Which non native languages are used in advertising?

… and to imbue which perceived qualities to the product in question? In the UK, two examples are obvious: French is used to advertise toiletries, with the implied suggestion that the French know style, and German is used to advertise automotives, with the implication that Germans know quality engineering. Any common examples in other countries?

Well in Mexico there’s a lot of American-English advertising. It seems pretty general, though. I guess the idea is, well, I’m not sure. It’s really generalized.

In the USA, English accents sell certain stuff. Are there cases in England where there’s the specific use of a yank accent?

I took the train across Canada, and the dining car had a menu in French and in English. I always ordered off of the French menu because the food just looked like it would taste better.

Oh, wait… it was the same menu in both languages. Never mind.

Just joking. Of course I knew it was the same menu. :slight_smile:

English (or more accurately, “Engrish” :wink: ) is widely used in all sorts of advertisements in Japan. Its too generalized to make any specific statments though.

In many areas of Asia, especially here in Japan, it is very common to advertise things in English. To a lesser extent, I have also seen French, German, and Italian. The reason seems to be simply that stuff written in other languages is perceived as cool and interesting. It does not matter that most people have no clue what the writing actually says.

However, it often turns out that the people who create this advertising have limited or zero knowledge of the foreign languages they are writing, which sometimes produces results that are nonsensical, odd, and downright hilarious. Other times I suspect the manufacturers know exactly what they are writing, but they also realize most people won’t understand, so they go ahead and write weird stuff anyway. When this happens with English, it is often referred to as “Engrish,” a name derived from the fact that many Japanese have trouble distinguishing between the letters ‘l’ and ‘r’. I know of at least one website dedicated to this phenomenon: www.engrish.com.

Many native speakers who travel in Japan get a real kick out of finding particularly funny examples of Engrish. To give a couple examples that I will probably never forget, I once saw a designer bag with the phrase, “I am determined NEVER to think of my past again - MAKE FRIENDS” boldly scrawled across the front. (The really funny thing is that the bag belonged to one of my friends who speaks English very well, but she never even bothered to read it.) Another example that gave me a laugh was a jewelry store in Tokyo called “White Trash Charms.”

All I know is, I really want to get a schedule book just like this.