Archive for Language and advertising

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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Cantonese and Mandarin interwoven

Tom Mazanec noticed this ad for China Mobile by the baggage claim at the Guangzhou (Canton) Baiyun Airport a few nights ago:


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Eco Coke and No Smorking

While we're at it, here are two more contributions from Nathan Hopson in Japan:


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Selfish

Well, Japan doesn't fall to deliver. I assume that this is meant as something like "individual," in the sense of "self-ish," but whether it's word play or misunderstanding is unclear:


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The rice is prosperous

Here follows an egregious example of bad machine translation without human intervention to correct or improve it.  This is a listing for a book in Chinese on Amazon.

Pinyin as given in the listing:  dao sheng he fu de jing ying zhi hui [ fu zeng / xue xi shou ce qi che ban lv ]

Chinese characters as given in the listing:  稻盛和夫 经营智慧  [附赠]学习手册 汽车伴侣 (click on the small image of the cover ["See this image"] to embiggen)

English translation as given in the listing:  The rice is prosperous and the management intelligence of the man [present|the study manual car companion ] (this is obviously errant nonsense and of no use to anyone who might want to buy the book)

The listing states that the book is by "unknown (Author)".

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