Archive for Language and advertising

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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Syntactic wigs

Bruce Rusk shared with me this photograph from a store in Vancouver’s Chinatown:


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Biscriptal juxtaposition in Chinese, part 2

When Tom Mazanec came home from Fudan University in Shanghai a few nights ago, he found this leaflet in a baggie hanging on his door:


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Homa Obama

Tom Mazanec sent in the following ad that he saw in a Guangzhou (China) apartment complex:


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Full fart

Advertisement at a train stop in Oslo:


Photograph courtesy of Alexy Khudyakov

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Applenese2

In "Applenese", we examined the Chinese translations from the Mainland, Taiwan, and Hong Kong of this Apple advertising slogan for Mother's Day last spring:  "A gift Mom will love opening. Again and again."

Now let's see what is done with the new Apple campaign for the iPhone 6, "Bigger than bigger",  in Chinese and other languages.

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Applenese

I remember Apple's Mother's Day advertising campaign for the iPad Air and iPad mini last spring:  "A gift Mom will love opening. Again and again."

I only found out yesterday, in this article, that the Mainland Chinese translation of this tagline is the following:

Ràng māmā kāixīn de lǐwù, kāile yòu kāi.

让妈妈开心的礼物,开了又开.

The grammar cannot be faulted, and the meaning superficially seems to make sense, but the more you think about it, the odder it becomes.  If forced to translate the Chinese translation back into English, I'd come up with something like "A gift that will make Mom happy.  She'll open it again and again."  (Or, for the second sentence, less forced but more awkward:  "She'll be hap[py] again and again.")  That's not what the English says.

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Musee & Peace

This sign from a Nagoya subway is for waxing and other hair removal.


Photograph courtesy of Nathan Hopson.

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