Archive for Language and advertising

Trump beef noodles

Photograph of a sign in downtown Taitung, Taiwan:

(Courtesy of Anthony Clayden)

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Radical emphasis

Tong Wang spotted this poster in a Beijing elevator:

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Onigiri > Onigilly

Brand-name transliteration (in Embarcadero Center, San Francisco), courtesy of Nancy Friedman:

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Home party

Recently, Tong Wang's husband told her that he would not be home for dinner because he was going out with friends to this place:

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Tangut beer

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Q-TAXI

From a correspondent in Taiwan:

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Diacriticless Vietnamese on a sign in San Francisco

Charles Belov sent in this photograph of a sign posted on the Pho 2000 restaurant on Larkin Street in San Francisco:

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Biscriptal ad in the Hong Kong subway

Jenny Chu spotted this ad from a campaign for Nescafe currently being shown in the Hong Kong MTR:

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Stylistic preferences in English and Chinese

This is from an ad for a new apartment building in University City next to Penn:

Wèi nín xià gè rénshēng jiēduàn ér zuò de gōngyù

为您下个人生阶段而作的公寓

"Apartments made for the next stage of your (honorific) life"

Here's the English version from the same website:

Apartments for the next phase in life

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Sorrbucks

Paul Midler submits this one from South China:

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Darlie toothpaste

When I was teaching in Taiwan in 1970-72, there was a well-known brand of toothpaste called Hēirén yágāo 黑人牙膏 ("Darkie Tooth Paste").  Not only was the name strange, the packaging featured an image of what looked for all the world like Al Jolson in one of his blackface performances.  Naturally, I was scandalized by this, but when I asked my Taiwanese friends about it, they didn't see anything wrong with the name and said that it made sense from an advertising standpoint because the man had gleaming white teeth and the blackness of his skin made them seem all the brighter.

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Winnie meets Oreo

This just in from Mark Metcalf in Beijing:

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Fake Ritz and phony Oreo

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