Posts Tagged “Engrish”

I don’t even know what to say to this, really. Other than intentionally choosing a name that would drive away English-speaking customers, the only possible explanation for this shoe’s phenomenally bad name is that no one checked what the name actually meant in English.

If you find yourself questioning how a nationwide chain of shoe stores like ABC Mart might do something like that, feel free to browse through Engrish.com a bit.

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The Japanese on the box touts it as an “exercise belt,” but the only remotely plausible idea I’ve been able to come up with for this one is that your misshapen skin kind of looks like ripped abs if you wear this. That would be under your clothes of course, because if anyone actually saw you wearing this, they’d think you ran through a hammock so fast it got stuck in your skin, and your chances of looking cool would drop faster than if you’d showed up dressed as Urkel from Family Matters.

Seriously though, does anyone know what this thing is supposed to do? I’m flummoxed.

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The Engrish around here catches you by surprise sometimes. I spotted this on a purikura photo booth in a local video game arcade. You can see the pink sign touting this machine as the No. 1 most popular photo booth (out of 20-ish in the place), and if you look even closer, you can see the boots of two girls currently editing their pics.

It looks like a normal booth until you spot the Engrish tag line that reads “How many girls wanna take some shots?

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Since there’s no way I’m going to let a whole month go by without a blog post, I thought I’d toss up a quick post about clothes here in Japan. Specifically, clothes that have Engrish on them. There seems to be no market for clothing with correctly written English, as it’s used almost exclusively as a design element rather than a method of conveying meaning. That, combined with the facts that English is “cool” and that the vast majority of Japanese people can only derive a rude meaning from a string of English words, means that there are a lot of Japanese people showing off their “English” (and very often pseudo-American) clothes without knowing what abuses of the English language are actually written on them.

When I see English in Japan, I’m genuinely surprised if it isn’t rife with errors. I couldn’t possibly hope to document it all, but when I have my camera, I try to capture the gems. The first few pictures you see are pictures of my students I took in my classroom. You can’t really read all of them in the scaled down versions, so I typed out the contents. I tried to help as much as I could through punctuation, though it didn’t often help.

LEFT: Surf riding goodstream, Professing skilled profession
RIGHT: Stinson Beach, California: The Wave is Forever
From left to right:
Individual For Pleasure Only
Guaranteed to fit better D.O.Daddy 65
Twist frontside [Remainder illegible due to shirt fold]
It takes a little more to make a Champion. Champion authentic athletic apparel
STAYING, you are on the verge of salvation! You are on the verge of salvation! When it is made to revive vividly, ground at a sense beyond the word stands up and appears that shaft line the world.
LEFT: [New York Yankees logo on polo shirt breast]
RIGHT: SAMURAI Japan
Impregnerade SAMURAI säkerhets-tandstickor safety matches
LEFT: Wask 22
RIGHT: Pour les enfants hushush Avoir le coeur leger

Included just because they’re goofballs. 🙂

Long and [obscured] condition (?) PARADISE for the sake of attaining SUNSET BEACH, surfing least much comes
The Eastboy go in the future begin to walk. The words that give me hope. A friend in need is a friend indeed. When I was troubled, I encourage it. As for you, how many “friends” are there?
Engrish isn’t limited to clothing, as this bag proves. I love the American Nutrition Facts label.
IT’S NEW, Honey sweet. Would you like a NATIONAL BISCUIT? You will be crazy about Rich Flavor! Special Value
Burger Special
GLUTTONS Special mega burger
From left:
[top illegible] 1970 GRATEFUL ROSES: It’a [sic] Beautiful In Black
Pia angel 08
[upper French obscured] esprit de paris 1998, TRÈS BON!!
GRATEFUL ROSES: It’a [sic] Beautiful In Black
I certainly can’t fault my students for wearing clothes with broken English. Here’s what they have to choose from when they go shopping:
CRESCENT- Full of energy, Galaxy Grobal [sic] Universe, Starry night, Catch your dream
Cleared up, it is fine today. THE SKY CLEARED UP BEAUTIFULLY. The tree leaves glistened after the rain.
Lustrous Cherry lips from you
WIND PURSUE lack of ability
Excellent Clear Sight, Magnificent Scenes
I MADE A PROMISE WITH HER ON THURSDAY
Artlessness & Fleckle
Delight smile and friendly competing with each other
Let me take a moment to give you an example of the “height” of fashion in Matsuyama. Note the “man bag” clipped to a belt loop, embroidered jeans (with bonus sewn-up hole) tucked into cowboy boots, and poofy, bleached “Lion King” hairdo.
Rock the World with you [the text is from a song of this name]
We gotta know we’re on the run
I just grab your stuff, and in a minute we’ll be gone
We’re gonna pull away like strangers,
but soon the world will know
How far this kinda love could ever go
Remember what I say
Baby don’t matter what they do

There’s always more Engrish to be had, so I’m sure I’ll post plenty of it in the future. I need to get some sleep though, so I’m going to pull away like a stranger. 😉

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There’s a real post about my training in the immediate future, I promise. In the meantime, here are a few pictures.

Just a second ago, I saw an ad on TV for Full House dubbed in Japanese. It was the funniest thing I’ve seen in a while. I didn’t think Full House could any get more ridiculous, but I never imagined Mary-Kate Olsen sitting at the kitchen table giving Joey the Japanese “Eeeeeeeeh?” I was rolling. 🙂

I forgot to mention it in my previous post, but the toilet room right across the hall from my bedroom has one of those crazy Japanese toilets that Shannon likes so much. In Japanese homes, they supply separate slippers for you to use in the toilet room (whose actual name I don’t recall). The slippers supplied for the ALS guest house were apparently either crafted by or for a “VIP FASHION CREATER” [sic].

I’ll talk about the five different refuse cans in the kitchen in my next post. Dustman is on the side of one of them, and in case you can’t read it, here’s what it says under his picture:

Dustman’s motto
1 recicle 2 ecology 3 smile.
Lets carry out
housekeeping smartly wisely

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