Tag Archives: engrish

Chinese Tattoos

Chinese Tattoos are all the craze for some “exotic” reason. Pity those getting them are clueless, or the “artists” are sadistic pranksters, or both.

Pictured to the right is a Chinese idiom (in a lovely font) that might be transliterated as “spilled water difficult collect” (Pronunciation: fu shui nan shou) that would be better translated as No use crying over spilled milk, meaning what’s done is done and cannot be undone, an appropriate sentiment for a tattoo. If you saw a Chinese tough in Hong Kong with “spilled water difficult collect” (in English) on his arm, you might understand the meaning, but it would definitely seem odd. Countless examples of mangled English can be found on products and in advertising in the Far East. (e.g. All your base are belong to us.) Sometimes this is the result of non-native speakers transliterating phrases into English. More often, the English is created by non-native English speakers for non-native English speakers. In this case, the actual meaning of the English to an English speaker is not at all important. Instead, English is used by marketing departments to sell products to a population that probably speaks a little English, but not much. Simple words that convey broad concepts, like “friend” or “love,” are more important than proper English. And English is chosen because it is hip, cool and foreign. Sound familiar?


The Japan Times Online :

Japanese typically bury guests with compliments the way Hawaiians plop on leis. This can start at a very physical level. Guests may be praised for their height, the sharpness of their nose, the color of their hair, the fullness of their bosom, the real estate value of their derriere, or anything.

“Once,” says this foreign fellow I know, “I had gas in the midst of a crowded elevator. In seconds, the air was thick enough to build a bomb shelter with. Paint began to melt from the walls. People turned wine red from gagging. But — sure enough — from the back of the elevator came the choked expression, ‘Jozu desu ne’ ” — which means, “Wow, you’re good.”

How To Be A Millionaire (Bond St. Mix) from the album “How To Be A…Zillionaire!” by ABC