Tuesday, June 05, 2007

"Japanese Expression"

There is a small debate again over at NBR, this time about English in Japan...

Perhaps the greatest help for me to get over my frustration over "bad English" was actually written by the editor of www.engrish.com

You will also find that the vast majority of the English examples on Engrish.com were produced by companies - not individuals and that most of the Engrish found within the site is not an attempt to communicate, but are examples of English being used as a design element." (www.engrish.com).

While some mistakes are hilarious (with the humor unintended), oftentimes it is because the English is not there for the purpose of communication, but merely graphic design. It just looks cool. In this case, it is certainly not a dialect of English, but simply a random rambling of English words.

But, it still begs the question - if a company is going to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a sign with English, and it is for the purpose of communication, wouldn't you look it up in a dictionary? After all, you might wonder what in the world a "Sabway" is. (As seen in Kyoto Station).