The Linguistic Atrocity

Today’s complaint comes from Charlotte in Sydney and I’ll let her do the talking, because, quite frankly – she does it so very well:

I manage a Japanese goods store – the type that most people may be familiar with – we sell things like stationery, toys, bags and similar things from Japan. Many of these items are hilarious because of their poor English. The two types of people that come into this store are either ex-pats wanting something to remind them of home, or Australians who just find the products funny.

dogbag
This is fine with me; I find them funny as well. We had this particularly ‘engrish’ bag in stock that sold quite quickly (photo attached)  – though about a week later – we received this email:

USE THIS WEBSITE TO TRANSLATE: http://babelfish.yahoo.com/

Hello,

I have linked you to this website because I think it’s very important that you understand what I’m writing. A friend of mine recently gave me a bag from your store as a ‘funny’ gift. I have to say, I most certainly did not laugh.

It was a bag with a smiling red dog on the front with the absolutely nonsensical words:

“No objcction”

and then underneath that:

“I beard chiece’s
a big patty
tonsgot Sourds
The too doesn’s
Its Let’s go out”

I think I speak for everyone in the English speaking world when I say – what on earth do you think you’re trying to communicate? I am a high school English teacher and I take offence to this item not only being displayed, but sold in Australia. A linguistic atrocity has been committed here.

What will children passing by think? That this is how you should speak? I certainly hope not – because it will be community leaders like me that will have to pick up the pieces.

I am willing to sacrifice my time to teach your staff English, you need only ask. Beyond that, there are so very many places where you can learn to speak English in Sydney for free – I implore you all to take up that opportunity. I have been into your shop since and I am also willing to come into your shop one evening to tell you which of your products are incorrect, which, I am sad to say is the vast majority.

I hope that this email will not only assist you to make your success in our country – but assist all those that your products have misled into speaking improperly.

Charlotte continues:

It’s with deep regret that I have to decline her offer to not only patronise me and my staff with her English lessons, but also for her to come in and strip my store of all its products. It just so happens that I was born in Australia and learnt English in primary school and from my parents like everyone else.

Now that I can not only speak English and Japanese – but am almost fluent in French, I’ll be happy to offer my staff any linguistic assistance they may need – which is none, as they can all speak English also.

Wow… Charlotte. That’s amazing. That’s unbelievable.

That’s… um… I’m, really sorry…

—Edited To Add—

Out of curiousity, I decided to use this woman’s ‘helpful’ link to babel fish to translate her message to Japanese and then back to English… Now who’s creating the linguistic atrocities?

Because today, as for me as for understanding those which I have written on this web sight I think of that it is very important, it connected.

Recently my friend gave the sack from your store to me as the gift of funny of the `. I must say me most did not laugh most certainly. That was the sack where the dog whose smile of the front part of meaningless word is red absolutely has been attached:

“There is no objcction”
and next under that: “chiece of my self-depreciation large patty tonsgot Sourds I who doesn that will go out excessively”
when I say, think of that you speak for everyone of the world where me you speak English, – what the fact that to transmit is tried, you think?
I am English of the high school teacher, feeling is harmed in this item which is not indicated simply, is sold in Australia. Language atrocity was entrusted here.

The child has crossed what, you think? This how should speak, whether, being? I certainly – that the community leader way must control situation, because it is I it is not, you desire. As for me simply it is necessary to ask my time which is taught in sacrifice English of your staff, rejoicing, is.

Exceeding that, in order to take the opportunity me such very can learn the fact that you speak the Sydney for all freedom which you entreat English there are many places. I and it decides that it comes entering to 1 evening your stores because either one of your products says, whether it is inaccurate at your store, the large portion where, I saying, am sad and am.

I this E-mail help just in order to help the E-mail which is made to misunderstand to in order – to do your success of our countries all your products speaking to inadequacy, but thing is desired.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “The Linguistic Atrocity

  1. Nqkoi

    ‘Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
    All mimsy were the borogoves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.
    ….etc.

  2. I love this post. Thank you.

  3. Well, I really love this one. It just completely flips around on itself. Look at the last coment in the double translated version – “I this E-mail help just in order to help the E-mail which is made which is made to misunderstand to in order – to do your success of our countries all your products speaking to inadequacy , but thing is desired.” Now, Im used to talking with friends from other countries who mix up their grammar. This statement boiled down, basically says “I wrote this email to help the email that I wrote so that you would misunderstand it. I wrote these emails to tell you that your products talk inadequately of our countries, but that they are still desirable.” Now, boil it down one more time, and what do you get? “I wrote this email in a language U do not understand so I have provided U with another (thru the link). Ur products do not speak well of our countries’ (we must be from two different ones since you speak a different language) daily grammar, but I love your product!”

    -.-

    Not only does this lady send a well written letter complaining about poor grammar useing her teaching credentials to verify her claims and outrage, but she completely botched her own email in the language translation!! (Obviously.) This seems a rather novice mistake to make.
    It goes from saying “Your product is crap and a danger” to saying “Your product is of poor grammar and a great thing!”! She clearly didn’t “do her homework” (- enjoy the pun).
    It shows very poorly on her abilities as a teacher. And she completely refused to accept the validity of the market that the store is a part of. Her complaints were lodged at the wrong place. I wonder what exactly she teaches and how she deals with complicated matters when on Tech. Support calls – if you don’t talk to the right person, well, the results are alot like this. Lol.

    (College Eng. Major, in process. But I only say so out of the humor of it. I don’t know “it all” and I’m not even the greatest with grammar or spelling [and Im sure I made a few mistakes, sorry, but no spell check on my phone], but man, with her being a teacher, I don’t understand what she was doing.)

    Hope my response isn’t too annoying :) ,
    -Vesta

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