Kiss and ride: news and comments

Kiss and Ride sign in Atlanta, Georgia -- photo by Brett L from flickr - Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike licenceSince Reuters put out an article about the "Kiss and Ride" signs at the high speed rail stations in Taiwan there have been many comments on my blog. The Reuters article was reprinted in the China Post here in Taiwan. Around the world it also appeared in a number of places. Marc noted in the comments that the article had appeared in the "Metro" in Belgium. Google News also shows that the article appeared on the websites of stuff.co.nz (a website for newspapers published by Fairfax in New Zealand) and scotsman.com in the UK. It was also on Yahoo News

There were also many comments on my blog. Several people noted that the signs could be found in North America. Kevin said, "The first place I saw "Kiss and Ride" signs were on the Washington, DC METRA system about 12 years ago. I don’t recall seeing them elsewhere in the US."

It's not just limited to North America either. Ed Smith said, "it is also used in Europe in Germany" and Allen Funt wrote the "signs can be found in many places even in Japan". Here is a link to a photo of a kiss and ride sign in Germany.

However, some others from North America had never seen the term before. Hai Tien wrote, "I’d have to say though having lived for several years in California and Colorado that I’ve never seen “Kiss and Ride” in all my years of riding public transportation." Steven Franchuk noted, "I live in the US and have never seen "Kiss and Ride"." 

Reaction to the signs also varied from amusement to objection. YT wrote, "It should be ‘drop off and pick up area’. Not everyone is from North America, ‘kiss and ride’ is just not appropriate in this setting. The purpose of the sign is to inform, we’re not adopting the culture here." Miao-ah said, "I rather like “Kiss and Ride”- it’s cute! Wouldn’t hurt Taiwanese people to show a little affection once in a while." Shi-ru thought it was out of tune with the local culture. "it’s really odd to most of the local people cuz we don’t get the real meaning, thus we would think this is “KISS” and ride. But kiss in public is really weird in our culture.", she noted. 

Some commenters thought the sign was just confusing. "I’m not sure if it serves the purpose of being informative, since apparently not all foreigners in Taiwan are from the US." wrote OC. As noted earlier even some people in the USA are unfamiliar with the term. 

I am waiting to see if the Apple Daily (蘋果日報) or any other Taiwanese media cover the story in the next few days. It would be interesting to see the Taiwanese media's perspective on the issue.

* Photo of Kiss and Ride sign in Atlanta, Georgia by Brett L used under Creative Commons Licence 

9 thoughts on “Kiss and ride: news and comments

  1. David
    Your blog really started something cool in the Taiwanese media. I saw something about you in the Apple News today and also in the Freedom Times, is that correct translation? So maybe now the local populace will know what those signs mean and why? You started a ball rolling and it might never stop. I bet most Taiwanese people don’t understand that sign. My husband is Taiwanese and he does not understand it at all.

  2. “Kiss and ride sings on bullet train attract attention of foreigners,” reported one TV station today, David.
    In Chinese, the text reads:

    Kiss and ride =臨停區? 老外看嘸!

    高鐵最近一個奇怪的英文路牌,引起網路討論,臨時停車接送區,高鐵翻成[KISS AND RIDE],親一下再走,別說英文老師霧煞煞,連外國人也看不懂,搞了老半天才發現原來是美式俚語。

    來到高鐵,抬頭一望,就可以看見這樣的路牌,臨停接送區,看仔細一點,底下的英文翻譯是 kiss and ride ,這是什麼意思啊?接送區變成了接吻和搭乘,別說台灣人英文不好,來問問老外總知道吧,來自英國的她們左看右看,似乎也很困惑。連外國人都看不懂,這下糗大了,偏偏沿途,到處豎立這樣的告示牌,這個問題,還被眼尖的網友拍照po在網路上,來叫高鐵的別效法中國翻譯,不過真的錯了嗎,趕緊來問問留學加拿大十年的英文老師,這下找到答案囉!懂了吧, kiss and ride ,其實是 kissgoodbye and ride away ,就是親一下再離開吧!在美國紐約等大城市都可看見這樣的美式俚語,比較幽默也很熱情,而台灣高鐵趕上流行,下此接送朋友,看到這個標誌,不紡來個吻別再見,別認為高鐵翻譯有誤喔

  3. This is APPLE DAILY take on the issue:

    高臨停牌「Kiss and Ride」挨批

    廣告

    by 【reporters 胡世澤、李姿慧╱in Taipei 台北報導】

    高鐵通車營運一個多月,眼尖網友發現其臨時停車區告示牌英文為「Kiss and
    Ride」,紛紛在部落格張貼照片並熱烈討論,有人質疑「真要在這親一下才能上下車喔」,還有外籍網友說:「台灣人太有創意了,連我這外國人也看不懂。」
    有網友指高鐵已成台灣新景點,但告示牌的國際禮儀真新潮,「不親嘴就不能上下車嗎」,害她日後不敢搭朋友的車去高鐵車站。也有網友分享兩年前在法國坎城機場也見過告示牌「Kiss
    and Fly」(吻一下再起飛),讓她體會到法國人浪漫,但台灣國情不同,連外國人看了也啼笑皆非。

    高鐵:不會更改
    在國外住七年的政治大學英文系教授吳信鳳說,「Kiss and
    Ride」不是正式用語,卻出現在高鐵車站「覺得很奇怪」,臨時停車區正式英譯應是「Pick Up
    Area」。亞洲大學應用外語系教授張湘君指此語是俏皮話,帶有濃厚幽默成分,就連國外車站也不常見,高鐵拿來當告示牌,和國人文化格格不入,貽笑大方。
    北市大同高中英文老師陳培真指此語雖非正式用語,但也非錯誤用法,勉強可接受。在嘉義教書的美籍英文老師 說,此用語不適當。
    台灣高鐵公司回應,「Kiss and Ride」代表臨時停車區,並非錯誤用法,也沒有詼諧或幽默成分,應是不同英語系國家認知差異導致的爭議,沒有必要更改。

