Monday, October 4, 2010

New Series! Introducing: Enigmatic Engrish(e)

One thing that often makes me laugh out loud here is the amount of hilariously translated/mistranslated Engrish you see on T-shirts/clothing/signs. Though I think living in Korea for well over a year takes some of the novelty/hilarity out of blogs like, there are certain moments where circumstance/Engrish combine to make for a Blog-worthy ancedote. Hence, a new series on this blog: Enigmatic Engrish(e), where I will relate funny misspellings, inappropriate Engrishee, ect.

Not to be overly critical: in the U.S. we have just as much horribly misspelt Chinese/Japanese/Korean (and in the U.S. we often tattoo our errors on our bodies). But as an English major/teacher, it is simply impossible for me not to notice these things/not find it ridiculous when some kindly old Korean man walks around wearing a fedora that has "DRUNKEN" on it in big block letters.

Here's my first ancedote:

There is a terrific Japanese store here called Daiso where I buy all of my glassware, household goods, and office supplies. Everything is super cheap at Daiso--prices range from from 1,000 to 5,000 won ($.87 to $4.37 USD at the moment)--which is AWESOME for poor people like myself.

The mugs at Daiso are a highlight for me personally, because most of them feature cute animals/Engrish. Last year my favorite Daiso mug featured a simple picture of an orange flower, along with the adage "Bread is better than the songs of birds". Definitely a sentiment I could/can get behind. SCREW THOSE SONGBIRDS, GIVE ME A BAGUETTE any old day

I wanted to find an equally awesome mug for work this year. But on my latest Daiso trip, I was in a rush/didn't really have time to throughly comb through the two dozen options or so/read all of the Engrish on everything. So I just picked one that was red (my favorite color) with animals on it.

However, I was looking at this mug a little more carefully the other day, and it might in fact be more hilarious than the one I had last year. Each animal on the mug is described with an English sentence: "A (sic) elephant has a long trunk," "A crocodile has a long body and strong jaws," A giraffe has a long neck," and "A lion has a magnificent mane".

How do you think it describes an ostrich?

"A (sic) ostrich has a beautiful double eyelid"

Things I Would Say About an Ostrich: "It has a long neck," It has long legs," "It has a sharp beak," "It is a colossal bird," ect. Only in Korea™, where I first learned about the existence of the double-eyelid, would you ever see an ostrich described this way...

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