Monday, November 26, 2007

Chinengrish


At one of our neighborhood food markets, the following has been taped at each register checkout:

Don't forget the fish the loving most of you!

I love that Domestic Partner and I live within walking distance of the Hong Kong market, which is smack in the middle of Hong Kong Plaza, here in West Covina. Not only are there more than half a dozen restaurants that run the pan-Asian gamut, and a feisty Korean lady who takes in my shirts for cleaning ("Why you not get married, yet?"), we also get a frequent dose of delightfully mangled English, such as the phrase above, or, "Engrish," as some of you well know.

Now, I'm sure that the above sign was meant to serve as a marketing reminder to buy some of the wonderfully fresh seafood available in the store, and that the translating author of the sign safely assumed almost everyone enjoys eating fish, since the majority of their customers are Asian immigrants and Asian American. That's my interpretation, at least.

But it's always fun to think about how else an Engrish phrase like that can be interpreted.

"Don't forget the fish that's enamored with you, but not all of you, just parts of you?"

"Don't forget the seafood, most of you who are loving people while a few others are not?"

"Remember that the majority of you are ichthyphiliacs?" Talk about'cher profiling!

If you're not already familiar with engrish.com, click here now!

5 comments:

Jason Phoon said...

I'm chinese and I'm offended.

Nah, just kidding. See, I was raised on american tv and music, so my english is probably better than my chinese.

As for those engrish signs, we have some of that here in Australia too. Perhaps I can submit some to engrish.com ! haha ..

Quin said...

i love engrish.com


they should have southern.com... it's amazing what my relatives do to their native tongue.

aside from boiling it, peeling then baking it up and putting it in sandwiches.

Brenda said...

I have heard of a man and a horse but a fish?!!!!:-

golfwidow said...

"I swear, man, when I brought her home from the bar, she was a mermaid."

Peter Varvel said...

JP, I think being anywhere in Asia is like living in engrish.com, if you speak and read English!

Q, and you say you DON'T kiss your man with that mouth?

B, sure: Tom Hanks! (see below)

G, When I first saw "Splash," I was convinced that I just had to meet a mermaid. Years, later I realized that I already had. It was BFF Kathy.