After Reuters put out an article on the "kiss and ride" signs in Taiwan's high speed rail stations earlier this week the story has been picked up by the Taiwanese media today. Taiwan's two top-selling daily newspapers, the Apple Daily (蘋果日報) and the Liberty Times (自由時報) both had articles about "kiss and ride".
The Liberty Times story has the headline, "kiss and ride? 高鐵臨停區英文老外看攏無" meaning "kiss and ride? High speed rail temporary parking area, laowai don't understand at all".
Here is the first paragraph of the article in Chinese followed by my translation.
「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。
What is "kiss and ride"? It's not just high school English teachers that don't know. A Taiwanese person living in the USA and an American writer both say they have never seen it before. However, you can see these signs in the pick up and drop off areas at Taiwan's high speed rail stations.
It goes on to quote Dan Bloom as saying that it is American slang that has only appeared in the last few years. He says Taiwan is probably the first place in Asia to use this term. The article also notes that I put a photo of the sign on my blog which prompted a lot of discussion.
The Liberty Times quote from the Taiwan High Speed Rail Corporation (THSRC) spokesperson says the signs employ the term which is used in the USA and Canada. The THSRC has not received any reactions to the signs.
Today's Apple Daily carried the story on page A17. The headline (pictured above) reads "高鐵臨停牌「Kiss and Ride」挨此". This translates as "High speed rail temporary parking sign "Kiss and Ride" attracts comments". You can see a large size image of the article by clicking on the thumbnail on the left.
The opening paragraph of the article is followed by my translation.
The high speed rail has already been operating for more than a month. Sharp-eyed netizens discovered the signs for the temporary parking areas said "kiss and ride" in English. In confusion many put photos on their blogs prompting heated discussion. Some people questioned whether people really needed to kiss when they just wanted to get in and out of the car. Another foreigner commented on a blog that Taiwanese are too creative and even some foreigners cannot understand the signs.
The article also goes on to quote Wu Xin-feng (吳信鳳), an English professor at National Cheng Chi University (國立政治大學), as saying the term is not formal English. A formal English translation would be "Pick Up Area".
The final paragraph says that the THSRC believe that the signs are not incorrect and there is no need for them to be changed.
The caption on the photo says some blogs have photos of the kiss and ride signs. The article also mentions Jiayi (嘉義) English teacher Danny, who I presume is Dan Bloom.
It has also been on television news. Dan Bloom informed me via e-mail:
I saw the news reported on CTI-TV this morning at 8 am, and also ERA TV called me for an interview by phone, they will do story later today, …. also, ETTV-TV did a story on it this morning.
CTS (華視) also have the story on their website (discovered via Google News Taiwan). The headline reads "Kiss and ride=臨停區? 老外看嘸!" which translates as "Kiss and ride = temporary parking area? Laowai don't understand!"
*Thanks to Dan Bloom for sending me various links and comments.