Engrish

L and R are notoriously difficult sounds for speakers of many languages to distinguish.  That however has almost nothing to do with what Engrish means.  I can’t decide if I think it’s rude and inappropriate to make fun of the very unorthodox use and implementation of the English language or not.

I mean, I wouldn’t like it if someone made fun of my broken Japanese.  But then again, I don’t know if I would care about it if they were making fun of some ridiculous product line I created that featured inappropriate Kanji pairings or non-sensical Japanese grammar.  That’s essentially what Engrish is: the application of English on random products as either a design element or a style.

To tell you the truth, I am in love with Engrish.  I love seeing what they’ll come up with.  Truly no native English speaker could ever dream of the kind of language that gets posted on many products here.  I take trips to the 100 yen shops (dollar stores) frequently and just walk around hunting for interesting Engrish.  I’m slowly correcting a bunch of them. (teehee, joke there, did you catch it?)

It’s not just on products either, advertisements, signs, instructions, you name it, there’s English on it somewhere.  My all time favorite is an advertisement for a Pachinko parlor (Pachinko deserves its own post or two).  It reads on the top of the advertisement “I will shake you” and then below it on the other side, “Stick it in me.”  I drive by it sometimes just to keep my boat floatin’.

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