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.
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/
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:
and then underneath that:
“I beard chiece’s
a big patty
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.
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…