on words in which the homophone characters 尽 – the utmost – and 晋 – the abbreviation for Shanxi – are interchanged], or where “haste brooks no delay” was turned into “coughing brooks no delay” [a play on words in which the homophone characters 刻 – the moment – and 咳 – coughing – are interchanged], and so on. These ways do not conform to the basic demands of the “National Common Spoken and Written Language Law”, the “Radio and Television Management Regulations” and other such laws and regulations, they violate the spirit of inheriting and carrying forward the excellent traditional culture of the Chinese nation, they mislead the social public and especially the youth, and they must be firmly corrected. Hereby, the relevant work is notified as follows:

I, Fully understand the major significance of the standardized use of the national common written and spoken language. Radio and television’s spreading, popularization and standardized use of the national common written and spoken language is a strategic need for inheriting China’s excellent traditional culture and strengthening national cultural soft power; it is a concrete measure to establish cultural self-consciousness, cultural self-confidence and cultural self-strengthening, and to guarantee cultural security; and is a basic requirement to ensure that the broad listeners and viewers can listen and watch radio and television programmes. Radio and television are mass media, they bear responsibilities to acts as leaders and examples, they must take the lead in the standardized use of the common spoken and written language, and be models for the entire society.

II, Pay high regard to the necessity of the standardized use of proverbs. Proverbs are a great characteristics of Chinese language and culture, and are imbued with a profound arts and letters content, they contain rich historical resources, aesthetic resources, ideological resources and moral resources, they are a precious cultural heritage of the nation, they reflect the continuance and development of China’s cultural genome in contemporary culture, and are important carriers to let China’s excellent traditional culture “renew its life”. Radio and television must popularize and pass on the unique method of expression of proverbs and other national common and written language matters, and fully display its cultural spirit and linguistic charm, they cannot create a cultural break with history or linguistic chaos because of wanton change and use [of proverbs].

III, Strictly standardize the use of the national common written and spoken language. All categories of radio and television programmes and advertising shall use characters, words, phrases, proverbs, etc., strictly according to standardized ways of writing and standardized content , they may not wilfully change characters, change structures or distort their content, they may not wilfully insert cyber language or foreign words into proverbs, they may not use or introduce terms coined with cyber language, which imitate the form of proverbs, such as “fully moved, and refused] [a diaosi phrase for one’s state of mind after being rejected by a boy or girl], or “life is difficult, don’t fuss” [a proverb advising that, as life is hard enough already, some sleeping dogs should be left alone], and so on.

IV, Strengthen inspection, management, examination and rectification work. All levels’ administrative radio and television management departments must expand their supervision strength, they absolutely must timely discover and rapidly correct problems of unstandardized or incorrect use of the national common spoken and written language, especially where proverbs are wantonly altered or used, and must deal strictly with broadcasting bodies who wilfully violate regulations as well as the relevant responsible persons. All levels’ radio and television broadcasting bodies must earnestly perform a self-inspection and self-correction, and focus on examining the subtitles, images and audio of radio and television programmes, as well as advertising, they must prompt and guide hosts, guests and other programme participants in the standardized use of the common spoken and written language, and may without exception not broadcast unstandardized use of the national common spoken and written language. SAPPRFT’s Supervision Centre will, in the near future, conduct a one-time complete inspection of all comprehensive satellite television channels, and deal strictly with major problems violating regulations. All provincial-level listeners’ and viewers’ centres must also conduct a one-time complete inspection of all channels, frequencies and programmes in their area of jurisdiction, and firmly cease the broadcast of programmes with unstandardized use of the common spoken and written language.




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