Archive for Language and advertising

Duang

In China (and around the world among China watchers), everybody's talking about this ungainly syllable.  "Duang" surfaced less than a week ago, but already it has been used millions and millions of times.

"The Word That Broke the Chinese Internet" (2/27/15) by Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian

"'Duang' is Everywhere on the Chinese Internets, Here’s What It Means" (2/27/15) by Charles Liu

"Chinese netizens just invented a new word, and it's going insanely viral" (2/28/15) by Ryan Kilpatrick (English text part of the way down the page)

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Awesome foods

Felix Sadeli sent in this list of colossal mistranslations of food names. We've already seen several of these and explained a number of them on Language Log:

Here I'll just give brief explanations for four of the droller items in Chinese and Japanese on the list.  Perhaps Language Log readers will be inspired to follow suit for some of the remaining items, especially those in other languages.

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BOGO

Joshua Harwood sent in the following photograph taken at a Samsung display in the major shopping center of Xinyi District, Taipei:

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Superdry

Nathan Hopson spotted this gem in Bangkok while recruiting students this past weekend:

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All work and no play

Richard W sent in this photograph of the packaging for a keyboard / case that he recently bought to go with his iPad:

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Biemlfdlkk

Dan Levin has a nice article, "Adidos and Hotwind? In China, Brands Adopt Names to Project Foreign Flair" (NYT, 12/27/14).

Be sure to watch the slide show.  Here's one of my favorites:

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Miracle

This signpost is from a building near the subway station closest to Nathan Hopson's apartment in Nagoya:

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Random suit

Nathan Hopson bought this "rain suit" the other day:

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Big Data vs. Amateur Linguistics

Neil Dolinger sent in the following banner ad that popped up on his computer screen one day:

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Starvations

Nathan Hopson sent in this photo (from Nagoya, Japan, but there are similar stores all over Japan):

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Punning banned in China

When the first headline arrived stating that China was going to ban punning, I thought that it must be something from The Onion.  But when more and more reports came pouring in, I said to myself, "No, this is China.  They're really going to do it."

Indeed, the latest directive from the Ministry of Truth (State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television [SAPPRFT]) shows that they are dead serious.

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Mirai

That's another Japanese word that you'll be learning. Here's why:


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English as ruby annotation for Chinese

Something very interesting is going on in this panel (as usual, click to embiggen):

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