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Kunming launches forum site for foreigners

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Yesterday the Kunming government's English-language information site en.kunming.cn announced the launch of a new forum for foreigners in Kunming: InKunming (in.kunming.cn).

The arrival of the new forum offers foreigners living in and traveling to Kunming and Yunnan yet another platform for seeking and sharing information.

In addition to the GoKunming forums, which have been running since August 2006, there are also recent entrants Kunming Buzz, which has more of a Facebook-style social media angle, as well as the 14-month-old site InKunming (www.inkunming.com).

Despite echoes of an incident in which GoKunming's previous design was altered clumsily in a government promotional video, it is unclear whether the people behind the new government-run "InKunming" were aware of the existence of a original website of the same name, which has been live since December 2009.

Regardless, it appears that en.kunming.cn, which is the English sister site of Kunming Information Hub (昆明信息港), may be preparing to rebrand itself as InKunming. The opening paragraph of a press release dated yesterday directly refers to the site as "InKunming":

InKunming (http://en.kunming.cn) launches a new English forum to visualize Kunming culture and serve as a platform for communication between foreigners and language-interested users to learn language.

Ads on en.kunming.cn for the new forum site announce "You are not alone in Kunming,cuz you have InKunming". At present, the top of the en.kunming.cn site does not refer to itself as "InKunming".

The Chinglish-heavy press release said that the new forum "also aims to facilitate investment in Kunming, local business development and handles registers' online complaints".

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I hope this won't affect the availability of GoKunming.

I was hoping -since it was a government website- to have a place to make complaints or at least offer suggestions on things. Even though most of us don't need it, I can definitely see why some foreigners find it troublesome and expensive having to go abroad for visa renewals.

It's actually a nice looking site (dunno about the blog, yet) - but as with all government run english sites - looks good - but short on depth. FYI - the English search function doesn't work (for me). Non-functional search engine.

Uh oh serious competition bringing with it hints of envy. I don't think GK will lose the classifieds section though — there seems to be a serious foreign demand of 3somes, girlfriends and playmates.

Btw, Laotou, your use of hyphens drives people crazy.

Hi, everybody, I am one of the editors of InKunming. Firstly, I want to thank you all for your attention on the InKunming team and our work. Secondly, I want say something about the name InKunming. We named the new English forum "InKunming" because our former forum was named "Living in Kunming". Now, we make the name both for the forum and the information site en.kunming.cn.

"Living in Kunming" is obviously not suitable to be the name of our information site, because foreigners who live in Kunming is a group that we will pay close attention to most, but at the same time, we are also expecting to provide services for Engllish users outside Kunming. We are trying our best efforts to provide a platform for foreigners to seek and share information about living in, traveling to and investing in Kunming, no matter where they live. Thirdly, about our "Chinglish-heavy" language, we have been striving to improve it. We sincerely hope that you will benefit us with more advices and valuable suggestions in the process of improving our reports. If you find sentences on our site can be organized in a better way or made easier to understand, please tell us. We will be very grateful for your help. By the way, if there is any thing we can do for you, please make sure to tell us. We are working on a questionaire to research what kind of information may be useful and valuable for foreigners, if you have intention to participate in, please find the questionaire on our site. Thank you very much.

Despite the history between the two organizations, I find the frequent usage of "chinglish" pretty offensive, especially when it comes from guests of China.

Can you explain what you find offensive?
And what do you mean by guest, is there such a thing as a guest visa?

Overall i think it's pretty decent of "this organisation" to highlight the launch of a potential competitor, especially given the history. I mean if they hadn't done that you would have nothing to feel indignant about, right?

I'm not sure this is actually a competitor site. The Kunming government has a responsibility to encourage and develop new sources of investment and tourism. In this new site they are simply doing their job.

It's possible they may have access to information that would not be immediately available to GoKunming, and vice versa, so the two sites could actually be complementary rather than competitive.

As for their skill with the English language, so what if it's not perfect. It's way better than my knowledge of the Chinese language and in general I can understand what they are trying to say.

GoKunming and Kunming Information Hub have had a good relationship over the years... we've even stopped by to share our thoughts on how they can make their site more useful to foreign readers:

bbs.clzg.cn/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=114342 (please forgive my five o'clock shadow, 2009 was a rough year!)

The use of the word "Chinglish" was not derogatory in any way, for me the word simply suggests English that is often translated too literally from Chinese. It was not meant as an insult, and I don't believe it was taken that way, it was merely intended as a reminder to the staff at en.kunming.cn that hiring one native English speaker to go over their articles prior to publishing would greatly raise the quality of their content... something I mentioned when we met with them back in 2009.

I have much admiration for the young and bright crew at en.kunming.cn, we link to their content and they frequently run ours. Their team is just as small as ours, but they're publishing in a second language. Respect!

The word chinglish is -if it's even a word- not offensive in my book. Even if it was I wouldn't mind it either, since it is used mainly in connection with lazy, hasty translations which easily could have been done better, hence an argument can be made that it actually warrants a slightly offensive term. Now excuse me while I go carefully slip and fall down.

I feel very grateful to find that so many people are concerned about our work, and more grateful to see the above comments. Thank you very much.

I myself did not felt being offended nor insulted at all for GoKunming's use of the word "Chinglish", in stead, I am very grateful to see their straight-out and helpful suggestions.

Indeed, GoKunming and InKunming have had a good relationship over the years. They have given us a lot of good advices in 2009 when we refreshed our site. And now I am expecting to have far more communication and exchange with the GoKunming team. In fact, we are planning to invite them to give us a lecture about how to write reports efficiently this year. Hope they will accept the invitation.

Thank you for your attention again.

Both GK and inkunming are established for foreigners in Kunming. However, the two have different backgrounds. You see, GK are foreigners, thus they are certainly know more about the demands of foreigners, life even the different attitudes and perspectives towards a same problem. Inkunming are made up of Chinese staffs, who know English, but not that perfect yet.

@Becoming Liz: Invitation accepted, I'd be happy to stop by soon!

Chris, thank you very much. I will contact you for more details through email.

The forum looks nice, but could the topics aren't well organised. The main site definitely needs a more organised layout.

Overall the English isn't too bad, but there are some articles that could use an editor. Any reason why you just don't hire an editor?

The forum looks nice, but the topics aren't well organised...

Guess I could use an editor too :P

i agree with soc. I find the the word chinglish to be quite offensive. In fact, I also find the word China and English to be very offensive. Especially when it comes from guests of Kunming. Guests being all the Chinese who were not born here, the students, the workers, the tourists... In fact, in my opinion if you weren't born within the first ring road, you should not be called a Kunming person, but instead, a guest...

hahaha... that's funny. let's forbid anyone of below average height from expressing an opinion too. how about females? old people? as a guest i would like to say that the use of Chinglish on websites such as InKunming is needless and detracts from the overall appeal. but i'm just a 'guest' who uses 'offensive' terms so who cares? right?!

If anyone needs to learn Chinese, I would like to teach you for free.
email:[email protected]

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