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First Amongst Daves
Deck the Malls


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www.engrish.com

This is a great site, especially for those of us who have lived in Japan before.

I sent a link to this site to a friend of mine who lived in a gaijin house with me (we had a fridge which was described as "clean, wide and comfortable"), and she said she recognised one of the signs from a shop on the Keihan line in Osaka.

Some other people I knew when I lived there had a photo album full of Engrish signs - they collected Engrish.

I taught English in Osaka for a year in 1996-7. English is taught at primary school to Japanese, but comprehension is low. English is nonetheless very popular for marketing and advertising. Trouble is, most of it comes from a dictionary, with no regard to grammar. Hilarity ensures.

The site notes that some people might find it offensive to pick on Japanese people for their poor English. Personally, I found it very entertaining - it isn't meant to be mean spirited or nasty, and should be appreciated in good humour. (Certainly my remedial Japanese made many of my Japanese friends smile.)

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Finite Fourier Alchemy
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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Do you speak Cantonese as well? I've always wondered how many of the Hong Kong members could speak it.

I'd love to live in Japan for a while, but I'm way too nervous to go anywhere I don't know the language.

Alchemy

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Thinking about New England / missing old Japan

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dewey
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by First Amongst Daves:
www.engrish.com

Hilarity ensures.

This could have been taken from the site. I wonder how many examples are just typos (such as Rocker Room instead of Locker Room.

dew"tdn's law"ey

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pinqy
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Looking at the Engrish tells me more about the Japanese language than anything else. I've seen it thousands of times, and have sometimes been guilty of it myself, that people tend to phrase things in a foreign language the same way they would in their native language without realizing that it's just not said that way. Strict grammar aside every language has its own cultural way of expressing ideas. Looking at how a word for word translation from Japanese to English ends up reveals a lot about Japanese grammar and thinking.

pinqy

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Don't Forget!
Winter Solstice Hanukkah Christmas Kwanzaa & Gurnenthar's Ascendance Are Coming!

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StarlandVocalBand
The Red and the Green Stamps


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What I love about the T-shirts, etc., is the sheer exuberance of just going right ahead and slapping something that looks like writing up there because it's cool.

Apparently, lots of the "Chinese characters" that decorate t-shirts, furniture, etc., here in the US are just as risible.

The most unfortunate example a Chinese-literate friend of mine saw was a young man's tattoo that said something like "grain" instead of what he believed it said--"peace."

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Kate
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by Alchemy:
Do you speak Cantonese as well? I've always wondered how many of the Hong Kong members could speak it.

I speak only a smattering of Cantonese, to my shame. I can read it, of course, since the writing's the same as for Mandarin (which I do speak), but I'm too lazy or too stupid to learn to speak Cantonese. [Frown]

Kate

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judical
Deck the Malls


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Personally I love Engrish, and I really get a kick out of that website. It's hilarious.



Lady "you make me feel die" Troubador

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Van Couver
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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One of my favourite ones is that one

FleshDrink

Somehow I keep hearing Sauromon saying

"You will eat Manflesh....just 12.99 a cup"

bg
Van Couver

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FAMILY(n): Where the term insane is a RELATIVE term //Threadkiller: Watch this line.....it might be the last on this topic........

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First Amongst Daves
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by Kate:
quote:
Originally posted by Alchemy:
Do you speak Cantonese as well? I've always wondered how many of the Hong Kong members could speak it.

I speak only a smattering of Cantonese, to my shame. I can read it, of course, since the writing's the same as for Mandarin (which I do speak), but I'm too lazy or too stupid to learn to speak Cantonese. [Frown]

Kate

Kate, I'm in the same boat. I have some "pub Cantonese", and was learning Mandarin for a while but gave up (primarily because my wife is Swedish, and we want our daughter to be bilingual in English and Swedish, so I now focus my efforts on Swedish).

You shouldn't be apologetic about Cantonese. Cantonese is very difficult, much more so than Japanese... but perhaps this is an apples and oranges comparison. Japanese has three alphabets (two easy ones of 52 characters each, and an evolved Chinese-version alphabet) all used interchangably and mixed up, and some screwy grammar: Cantonese has 9 intonations, one alphabet of 40,000 characters and some of the words can't be written down (unlike Mandarin).

quote:

Looking at how a word for word translation from Japanese to English ends up reveals a lot about Japanese grammar and thinking.

No, there is not real comparison. In Japanese, the verb goes at the end. Most of these examples are just odd, without any reflection of the Japanese language.

quote:

quote:

Originally posted by First Amongst Daves:
www.engrish.com

Hilarity ensures.

This could have been taken from the site. I wonder how many examples are just typos (such as Rocker Room instead of Locker Room.

dew"tdn's law"ey

Oops.

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incandescent

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weevilknevil
The Red and the Green Stamps


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That site is hysterical! I can hardly wait to send the link to my sister.

Whenever a friend gets a kanji tattoo, they show me (a lot of times expecting me to know what it says...heck, I am sansei/yonsei [did I spell that right First Amongst Daves?], and only had a couple semesters of Japanese in college). I am compelled to either tell them it means something really dirty, or I look at them with all the dismay I can muster and exclaim "Oh my freakin' lord, do you realize what that means?"

Knevil

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Finite Fourier Alchemy
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by First Amongst Daves:
Japanese has three alphabets (two easy ones of 52 characters each, and an evolved Chinese-version alphabet) all used interchangably and mixed up, and some screwy grammar: Cantonese has 9 intonations, one alphabet of 40,000 characters and some of the words can't be written down (unlike Mandarin).

