今年3月25日，台灣英文新聞網（Taiwan News）發表了一篇文章，題為「台灣『Hello Kitty』英漢辭典含有70個『極其嚴重的錯誤』」；報導了一本充滿錯誤的兒童英漢辭典，其中包括許多英文單詞的拼寫錯誤。
這本辭典名為《Hello Kitty 兒童英漢辭典》，由世一文化事業股份有限公司出版。
然而，令我們感到失望但卻又不意外的是，今年9月底，當我們拜訪了何嘉仁書局，發現這本辭典仍在銷售（出版於2022年4月），而且仍然存在著同樣的錯誤。何嘉仁書局內有一句英語口號為「Ideal Books Are the Key to Wisdom （理想的書籍是智慧之鑰）」；然而，這本書絕對不符合「理想」的標準。此外，我們發現這本書目前也在紀伊國屋書店（Kinokuniya）販售，而其他書店也可能有售。
Taiwan’s Error Filled Hello Kitty Bilingual Dictionary
By Hsu Chen-en and Ross Darrell Feingold
Hsu Chun-en is a third-year student at National Chengchi University, majoring in English with a minor in Law. Ross Darrell Feingold is an American lawyer and political risk analyst who has resided in Taipei nearly thirty years.
On March 25 of this year, the news website Taiwan News published an article “Taiwanese 'Hello Kitty' English-Chinese dictionary has 70 'egregious errors'” about a children's Chinese-English dictionary that is filled with errors, such as many words spelled incorrectly in English.
The dictionary, titled "Hello Kitty Children's Illustrated Dictionary" (Hello Kitty 兒童英漢辭典) is printed by ACME Cultural Enterprise Co. (世一文化事業股份有限公司).
At the end of September, we visited a Hess bookstore, and much to our disappointment but not our surprise, the dictionary is still on sale (an edition published in April 2022), and still has the same errors. An English slogan inside to the Hess bookstore is “Ideal Books Are the Key to Wisdom”, though this dictionary is certainly not ideal. The book is also on sale at Kinokuniya, and possibly other book stores.
We called ACME Cultural Enterprise Co. and asked whether they know the dictionary is filled with errors. Their response was that had they been aware of the errors at the time of publication, they would not have sold the dictionary, and they said they would revise the errors in the next edition. The person we spoke with also denied knowing that the errors were previously reported in the media.
We called Hess and asked why they sell a children’s English-Mandarin dictionary that has so many mistakes, especially given that media in March of this year already publicized the errors. Hess declined to answer our questions from independent journalists.
We called the Ministry of Education, and they told us "It is difficult for the Ministry of Education to interfere with publications that contain errors."
We also showed examples of the dictionary’s errors to Dr. June Liu, a professor of English at National Chengchi University who specializes in English language teaching. According to Professor Liu, a dictionary with such errors will “undoubtedly lead children to make continuous mistakes in English learning, which can result in poor English ability or influence their values on the path of seeking knowledge”. Professor Liu also emphasized that “Responsible publishers are supposed to avoid typographical errors, let alone such elementary mistakes. These errors point not to a matter of ability but rather an issue of attitude”.
When Vice President William Lai, the presidential candidate of the Democratic Progressive Party who leads in the polls, previously served as premier, he championed a “2030 Bilingual Nation” policy. We expect that if he becomes president next year, he will once again seek to implement this policy.
If publishers, bookstores, and the Ministry of Education do not have a zerotolerance policy for English language educational materials that are filled with errors, is there any hope for the 2030 Bilingual Nation policy to succeed?