Engrish....

Discussion in 'Lounge' started by 17th Angel, Nov 30, 2007.

  1. 17th Angel

    17th Angel לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות

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    lol... I have this site I go to when bored.... And I felt like sharing a few images from it with you.... Enjoy.


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    OOO ARR Me mateys! I hear they have cut throat deals...


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    Christmas is coming up... So someone get me this shirt.... It is so me.


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    Don't even think of being nice!


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    What?
     
  2. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    I imagine we butcher translations of other languages as well.

    No telling what it says on my dvd installation instructions in 6 different languages.
     
  3. 17th Angel

    17th Angel לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות

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    Not as bad as certain people.... lol
     
  4. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ....whys guy.... ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Can't see the images, but this sounds like a bad translation thread. I had a lot of fun with that in some of my multinational business courses.

    Favorites off the top of my head:

    The Chevy Nova was a dud in South America, and GM couldn't figure out why they only sold two units of a car that sold very well in the states. When someone pointed out the name meant "doesn't go," they changed it and the car began to sell.

    Coca Cola's first attempt at the Chinese market (after spending oodles on advertising) resulted in the realization that their name translated as "bite the wax tadpole" or "female horse stuffed with wax" depending on dialect. The name was changed there too.

    Electrolux is a European (I want to say Swedish, could be mistaken) maker of vacuum cleaners. An early advertisement in the states:

    "Nothing Sucks like an ElectroLux!"
     
  5. bob x

    bob x Well-Known Member

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    PepsiCola had a terrible time in Latin America with their "Catch that Pepsi Spirit!" ad campaign, which in translation seemed to imply that if you drank Pepsi you would become possessed by some kind of spirit. On the other hand, they did very well in Taiwan with "Come alive, come alive! You're in the Pepsi generation!" which in Chinese came across more like "Resurrect! Resurrect!" and implied that Pepsi reunited you with your ancestors.
     
  6. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ....whys guy.... ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    LOL, I remember that example too.

    The weirdest one I recall, in sub-Saharan Africa images are used a lot as labels instead of words because so many people cannot read. So a can of green beans for example would have a big picture of green beans on the outside so people could tell what the contents were. Gerber baby food had a dilly of a time, because they tend to use words, along with their famous logo of a cute smiling baby's face. Apparently a lot of people thought the baby food cans contained babies.

    (*Flashback to Alice Cooper and dead baby jokes...*) Sorry, :eek:
     
  7. path_of_one

    path_of_one Embracing the Mystery

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    Thanks so much for starting this thread, 17th. I laughed so hard I cried. Maybe I was just loopy because it is late Friday night (well, technically Saturday morning) but I found that mushroom t-shirt marvelous.

    Great examples, one and all. Very amusing... I'd heard the Nova one before, but not Coca-cola and Pepsi.
     
  8. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Appears we've started a classic urban legend thread

    Sorry Nova sold well, and Coca Cola is popular all over China and Hong Kong, babies on the label didn't stop sales, but the come alive one is undetermined!

    Urban Legends Reference Pages: Nova Don't Go

    Urban Legends Reference Pages: Bite the Wax Tadpole

    Urban Legends Reference Pages: Label Fable

    Urban Legends Reference Pages: Pepsi Brings Back Ancestors

    Now I did when the kids were little purchase some tricycle I had to put together and everywhere it said to screw something together it used the f word, I saved that instruction for years...gotta be around here someplace.
     
  9. greymare

    greymare Well-Known Member

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    love it, keep them coming. LOL
     
  10. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ....whys guy.... ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Hmmm, you mean to say at least three of my college texts and the University at Austin Advertising Psychology website *lied* to me? What should I imply regarding my college education in that light? The dastardly currs, I just knew the system was out to rip me off.

    Next I suppose one might try to tell me that subliminal advertising doesn't exist...
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2007
  11. bob x

    bob x Well-Known Member

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    What I find odd in the "Pepsi Brings Back Ancestors" page is that the story as they heard it was about how Pepsi lost sales due to this interpretation; as I heard it, Pepsi gained a lot of sales (brings back your ancestors, wow!)
     
  12. 17th Angel

    17th Angel לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות

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    Finally people who see it for what it is... :D lol, I'll post some more today.
     
  13. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ....whys guy.... ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    A couple of my favorite T-shirts from long ago:

    A buddha sitting in the lotus position with the caption "Yuck Foo."

    An ad for an imaginary nautical bar that was the "Home of the Good Ship Half Fast."

    Not quite intercultural confusion, but what the hey, English is confusing all to its own. Just ask Charles Dodgson.
     
  14. 17th Angel

    17th Angel לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות

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    Who's in the mood for some... CANDY!!! :D ?


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    *mumbles with blood dripping from his mouth: "Hmmm maybe not..."*

    You know how I looooove the gaming! Enjoy these with me....


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    After that long hard battle... There is nothing, nothing, like raising your fist into the air and screaming "VICTOLY!!!"


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    I think we're gonna have some problems.....

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    You better be, or we'll call down the security...

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    You have just been told.

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    Well, South America this time of year can be quite hot yeah.

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    I know I flash the toilet every time....

    Seeing as 'you guuuuys' looove de tshirts here's one for ya.
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    It's what we needs.
     
  15. path_of_one

    path_of_one Embracing the Mystery

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    I have to get over to that site. The stuff you post makes me crack up out loud every time. And often insist my husband comes in and hears how crazy the translations are. LOL

    I think that and "Stuff on my Cat" need to become my comic relief for the day.

    Oh, and one thing I got from my Chinese co-worker when I asked what Coca-Cola means in Chinese... She said it translated well. It means something like "tasteful" and "happy." :confused: She is native Chinese and speaks fluently (came over here as an adult), so I would guess she does know what it says. Who knows how that relates to "bite the wax tadpole"? She did say when she remembered Coke coming to her area in China, it wasn't very popular. It was served at room temperature (not usually that appealing here either) and it was considered really, really overly sweet. If you've ever had Chinese candy or cakes, then you know their idea of sweet is really much, much milder than our idea of sweet. So maybe that was the real reason it didn't do well at first?
     
  16. Pathless

    Pathless Fiercely Interdependent

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    Charles Dodgson? Is that what George W. Bush is going by these days?

    Oh, I know it was predictable, and I know it's cliche by now, but I had to... :eek:
     
  17. Pathless

    Pathless Fiercely Interdependent

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    Oh, wil was just trying to be sensitive. Hey, maybe his name is really wir. :D

    Is that how it works, or the other way around? It's been a while since my friend moved back to Japan, so I'm rusty at taking pokes at this palticular cultulal impediment.

    :)
     
  18. path_of_one

    path_of_one Embracing the Mystery

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    As far as I know "l" and "r" aren't phonemes in Japanese, and I think Chinese has the same issue. That is, they aren't sound differences that make a difference in meaning. So they don't learn to distinguish between the two. Hence, they sound interchangeable.

    Conversely, in Korean, aspiration makes a difference in meaning (whether or not you puff out air while saying a consonant). We do have the difference in English, but it doesn't mean anything so we don't recognize the sound difference nor can we easily control whether or not we puff out air. This probably makes for some amusing translations when English speakers learn Korean.
     
  19. 17th Angel

    17th Angel לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות

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    Herro,

    tiz an awesome site is it not... :D r have spent mucho time raughing out roud at that site..... Good stuff.
     
  20. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    a friend of mine has a Japanese mother and an Indian father, he's got some great jokes along the lines of this thread...take a look
     

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