A Pain in the Proverbial…

It’s no secret that Japan is littered with examples of misappropriated English…or Engrish, as we foreigners like to call it. The bane of an English teacher’s life in Japan, Engrish is everywhere…on clothing, in restaurant menus, on stationery…and most frequently…on toilet signage.

In all of those instances I can grit my teeth, take a photo and present it on facebook or Paperdoll (remember A Picture is Worth a Thousand Kanji?!) for the amusement of people all over the world. But when the mistakes appear repeatedly and right under my nose at school, it becomes a real pain in the proverbial

It seems that the teachers and students forget that they have a native English speaker at their disposal to consult in matters like these, before ‘going to press’. But this is Japan and the stubborn mistakes will persist…and besides, sometimes they get it right…in more ways than one…

4 thoughts on “A Pain in the Proverbial…

  1. To be fair, “Winning Ugly” is a phrase used to describe a successful style of football (soccer) and “Impossible is Nothing” is from Adidas’ advertising (and I think was originally said by Muhammad Ali), but The Three Musketeers must’ve gotten lost in translation! Anyway, I love reading your blog, it’s a great insight into a gaijin’s life in Japan, I look forward to the next one!

    • Well Mark, you just educated me on ‘Winning Ugly’ and ‘Impossible is Nothing’. Thanks for the insight…you have just raised my estimation of my school somewhat!

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