Thursday, November 13, 2008

Engrishisms

"Engrish", in case you don't know, is/are the charming English mistranslations by Asians, usually in the attempt to sell something. Check out the link on the side of my blog, Engrish.com. One of my favorite entries is a Thai menu offering "crap/crap in red sauce/steamed crap". The intent was to serve carp. Two little letters...transversed. Doh!

One of our favorite "engrish" sayings has become part of our family repetoire. The first week we arrived in Okinawa, we discovered the 100 yen stores (dollar stores). Most of the products are Made in China so the lost in translation moments are hilariously relentless. I actually guffawed when I saw a small pad of paper displaying a cute cartoon character with overly large hands extended out towards the viewer. It said, "You can't contain the tastiness in two hands."

Well, of course you can't. That seems like a no-brainer but I am glad it was pointed out to me, nonetheless.

Our family picked up this catchy little phrase, but we constantly change out the "tastiness" to fit our mood. In our house, you can't contain the cuteness/cheesiness/dorkiness/lameness/etc. in two hands, either.

The other day, Tim was attempting to explain the periodic table to two nonplussed girls. Those of you who know my husband also know that he has an astounding ability to recollect millions of facts about practically any subject. To stop the conversation from spiralling out of control (he can go on for awhile), Claire declared him a total dork. He exclaimed that, in fact, there was no possible way to contain "his coolness in two hands".

Lily retorted, "Of course not, Daddy. I've always been able to contain it in one."

Ouch. That smarts.

5 comments:

Mrs. M said...

This is very funny to me. I remember the 100 yen stores from when we were stationed there. (Um, I also very clearly remember the small french bakery with apricot danish on Gate 2 Street. It's been at least 15 years-- that was good pastry!)

nancy b said...

I think that pastry shop is still there in Okinawa! We are stationed now in the Tokyo area and finding a good bakery was one of my first priorities...you probably remember the quality of baked goods at the commissary. Bleach!

Andrea said...

lol too cute! Speaking of Lily...there's a little girl at the school I work at. She looks a LOT like Lily (it's kinda freaky)...until she talks. Her voice and the way she speaks is completely different. Anyway, her name is Kira and her friends name is...Claire. Crazy! So, I guess you can sleep well tonight knowing that for at least 5 seconds, every school day, I think of you guys. :)

Aunt Leen said...

Lily--you totally rock! Thank goodness you are keeping your dorky dad in check! The harsh reality of life is.......one day that will be you!
Love, Aunt Leen

Godfather S said...

I totally understand Lily but at the same time (masculine solidarity) I pity Tim - life is hard when you're facing three smart women.