Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Please find a good job.

One of the best sources of humor in the world (at least for English speakers) is Japanese-to-English translations. All translations run the risk of unintentional comic effect ("Ich bin ein berliner") or public relations fail (the Chevy Nova/"no va"), but there is something about Japanese text when translated literally into English that has a particularly consistent amusement factor. I've played with the idea of having a "Japanese translation of the month" or something in my profile, but it's so trivial that this might be a better place for it. Just don't hold me to the "once a month" thing; I tend to come across translations during Bunny Hopper hunts more than at any other time.

So of course I stumbled upon this during the current Slice of Summer hunt: the notecard that I guess is supposed to explain the concept behind the Crayon Hunt taking place in mid-August. The first half is in Japanese, and here is the English translation:

Hunt Story crayon

One day, I love drawing to a white rabbit.

I can not find absolutely favorite crayon.

Ill-tempered black rabbit came there, I did.

"You do love crayon that I concealed. If you want it back,
The stylish looking! "
White Rabbit is a journey to find a crayon left in a hurry.

Please give everyone what they want to be important in the rabbit with a white crayon.

Good to help a child who is the treasure hidden in crayons as a reward.

Please find a good job.

Yeah. F'real. Just try to keep from giggling. I think the idea is that a black rabbit stole the white rabbit's favorite crayon, and you're supposed to help him find it. So go ahead and laugh: the evil black/good white thing is far more politically incorrect than a healthy guffaw will ever be anyway.

I imagine that English-to-Japanese translations must be just as hilarious, but we'd have to hear that from a Japanese speaker to know for sure. The languages are just so different that literal translation is simply impossible. Here is the homepage for the Crayon Hunt. Read it if you can, but I just put it through Google translator, and here's what it says we're looking at:

It did not notice on my blog a little cotton, FOTOKONTESUTO of air in this place in a shopping mall's forest planning and sound ^ ^

Planet of Datura in the fashion and fit to raise the SS
Location of course Planet of Datura!

Thank you TEKUSU 512X512 size is in square
Fill in the following sample application notes A note card and attach the texture FURUPA "Satoshi Inglewood" Please send

The applicant is only a one time
Is the use of props as well OK
Image processing is also OK

Conference Call for July 18 (Sat.) - Sunday, August 2
Popular vote August 8 (Sat) - Friday, August 21
Results Sunday, August 23

So if you're looking for a good fashion photo contest, look no further. I think.

But wait, there's more. There's fun with translation! Take some classic quotes from The Princess Bride:

- You fell victim to one of the classic blunders. The most famous is "Never get involved in a land war in Asia." But only slightly less well known is this: "Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line."

- Fezzik, are there rocks ahead?
- If there are, we'll all be dead.
- No more rhymes now, I mean it.
- Anybody want a peanut?

- Inconceivable!
- You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

- Have fun storming the castle!
- Think it'll work?
- It would take a miracle.

- There is a shortage of perfect breasts in this world. 'Twould be a pity to damage yours.

Put the English through a translator into Japanese. Then copy the new translation and put it back through, from Japanese to English. Our results:

- One of the victims of the classic blunders. The most famous "land war in Asia never to be caught." However, for slightly less well known: "contrary to the line that never died in Sicily."

- Fezzik, the rock?

- If we are all dead.
- Song more than this, I mean it.
- Or peanuts?

- Imagination.

- You are using the word. And it means that I did not think it means.

- Have fun castle rush.
- I think that'll work.
- It takes a miracle.

- A shortage of perfect breasts in this world. You will damage it.

And those are PG quotes. Try it with smut some time.

Since I feel like most of the trivial stuff in this blog will end up going back to hunts, I thought I'd share one of my ensembles of stuff I've picked up from hunts. Everything is a hunt prize except for the shape.

skin - LionSkins (Peace on Earth Hunt)
hair & deely boppers - designs by katey (Passions Hunt - still in progress)
eyes - The Plastik (Slice of Summer Hunt - still in progress)
piercings - Seduction (Scarlet Letter Hunt... they're not too visible in the picture, but they're studs on the chin, upper lip, bridge of the nose, and eyebrows)
dress - Kerryth Tarantal Studio (Through the Looking Glass Hunt)
necklace - *ICED* (Through the Looking Glass Hunt)

Yeah, I'm doing the traditional type of picture and the traditional list now. :P I'm a blog whore!



  1. There are few things in this world that I find more enjoyable than a little Engrish. I would feel guilty at this non-PC admission, but I'm sure native German-speakers get equal pleasure from my horrible German skills (Ginglish?). All is fair.

  2. ...mind you, the alleged "Ich bin ein berliner" and Chevy Nova/"no va" blunders are both complete myths. (In the former case, it started as a standup comedy routine that got taken seriously by people who didn't know better; the latter probably has a similar origin... in both cases, despite having been debunked, they continue to be cited everywhere because the stories are too good to stop using.)

  3. For a compendium of funnies (complete with photos of allegedly-real signage) try http://engrish.com. It's updated at least weekly.