  4. David, the Taiwanese POV is coming in bit by bit. This is a rough translation of the APPLE DAILY story. Apparently, the two reporters interviewed a professor and a high school teacher and a teacher in south Taiwan. Maybe someone can post later a good translation:

    Bullet train stations sign “Kiss and Ride” is subjected to criticism

    APPLE DAILY reporters in Taipei

    The bullet train has been open to traffic for more a month,and sharp-eyed Australian blogger named David Reid in Taipei and alert American reporter Dan Bloom in Chiayi discovered the English-language “Kiss and Ride” signs, and Mr Reid posts the picture and there is a spirited discussion and some people questioned “really must kiss in this can on alight oh”, but also has foreigner say: “The Taiwan person too had the creativity, also understood including my this foreigner.” but the bulletin sign international etiquette real new tide, “does not kiss cannot on alight”, will harm her not to dare to ride friend’s vehicle in the future to go to the high-valence iron station. Also has 網友 to share for two years ago also to see the bulletin sign at the French ridge city airport “Kiss and Fly” (to kiss takes off again), lets her realize the French romantically, but the Taiwan national condition is different, looked including the foreigner has also knowne whether to laugh or cry. Professor Wu Hsinfeng said that, “Kiss and Ride” is not the official terminology, actually appears in the station “thought very strange”, temporary parking lot official England translates should be “Pick Up Area”.

    The Asian university application foreign language is Professor Mr. Zhang Hsiang refers to this language is a joke, has the thick humorous ingredient, the overseas station is uncommon, sign is incompatible with with the people culture, is laughed at by knowledgeable people.

    North market Datong high school English Chen P’eichen refers to this language although the unofficial terminology, but also the non- wrong usage, reluctantly may accept.

    American nationality Danny teaches in Jiayi said that, this terminology is not suitable. The Taiwan bullet train PR people responds, “Kiss and Ride” represents the temporary parking lot, by no means wrong usage, also does not have humorous or the humorous ingredient, should be the different English is the dispute which the national cognition difference causes, is not the unnecessary change.

  5. http://www.libertytimes.com.tw/2007/new/feb/8/today-life7.htm

    this is Liberty Times article today, from Chiayi bureau:

    kiss and ride? 高鐵臨停區英文 老外看攏無
    高鐵車站出入口處的旅客上、下車的臨時停車區英語標示,連外國人都說「沒看過,有意思」。(記者余雪蘭攝)
    〔記者余雪蘭/嘉市報導〕「kiss and ride」是什麼?不只高中英文教師不知道,連住在美國的台灣人及美籍作家都說沒看過,但台灣高鐵各車站的旅客臨時停車接送區都可看到這樣的英文標示。

    美籍作家丹布隆:不常見

    住在嘉義市、出版過「美國最新俚語」等美語參考書的美籍自由作家丹布隆(Dan Bloom)說,「kiss and ride」成為臨時停車接送區的標語應是近幾年的事,但並不普遍,台灣很可能是亞洲地區第一個引用這個甜蜜用語的國家。

    丹布隆在高鐵嘉義站第一次看到這個標示時大呼:「這是啥米?」住台北的澳洲人士 David Reid 也發現這個不尋常的標示,在他的部落格「David on Formosa」裡張貼了高鐵「kiss and ride」的照片,引起討論。旅居美國多年的台灣自由作家游麗莉表示,她在美國從未見過這種用語,她忍不住問:「是我落伍了?還是國情不同了?」

    丹布隆表示,美國常見「Park and Ride」的標示,但與「kiss and ride」的意思不同,前者是可供停放車輛再轉乘其他交通工具的地區,後者是只接、送乘客的臨時停車區,一般是在車站、機場及學校的出入口。他強調,即使是美國人,初次見到這個標示,都會搞不清楚意思,對於不會在公共場合親吻的台灣人而言,那就更難理解了。

    高鐵:引進美加地區用詞

    高鐵公司人員表示,他們是從美加地區引進這個用詞,使用後並未接到任何反映。

  6. I bought the Apple Daily this morning and saw the article. I haven’t seen the Liberty Times yet. I must go out and buy it.

    I have translated part of the Apple Daily article and written some comments about it. I will update the post with something about the Liberty Times article and put it online later today.

  7. I don’t think this is a very good translation. Some stuff has been added here. The article doesn’t actually mention my name. I will post a partial translation and comments about the article later.

  8. Daid,
    Era TV called me this morning, and between coughing spells, (got a bad cold), I answered a few questions for the reporter and told him about your blog too. One thing I told the ERA reporter was to please go out to one of the stations and acutallly interview local people at the KISS AND RIDE areas and ask THEM, what do they think about it, both pro and con and confused and I don’t know what it means, just to get a cross-section of local reactions. It looks like the APPLE DAILY article took a serious, rather critical stance at the term KISS AND RIDE, asking professors and teachers how to they like the term. The Liberty Times I think took a more relaxed fun and cute angle. Maybe tomorrow the China Times and the United Daily News will weigh in on the issue. I told one reporter that the HSR people should hold a public press conference on TV and educate the public about what KISS AND RIDE means, as a good PR way of humanizing the bullet train and making it even more fun for riders to enjoy the international feeling of it all…. we’ll see.

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