Monday, August 18, 2008

Laughing at the Engrish Language

During the summer of 2004, I spent a month in Okinawa, Japan helping to teach English in local schools and communities. While there, I fell in love with sushi, fresh mango, dragon fruit, Aquarius, snorkeling ... and Engrish.

Engrish is misused English. It usually happens when Japanese designers and advertisers try to use English on their products to "look cool" and end up writing really funny (and often shockingly inappropriate) things on T-shirts, store fronts, and packaging. The best part is that Japanese consumers often buy and use such products without ever realizing that anything's amiss. For example, the pastor of a small church on Ie Jima often wore a T-shirt covered in nonsensical English phrases laced with profanity. (No one had the heart to tell him what it said — he'd received the shirt as a Father's Day present and it was one of his favorites.) I bought a couple shirts myself. One had the words "Dearest Monkey" and a picture of a smiling monkey with a speech bubble that said "A banana isn't given to it!" Too awesome not to have.

Here in the U.S., has been my go-to spot for butchered English hilarity. Just to give you a taste...

Classic. To see more and laugh harder, click here. Enjoy! Happy Monday.