I was of the understanding that hiragana and katakana were of 46 characters each, with those circular markers on the top right to signify something important that I don't know.

Anyway, I know six kanji. Yay for me.

I'm tossing around plans to visit Japan, Hong Kong, and China over this summer, assuming some rich long-lost relative dies and leaves me a few thousand dollars. Seems as good a graduation gift to myself as any other.

Alchemy

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Thinking about New England / missing old Japan

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Derleth the Resurrection
The Red and the Green Stamps


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My favorite non-NFBSK image on the site. The utter chutzpah of apropriating another culture's religion and turning it into a death-bot is amazing and hilarious. Somehow, it's too goddamned absurd to be offensive.

--Derleth "who, as an American, knows all about chutspah and absurdity" Resurrection

(I hope snopes doesn't find offense at the images we're posting... )

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Johnny Slick
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
Originally posted by dewey:
This could have been taken from the site. I wonder how many examples are just typos (such as Rocker Room instead of Locker Room.

"Rocker Room" for "Locker Room" isn't a typo per se. In Japan, there isn't a separate phoneme for "l" and "r." They're mixed together. This is also why, btw, some Japanese people have trouble pronouncing those two consonants.

John Craven

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Give big space to the festive dog that makes sport in roadway. Avoid entanglement of dog with wheel spokes.

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Fish Bulb
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
Originally posted by Alchemy:
I was of the understanding that hiragana and katakana were of 46 characters each, with those circular markers on the top right to signify something important that I don't know.

Anyway, I know six kanji. Yay for me.

I'm tossing around plans to visit Japan, Hong Kong, and China over this summer, assuming some rich long-lost relative dies and leaves me a few thousand dollars. Seems as good a graduation gift to myself as any other.

Alchemy

Those 'little circle markers on the top right' are called handakuten and changes h to p. There's also " (close to that but not exactly [Smile] ) called dakuten which turns unvoiced consonants (k, s, t, and h) into voiced consonants (g, z/j, d/j and b, respectively).

Hiragana has the following 'sounds':

a i u e o
ka ki ku ke ko
sa shi su se so
ta chi tsu te to
na ni nu ne no
ha hi hu he ho
ma mi mu me mo
ya yu yo
ra ri ru re ro
wa o
n

for a total of 46.

Adding dakuten to ka ki ku ke ko makes ga gi gu ge go, so on and so forth. Also, by writing ya, yu, or yo small after symbols ending in the vowel i, you make even more 'sounds'.

I did really well with Hiragana and Kanji, but not so good with katakana.

And so ends today's lesson...

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die daagliks phosdex
Monster Mashed Potatos & Grave-y


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quote:
Originally posted by dewey:
...I wonder how many examples are just typos (such as Rocker Room instead of Locker Room.

It's probably just me ... but would "Rocker Room" perhaps bring the likes of Rocket Power to mind, or is it just an overactive imagination as has too much time on his hands (so explaining my website and my penchant for thus offering online shopping on pages such as Entertainment Heaven, Home Heaven and even the Online Bargains Basement?)

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"Nie lees die hoofopskrifte--lees die daagliks phosdex in plaas ..."

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die daagliks phosdex
Monster Mashed Potatos & Grave-y


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quote:
Originally posted by dewey:
...I wonder how many examples are just typos (such as Rocker Room instead of Locker Room.

Is such enough to maybe think of Rocket Power, perchance?

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"Nie lees die hoofopskrifte--lees die daagliks phosdex in plaas ..."

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rupan777
The Red and the Green Stamps


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quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Looking at how a word for word translation from Japanese to English ends up reveals a lot about Japanese grammar and thinking.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No, there is not real comparison. In Japanese, the verb goes at the end. Most of these examples are just odd, without any reflection of the Japanese language.

No, this is true. Japanese have a general tendency to use Japanese grammar or 'dictionary' words quite often when speaking English. I've been both a teacher and translator for years and am usually able to interpret even the most complex 'Engrish' by just thinking about the Japanese equivalent is.
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die daagliks phosdex
Monster Mashed Potatos & Grave-y


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This might or might not be apropos; however, I stumbled across a website going by the name of RudeFood, which features package wrappings and advertising for such food and drink products whose names tend to double-entendre of the weirdest sort.

I found especially amusing the adverts for some Swedish(?) beverage called "Life," which shows tortoises, penguins and gorillas in actus coitu essentially.

One rather silly website, DEFINITELY NFBSK, judging from the slightly-suggestive names to be found.

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"Nie lees die hoofopskrifte--lees die daagliks phosdex in plaas ..."

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First Amongst Daves
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by rupan777:
quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Looking at how a word for word translation from Japanese to English ends up reveals a lot about Japanese grammar and thinking.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No, there is not real comparison. In Japanese, the verb goes at the end. Most of these examples are just odd, without any reflection of the Japanese language.

No, this is true. Japanese have a general tendency to use Japanese grammar or 'dictionary' words quite often when speaking English. I've been both a teacher and translator for years and am usually able to interpret even the most complex 'Engrish' by just thinking about the Japanese equivalent is.
Tee-hee. Your verb is at the end! [Wink] I bow to your greater knowledge - my Japanese is terribly rusty nowadays.

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Misuzu
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I live in Japan now, and I thought I'd report my Engrish of the week. My local izakaya (drinking restaurant) just got a new English menu (note I don't say "new and improved".) It, of course, has "CURAB" on it, but also lists an item termed "Those kind of shellfish"!

If you're wondering, the accompanying kanji should have translated into something more like "Assorted fresh shellfish," but I'll stick to "Those kind of shellfish," thank you!

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