|In the last week, the Chinese and foreign media published the idea of Miyun county in the Beijing area, establishing a touristic town of European-English architecture style, where tourists shall only speak English. It is not clear whether this idea will come through, but some journalists have already analyzed this agenda. This article, originally published by Hunan Hongwang (rednet.com.cn), introduces the story and expresses sarcasm, and perhaps nationalist criticism.
以外语作为卖点让我们看到汉语的危险。日前，教育部(Ministry of Education)苦心经营的"汉语四六级考试"在六个省区试考，据说这是为了维护汉语的纯正。看着密云县以蔑视母语为卖点的官方行为，汉语确实有危机。
In the next five years, Miyun county shall construct a 'green international leisure town', mainly establishing an 'English language town' of European architecture style. This 'English language town' is unique, because entering it feels like going abroad, handling a passport and having it stamped. After entering the town, one cannot speak Chinese, as speaking Chinese results in 'points deduction'. This will become the biggest European style town in the Beijing area.
However, the county's magistrate hasn't told us how will this European-style town supervise the language spoken by tourists. 'English language town' is preparing to host which kind of visitors? If it is foreigners, then will there be objection that visitors speak German, French or Italian? If we are talking about mainland Chinese visitors, then where could we find so many visitors who speak fluent English? Actually, the 'English limitation' is no more than a gimmick; the real objective is making money.
Making foreign language the focal point allows us to see the danger for Chinese language. At present, the Ministry of Education puts great efforts in the '4-6 level Chinese exam', tested in six provinces, aiming to protect the purity of Chinese. Seeing the act of the Miyun county government, setting the idea of 'ignoring the mother tongue' as the focal point, the Chinese language seems to be indeed in danger.
 国际 guójì - International
 风格 fēnggé - Style
英语城 yīngyǔ chéng - 'English language city'; here referring to the idea of a town where only English is spoken
 独特之处 dútè zhī chù - Uniqueness, the unique aspect
 盖章 gàizhāng - Stamp
 扣分 kòu fēn - Deduct points (here in the context of the system that encourages people to speak English)
 监察 jiānchá - Supervise
 游客 yóukè - Tourists, visitors
 外宾 wàibīn - Foreigners
 抗议 kàngyì - Oppose, protest
 噱头 xué tóu - Gimmick
 卖点 màidiǎn - 'Selling point', focal point, title
 苦心经营 kǔ xīn jīngyíng - Put great efforts
汉语四六级考试 hànyǚ sì liù jí kǎoshì - 'Chinese language 4-6 level exam'; a new language exam initiated in some locations in China, offered to foreigners and locals, who wish to prove their Chinese language proficiency
 纯正 chúnzhèng - Purity
 蔑视 mièshì - Ignore
 官方 guānfāng - Government