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Friday, August 10, 2012

Japlish: Where4 Art Thaow

Back in May of 1992, while walking around the second-year classroom of one of my junior high school, the students were working on some writing in English and I was moseying around to see how each was doing - trying not to interrupt.

But there... closed, but sitting on a desk, I spied some English writing printed on the front of a notebook.

It read - and I am not making this up:

"Kidney Stone - the key to open your mind. hey, come on ! dance, let's dance with me ."

First off, why can't I write as bizarre as the people who write this stuff for mass consumption by the Japanese market?

Second off, the punctuation is exact. I wrote it down, right then and there - much to the chagrin of the embarrassed student. I lied to her and told her it had cool English on it, which made her happy and the envy of her friends who all wanted me to read the English on their notebooks, which for the purposes of this blog were not bad at all - hardly embarrassing.

Yeah... No caps... spaces between the last word and the period et al.

But really... it's the content. Who knew that Kidney Stone was the key? Jason Bourne thought it as Treadstone!

Now... waitaminute... I've had a kidney stone... painful doesn't come close to describing it. I got the best drugs I have ever had pumped into me, and man...  I think I really opened my mind to the universe as I danced ! danced with the stars ! The gassy ones... not the movie ones. No... that still doesn't narrow things down....

Does anyone know how stupid English phrases are chosen for mass consumption on products sold in Japan?

Is it a gaijin (foreigner) who secretly gets off on screwing up the Japanese culture with inane English?

Does a Japanese person have a job searching out what they hope are cool English phrases?

Are these phrases from multiple sources and then combined?

Or, does someone write these useless phrases - because I sure as hell can't believe that any native English person has actually written a story containing the phrases found on that notebook!

Is there no quality control?

I will gladly offer my services (for sale) to any Japanese company looking to ensure that the English they produce for public consumption is correct.

Want to create a sign in English? I will make sure it is grammatically correct and spelled properly.

You will have a professional product that is not ridiculed by the world. In this day and age of instant social media, any mistake is magnified a thousand-fold. Let me help you.

Unless it really is supposed to be a joke... does anyone know?

Andrew Joseph 

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