Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Neighborhood Engrish

I've heard some complaints recently that I don't blog enough about everyday things here in Japan. So I have some ideas, and have been snapping pictures around town. I think I have a good enough collection to officially present you with (drum roll, please) Neighborhood Engrish!

Shannen forgot to spellcheck again, you snidely remark. But alas, hopefully it wont be true! (I can't guarantee anything as I haven't done it yet...) "Engrish" is the fun nickname for Japanese English blunders on signs and products. The Japanese especially have difficulty distinguishing the l from the r, and can properly pronounce neither. Singers will innocently croon "I rub you" in their love ballads (struggling with the v sound, too). And although you may be sick of hearing about elections at home, teachers can't get enough on the topic of presidential erections in their English classes.

If anyone is not familiar with the site engrish.com you have to check it out. And make sure you do it when no one else is around so people do not feel the need to call the local asylum for pickup. I have been debating whether to submit my pics to the site, but will first put them up on my own. Here goes:

Do what with butter? And who is Naoko?!

From an Indian restaurant menu (yes, in Japan!) For those of you who use translation programs, THIS is what your results usually end up like!

I'll take some Dread for $315.
And what is that smell coming from the employees' room?
From a hair salon price board

Are you wearing yours?

From a billboard for a demolitiion/clearing company

Here a heart, there a heart, everywhere a...

From a jewelry store in Ota. My engagement ring is from this company, but unfortunately not from the Hearty Heart branch.

Zombie heaven!
Apartment complex billboard

Featuring small-sized suits for big people
Suit store

Too much information...and what's this about a sheep?!
From a lunch box I picked up at the 100 yen store.

Engrish is fun when you actually notice it. When you live overseas and see it everyday you start to get numb, and may actually find yourself telling people you are heading over to Belc to pick up some nail remover before your drinking party tonight.

While we are talking about cultural misunderstandings, I have a story for you. This last weekend Ravioli and I went to "K's" electronic store in Ashikaga to pick up some AA batteries. I was looking around and Ravioli went to pay. He came back pretty ruffled, shocked that they wanted to see his passport just to buy some lousy batteries!! He was still grumbling about Japanese-this and foreigners-in-Japan-that when I noticed some flags in Japanese promoting their new point system, the K's Passport!

I hope you enjoyed. Next I will brog about my experience these rast two months in Japanese erementary schools. Please stay tuned!


Anonymous said...

Is this any better than ordering a "Barfy" burger in Buenos Aires at one of the many "Bimbo" restaurants? BOD

Shannen said...

I wish my dog hadn't chewed up the Barfy Burgers box. No one will ever believe me! Have to go back to Argentina for that one!

Moe: said...

Being a frequent reader of Engrish.com, I absolutely love these and think you submit them post haste.

Speaking of which, where's my birthday stationary? Lose your way to the post orface again?

Shannen said...


I have been thinking harder about putting he things into an envelope. Berieve me, that's a good sign!

Anonymous said...

Nice entry,Shannen!


Bruno said...

Hey Shannen, like this post! Use of English in foreign countries is not always correct but for us very funny. Please blog more of this kind!

Shannen said...

*Hi Bruno!*

Nice to hear from you again!
Making mistakes in another language is one of the fun things about learning! I have pics on my Facebook that I will add to when I find more funny Engrish. Thanks!

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