Sunday, June 20, 2004

Fun link - a site featuring:

Engrish can be simply defined as the humorous English mistakes that appear in Japanese advertising and product design.

Most of the Engrish found on is not an attempt to communicate - English is used as a design element in Japanese products and advertising to give them a modern look and feel (or just to "look cool"). There is often no attempt to try to get it right, nor do the vast majority of the Japanese population (= consumers) ever attempt to read the English design element in question (the girl wearing the “Spread Beaver” shirt for example, had no idea what it said until a foreigner pointed it out to her). There is therefore less emphasis on spell checking and grammatical accuracy (note: the same can be said for the addition of Japanese or Chinese characters to hats, shirts and tattoos found in the US or Europe).

An interesting phenomenon; not unlike US manufacturers using Kanji characters to convey a zen-ish asian impression, and heck with the meaning. Or my use of hieroglyphs in several of my giftshop items - if someone out there reads hieroglyphs, you might check in and tell me if I'm saying something... naughty. (Not that I'd necessarily change it; it'd just be nice to know, heh.)


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