Question about is a site that highlights humorous Asian misuses of English words and grammar. Look at the site for a while, and you will see lots of T-Shirts with comletely nonsensical slogans printed on them, like this, this, and this.

My question is, do people in Japan, or China, or whatever, really wear this stuff? I’d NEVER wear something with Japanese or Chinese characters, unless I KNEW what they meant. Any one in / from East Asia have experience with this?

ETA : I understand things like business signs and product instructions. Those are NECESSARY translations. But people don’t NEED to wear a shirt like this.


I don’t know if they do in Japan or China, but here in California I’ve seen plenty of Asian people (especially little kids) wearing clothes with various strange English phrases on them. I think some Japanese/Chinese speakers who don’t know much English like the look of our alpabet, same as many Westerners like the look of Japanese/Chinese characters and probably wear some things that look equally strange to people who can read those languages.

I wonder if there are Japanese or Chinese equivalents to, where they make fun of all the silly Westerners wearing tattoos that say things like (to borrow from Dave Barry) “Snot House” and “King Fucker Chicken.”

Yes they do. It’s like us putting Chinese characters on stuff, as a design. The meaning doesn’t really matter.

My favourite from my time in HK, on a young triad-like street tough guy: “Model aeroplane is fresh and exciting”.

I lived in Japan for 6 years, and can confirm that people there did wear shirts with wacky and garbled English on them. The explanation I was given was that it didn’t matter what it said, it was only used as decoration.

My personal favorite was an older man (in his 70s or 80s) I saw in a train station wearing a tie-dyed T-shirt that said, in big letters, Only Users Lose Drugs. While not incorrect, I wonder if he would have worn it if he had understood the full gist of it.

Or maybe he knew perfectly well and was just an old head.


Some of the tattoo mistakes are priceless.

I’ve lived in China for the past few years, and yes, people wear all sort of weird English all over the place(it shouldn’t be surprising considering the amount of crazy Chinglish signs peppering Chinese cities). My favorite is a pair of jeans that say “Get Juicy” on the butt cheeks. One guy had a white T-shirt with “Stronger Balls” written in big red letters on the front. And my (trustworthy, non-exaggerating) friend told me that he saw a girl wearing a shirt that said “MARY WAS A CUNT” in Harbin.

Most of the Chinglish on clothes is just misspellings or utter gobbledygook, though. Something like “Enjoyng the wandefull romace life!” or “Happy for the guiding in streets tourism adventure”. It’s so common to me that I don’t even notice them anymore, unless it’s particularly crazy.

I have a bottle of some kind of lotion that I found washed up on the beach on Vandenberg Air Force Base near Santa Barbara, CA. It reads as follows -

The best present for you-A man
Your attraction is masculine

It sits proudly on my shelf here in my office.

I don’t have the links handy, but a couple of my favorites from that site included a shot of a little league baseball team with the name “Bastards” emblazoned across their chests, and a shot of a team of teenage cheerleaders with “Lickers” on their uniforms :wink:

I’m pretty sure that’s just an American designer brand of jeans… Juicy Couture. I see lots of rich girls wear those jeans.

Oh, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE post the link if you find it.

My wife brought back some baby clothes from Hong Kong about 8-9 years ago, including one little uniform that said on the back ‘Ball Base’…

Here you go

And here’s the Lickers, too

I used to live in Japan, and saw people wearing shirts with weird English pretty much every day. The really hilariously bad or inappropriate ones are vastly outnumbered by ones that are awkward, incoherent, or just plain odd. Even when the English is more or less correct it’s often not the sort of slogan you’d see on a shirt in the US.

I sometimes asked my students about their “English” shirts, and even those who spoke English very well admitted that they bought these shirts without even thinking about what they actually said. It’s just a design element. Funnily enough, I don’t think I EVER saw a Japanese person wearing a shirt that had a slogan printed on it in Japanese. Schoolkids had gym shirts with the names of their schools on them, but otherwise I never saw any Japanese writing on shirts.

From my personal collection, all purchased at mainstream Japanese department stores:

“Mellow Bing” (with a picture of a cherry)

“Addicted to Be Happy Celeb”

“Mannish Girl: Tomboy” (I love this one!)

Front: “A Phrase by My side. Forever learning. Forever young.” Back: “A Phrase by My side. Forever learning. Forever young. We never know how we really look from behind, do we? I know I shouldn’t make promises I can’t keep. Japanese Style.”

Over the chest: “The place which can feel at ease in the city.” Then there’s a picture of a cafe called “Cafe Forest” at the bottom corner, and in smaller print: “An eye is closed and it breathes deeply, slowly. If it does so, the power of the shoulder can fall out and relax. And if an eye is opened quietly, there will be very delicious coffee and a handmade cake at hand. This is a forest in a city. Please become thinking that it returned automatically and pass calmly.” (Really.)

After working as an English teacher in Japan for some time, I started to understand where some of this weird English came from. A lot of it seems to be the result of using a dictionary or computer program to translate Japanese into English. For instance, I’d bet that the “Tomboy” shirt is the result of someone looking up the definition of “Tomboy” in a bilingual dictionary, then translating this back into English literally.

When I lived in China, I saw them all the time.

I had a student(she was 12 years old) who had a shirt that was pretty funny. It was a picture of a lady pushing a shopping cart. The cart was loaded with boxes, rising into the sky.

The store she had come out of was called, “Sex Shop.”

She had no idea.

I had a mate who was into a variety of punk rock called “crust”. To celebrate the arrival in Britain of a favourite Scandinavian band of his he used a dictionary to translate “Swedish Crust” and put it on a T shirt. Of course the band all fell about when they saw the guy who had “Swedish Pastry” written on his chest.

I have a bento box (a little lunch box) from Japan that combines a whole bunch of mangled and/or strange-sounding English.

The manufacturer is named Lube Sheep. :eek:
The brand is named Putifresh, which is only mildly weird. (It apparently is a mix of the word “petit” from French, turned into “pucchi/puti” in Japanese, added to the English “fresh”.)
And the caption on the box reads: “Happy fruits is very delicious. I will eat this and become fortunate all together!”

I’m not making this up.

My thank are many pleasant for you! :smiley:

Yes, they do. All the time. I have lots of fun ones. One of my favorites says, across the front:

“Today! It is the best!”

Then the back says, in various fonts and colors:

“It wants to transmit to you Satisfy though my ONLY/ it is very fine today/it is lucky
It is one tender day today”

The sleeve says: “FUTURE to you who favorite”

This is pretty typical of a japanese tee-shirt. They’re everywhere.

I love that one…

My friend got me one. It has a picture of a turtle on it and text that reads:

Imposing bear is your only friend.

I love it.